Essay Africa 's Involvement Of The Great War

1175 Words Mar 11th, 2016 5 Pages
Africa’s Involvement in the Great War
World War I is considered the “Great War” by many, and is the first modern war that has spanned all continents. Though it appears to mainly consist of European powers such as Germany, France, and Britain, the war affected all continents, especially Africa. While many overlook or forget the involvement of Africa in the Great War, it did play a significant role in the start and conclusion of the war. Africa was not a sideshow of WWI, but was vital to the war effort in Europe due to resource contributions, territorial disputes, and the death toll seen in Africa.
One of many reasons that Africa was essential to WWI is coined in the phrase “Scramble for Africa.” There was a strong European presence within Africa during the period leading up to and during WWI. It started with the spread of Imperialism, and European countries’ want for resources that could only be found in foreign locations. During the war, Africa was heavily drained of these resources to fuel the war effort, and the more territory that a nation controlled within Africa, the more provisions could be gained. This need for further resources had countries such as Germany, France, and Britain attempting to claim more and more colonies within Africa; the so called scramble. Richard Rathbone suggests that “local colonial authorities used the war in Europe as a convenient smoke-screen behind which they could pursue cherished goals unhindered.” These goals were to establish more…

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