Imperialism In Africa Research Paper

1057 Words 5 Pages
Before the 19th century, much of Africa remained untouched by the Europeans and other powers because of the deadly diseases and uncharted land. In fact, Africa earned itself the nickname “the white man’s grave.” This all changed though when the slave trade was outlawed in 1807 and slavery in 1833. Because of this end of slavery, Europe looked to imperialize and establish colonies. Explorations went underway and slowly but surely the holes or blank spaces were filled in the maps of Africa. Still only 10% of Africa was under European power. King Leopold of Belgium was the first to acquire a large plot of land in central Africa, over 900,000 square miles called Congo Free State. His goal was to use this land to make money by taking its natural …show more content…
It was after Belgium claimed land, the Congo Free State, that the other countries felt compelled to get their own share of land. By 1885, only two African countries remained independent. The rest were occupied by the British, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Belgian, and Spanish. These countries did not want to be left out in obtaining African land. The two countries who won the race to seize African colonies were France and Britain, France taking up the northwest of Africa and Britain taking up the eastern half. This motivated the other countries to gain more land because they didn’t want to be seen as less than Britain and France. Even though the Conference in Berlin split up the land, national competition could still be seen between the countries for power in Africa. “(T)his is what [England] must either do or perish: she must found colonies as fast and as she is able...that their first aim is to be to advance the power of England by land and sea,” says John Ruskin, a well regarded English intellectual. The countries were desperate for the most land in Africa, to increase their profit. Freidrich Fabri urged his fellow citizens to imperialize like the English: “It would be wise if we Germans would learn about colonial skills from our Anglo-Saxon [British] cousins and would begin--in a friendly competition--to strive after them.” The countries were inspired by previous countries who had imperialised, and this motivated them to imperialise as well. The countries did not want to miss out on the resource abundant land of Africa. National competition motivated the European powers because each country wanted to be better than the others, claiming more land for themselves to be the top

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