Essay about The Colonization Of Africa During The 19th Century

1057 Words Feb 2nd, 2016 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 resources of ivory and rubber. It was at this point that the other European countries realized how valuable Africa was, with its abundant natural resources. To prevent a war between the European powers for land in Africa, Otto von Bismarck of Germany proposed a conference in 1884 and 1885 to divide up the land equally. For more than three centuries Europe avoided the interior of Africa, so what were European’s main reasons for imperializing Africa in the 1800s? The three driving forces of the Europeans imperialism were national competition, technological advances, and economic reasons, the most important being the economic reasons. National competition between the European powers was the first reason why Europe was driven to…

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