History in english : causes of the scramble for africa

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Causes of the Scramble for Africa

First of all, there was an important economic motivation for Europeans to colonise Africa because the continent is rich in raw materials and resources such as ivory, diamonds, gold, coffee, rubber, tea, cotton, palm oil, coco beans and many more. All this products were luxury goods. For example diamonds were discovered at Kimberley in 1867, and in 1886 goldwas discovered in the Transvaal. And also due to the end of the slave trade, the Europeans needed a new kind of trade to supply the industries in Europe. They used Africans as a forced labour to go and get these material and sell then to them. They used force and brutality.

Even more, different persons like Stanley, Peters, Rhodes, Faidherbe or Leopold II saw the colonisation as anoccasion to increase their influence and power. Cecil Rhodes was a financier, a statesman, and a empire builder of British South Africa. He became prime minister of Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896 and organizer of the giant diamond-mining company De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. In 1888. The Belgian King Leopold II he was the personal owner of a area 80 times the size of Belgium, The Congo Free State. Hehad a main agents: Henry Morton Stanley a British American explorer of central Africa, famous for his rescue of the Scottish missionary and explorer David Livingstone and for his discoveries in and development of the Congo region. He was knighted in 1899. In 1908 the Congo became part of Belgian kingdom. Louis-León César Faidherbe was the governor of French Senegal from 1854 to 1861 and from1863to 1865 and a major founder of France's colonial empire in Africa. He founded Dakar, the future capital of French West Africa. European Christians believed that it was their duty to convert the none believers.

Furthermore European power like Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Belgium were rivals. Each wanted to conquer Africa to be able to prove that they were a great nation. At first onlysome countries, notably Britain, France and Portugal started to colonise Africa before 1885. But countries like Italy, Germany and Belgium wanted also a part of the continent. The 1885 Berlin Conference, initiated by Bismarck to establish international guidelines for the acquisition of African territory explained that to colonise a country a European power had to show active control of thatcountry. Only then started the real scramble for Africa. There were many tensions to gain a country for instance Britain and France for Sudan, finally because the French didn’t wanted to start a war left. Britain and Germany both wanted East Africa, and Both France and Germany wanted Morocco. European power showed aggressive national pride this built up tension until the great war

Finally,the European colonists had a big advantage on the Africans because they were well equipped with modern inventions. For instance the Gatling Gun of 1862 or the Maxim Gun of 1884, were very useful rifles to invade and take control of a population, suppress uprisings. The steam engines and Iron Boats were used to transport people and goods between Europe and Africa, and on river to get easily intothe land. But such penetration remained tenuous until the construction of railroads and the arrival of steamships on navigable waterways made it feasible for European merchants to dominate the trade of the interior and for European governments to consolidate conquests. The medical advances like the discovery in 1817 by two French scientific Pierre-Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Canventou ofthe solution to Malaria. They used quinine from cinchona tree, with this improvement it was now possible for Europeans to conquer Africa without dying from this disease.
First of all, there was an important economic motivation for Europeans to colonise Africa because the continent is rich in raw materials and resources such as ivory, diamonds, gold, coffee, rubber, tea, cotton, palm...
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