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General Gordon of Khartoum - Essay Example

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General Gordon of Khartoum European Experience in Africa The 19th century witnessed intense transformations in Africa. Some of the changes were instigated by disease and famine. Others were a result of territorial desires of the African rulers. As years went by, alliances with missionaries and merchants from Europe started to influence the manner in which the African leaders realized their goals…
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General Gordon of Khartoum
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General Gordon of Khartoum

Download file to see previous pages... The Arab and African merchants handled the inland trade of commodities and slaves. After the abolition of the slave trade by the British in 1807, they started patrolling the coasts, seizing other countries’ slave ships. Within the last twenty years of the 19th century, rivalries and conflicts in Europe started affecting individuals in Africa directly. Over the last years of the 19th century (1880’s), the European powers shared African territories among themselves without the consent or will of the people living there. They had partial understanding of the land they had acquired (BBC 2013, p1). Political rivalry, commercial greed, and territorial ambition all instigated the European scramble for Africa. This climaxed in the Africa’s partition during the 1884-5 Berlin Conference. The whole process that is the partitioning of Africa became famously identified as the scramble for Africa. In the last half of the 19th century, the disjointed patchwork of trading colonies, understandings, protectorates, and alliances yielded to sweeping transformations enforced by the Europeans. The French and the British were determined to make things right and institute a clear administrative hierarchy composed of the Europeans (at the top) and Africans (at the bottom) (BBC 2013, p1). On the other hand, a number of the oldest trading countries in Europe left Africa and the other set of players emerged. The Danes and the Dutch abandoned the continent while Belgium, Italy, and Germany moved into the continent. Elsewhere the mineral riches of Africa dazzled and fixated European adventures. However, casual commercial connections were replaced by methodical control and exploitation. At the beginning of the 19th century, the European hold of the African geography was restricted mainly to the coastal regions. However, before the end of the century, Europeans were spanning the continent with roads and railways. Now it was easy to take control of the continent both commercially and politically (BBC 2013, p1). The Scramble for Africa “had the effect of defusing and displacing tensions between the European powers in Europe, but eventually the tradeoffs and alliances could not disguise the fact that Imperial Germany was on a collision course with Britain and France” (BBC 2013, p1). For the first time, the African people found themselves pulled into conflicts, which had its sources in London and Berlin war rooms. The moral bravado of the European powers, purportedly representing reconciliation and order, civilization, and wisdom, soon broke into the destruction, death, and chaos of World War I (BBC 2013, p1). It is important to note that, in Africa, the Europeans were strangers but by aggression, settlement, and trade they became by different levels part of the inside (Connah 2004, p175). General Charles George Gordon’s Experience in Khartoum Sudan In the year 1882, Mohamed Ahmed (also referred to himself as Messiah or Mahdi) invited all the true believers to join in the holy war against Christians. Most people especially wild tribesman heeded to his call, and in the following, he conquered an army of close to eleven thousand Egyptians and English that had tried to subdue the revolt. England was forced to leave the province. However, thousands of Europeans who had sought asylum in Khartoum and other towns had to be rescued from their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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