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Why was there a 'Scramble for Africa' between 1860 and 1900 - Essay Example

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The Imperialism began to reign at the end of the 19th century. It is defined as “an unequal human and territorial relationship, usually in the form of an empire, based on ideas of superiority and practices of dominance, and involving the extension of authority and control of one state or people over another” (Gregory et al , p.373). …
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Why was there a Scramble for Africa between 1860 and 1900
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Why was there a 'Scramble for Africa' between 1860 and 1900

Download file to see previous pages... The definition itself can form negative attitude towards this phenomenon. In history this period is characterized mainly by the cruel attitude of people from developed countries towards the people from less developed territories. Really, we can find many facts of cruel exploitation of one nation by another nation, facts of humiliation, which serve as the reason of such a bad attitude towards imperialism. It is a well-known fact that after the abolition of slavery, Africans appeared in not less difficult situation. They did not know how to live without a job and accommodation. Former slave owners also lost their labor force and experienced many difficulties. All these factors could influence the economy negatively, thus the quite different relations between Africans and Europeans should have been established. Here imperialism can be considered from the point of view of mutual advantage and beneficial cooperation between Europe and Africa. The 1880s brought many changes to the life of Africa and these changes can’t be called positive. There was a period in the history of African continent, when the European countries had been struggling for its territory and resources. “The nature of European imperialism remains very contested. Much of the discussion revolves around notions of empire by rule and ignores both the wider context of Western expansion and the recourse to ‘informal’ influence in large areas of the non-Western world” (Darwin 2013, p.1) It was a period of colonization. The great changes, which happen in Europe that time served as the reasons (Hobson, 2005). During this period Europe was going through rapid changes in economic, social and military aspects. Many parts of Africa were occupied by Europeans. Great Britain had a big part of the African continent beginning with Freetown in Sierra Leone, some fortresses near the Gambia, some places in Lagos and ending with the Gold Coast territory. The significant part of the continent was occupied by France. The colonies in Dakar and in Senegal, the land near river Senegal belonged to France (Simon, 1998). It had power over the Assinie and Grand Bassam and the cost of Dahomey. Moreover, France had a successful attempt to colonize Algeria already in 1830. Portugal and Spain had their territory in Africa as well. Portugal occupied the territories of Angola and Mozambique. Spain possessed lands in Ceuta and Melilla. The Ottoman Turks were among the most powerful colonists. They had power over Egypt, Tunisia and Libya (Bennet, 1984). The question is how such struggle for Africa can be explained. The reasons can be found in the events that had happened in Europe that time. “Here the growth of imperial rivalries in the late nineteenth century is explained in terms of a far-reaching series of geopolitical crises, ignited by processes of political and economic transformation in non-Western states in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and East Asia. It is argued, nonetheless, that conventional accounts grossly exaggerate the ‘tooth and claw’ nature of imperialist competition before 1914, which was closely constrained by the requirements of Europe’s own politics. Until, that is, the onset of the Great Depression, and the rise of radical nationalist states in Germany and Japan, created the conditions for unrestricted imperialist warfare on a global scale, with catastrophic results” (Darwin 2013, p.1). The most important reason was the abolition of the slave trade. In reality this abolition was related only to the trade out of the land and in the continent the situation was quite different. Slaves’ owners were not ready to lose them. The Muslim merchants continued ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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