Africana studies final assignment - Essay Example

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The scramble for Africa, also known as race for Africa was the invasion, occupation and colonization, and later annexation of Africa by European powers, during the late 19th century. This was marked by the new imperialism period that transpired between 1881 and 1914.This…
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Factors that contributed to scramble and acquisition of African colonies The scramble for Africa, also known as race for Africa was the invasion, occupation and colonization, and later annexation of Africa by European powers, during the late 19th century. This was marked by the new imperialism period that transpired between 1881 and 1914.This happened due to what the European powers were facing evolution in the field of economics and military and numerous changes in social ways of life. Before the scramble, that is 1880s, only small part of Africa was under European rule. These areas were next to big rivers and coastal regions. Thereafter, the European powers struggled to create a sphere of influence for themselves in Africa. These European powers used various methods to acquire these colonies of which were falsehood to the Africans. They included signing of treaties between African and Europeans, which were vague and were to the advantages of Europeans. They used of force, which used military occupation, for example, Ashanti by British, use missionaries and collaboration. Economic, social and political reasons led acquisition of Africa (Shreuder 90).
First, Africa came under colonization for economic reasons as an option for abolition of slave trade. Europe had to have an alternative trade commodity from Africa. Africa was rich in minerals, fertile lands for agriculture and cheap labor. Agrarian revolution and industrialization of the mid-19th century caused European power to rethink about Africa. They needed to increase sources of raw materials for their growing industries. Africa was a rich source of raw materials including iron ore, copper, palm oil, rubber and cotton. Furthermore, these European powers wanted extended markets for their manufactured goods. As consequence, they needed to expand their market in Africa. In addition to this, they wanted to have a share in African trade in gold, ivory and slaves. Some of the European powers established settlements and started cash crop farming and livestock keeping, for example, the Dutch settled in Kenyan highlands. Other than the coast, they began to establish trade contacts with long distance traders from the interior where they exchanged items of trade. For these reasons, each European power wanted to secure or safeguard their commercial motivations by exercising political control the over sources of raw material and markets (Okoth 44).
Europeans invaded Africa for humanitarian reasons. Other than spreading Christianity, missionaries came to Africa to establish schools as means to civilize Africans and to provide health or medical services. Missionaries penetrated many part of Africa establishing schools and hospitals and in addition, servicing these schools and hospitals. The missionaries who came to Africa derived their motivation from the explorers. For instance, missionaries had taken Congo as early as 1878 before Leopold the king. Further, the European wanted to cease slave trade and promote legitimate trade. These missionaries invited their mother countries to offer them protection from rough African and their competitors. Therefore, the European took the areas where their missionaries and established themselves, for example, the case of Uganda and Malawi because of missionary activities and Portuguese in West Africa (Okoth 44).
In conclusion, it evident the Europeans scramble for Africa for a reason. This is In search of raw materials for their industries and markets for their goods. This led to exploitation of Africa and natural resources and human labor but on the contrary it helped Africans to realize their potential through civilization and it marked the end of the slave trade that was inhuman.
Works Cited
D.M, Shreuder. The Scramble For Southern Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.
Okoth, Assa. A History of African socities and Estblishment of colonial rule. nairobi: East Africa Educational Publishers, 2006. Read More
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