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. Gavin K. - Allie P. Josh R. - Kolby S. . Of Africa. Imperialism in Africa. Africa in the Early 1800s. In the early 1800s, Africa was three times the size of Europe; its many people spoke hundreds of languages and had developed varied governments.. ID: 446784 Download Presentation

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Gavin K. - Allie P. Josh R. - Kolby S.

Of Africa


Imperialism in AfricaAfrica in the Early 1800s

In the early 1800s, Africa was three times the size of Europe; its many people spoke hundreds of languages and had developed varied governments.

In the early 1800s, North Africa and the Sahara were part of Muslim world: they were under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. During the same time period, an Islamic revival spread across West Africa. The revival began among the Fulani people of Northern Nigeria.

The Scholar & preacher Usman dan Fodio denounced the local Hausa ruler’s corruption. He called for social & religious reforms based on the Islamic law, the sharia. Usman inspired Fulani herders and Hausa townspeople to rebel against their European oppressors.

Usman & his successors set up a powerful Islamic state in northern Nigeria. Under their rule, literacy increased, local wars quieted, & trade improved.


Usman dan Fodio




Imperialism in AfricaAfrica in the Early 1800s

In West Africa, their success inspired other Muslim reform movements; between 1780 and 1880, more than 12 Islamic leaders rose to power. They replaced older rulers, and set up new states in western Sudan.

Europeans and Muslims controlled several smaller states. However, these tributary states were ready to turn to Europeans or others who might help them defeat their Asante Rulers.

Islam, for a long time, had influenced the east coast of Africa, where port cities like Mombasa and Kilwa carried on gainful trade.

Slaves were the cargo for many, and captives were brought from the inside of Africa to the coast where they were shipped to the Middle East. Also, Ivory and copper from Central Africa were exchanged for cloth and firearms from India.


Imperialism in AfricaAfrica in the Early 1800s

During this time, the Zulus emerged as a major force in southern Africa under Shaka, a ruthless and brilliant leader.

Between 1818 and 1828, Shaka waged conquered many nearby peoples; he drafted their young men and women into Zulu regiments. He also encouraged rival groups to forget their differences, which cemented a growing pride in the Zulu Kingdom.

Shaka’s conquests set off mass migrations and war. This created chaos across much of southern Africa. Those driven from their homelands migrated north & conquered other peoples, creating their own powerful states.

By the 1830s, the Zulus faced a new threat, the arrival of the well-armed, mounted Boers, descendants of Dutch famers who were migrating north from the Cape Colony.

In 1814, the Cape Colony passed from the Dutch to the British. Many Boers disliked British laws that abolished slavery & interfered with their way of life.


Shaka the Great




Imperialism in AfricaAfrica in the Early 1800s

In 1814, the Cape Colony passed from the Dutch to the British. Many Boers disliked British laws that abolished slavery & interfered with their way of life.

To escape British rule, they loaded their goods into wagons and started north. Several thousand Boer families joined in on this “Great trek.”

When the migrating Boers encountered the Zulus, fighting quickly broke out. Although in the beginning the Zulus had the upper hand, the Boer guns were able to defeat the Zulu spears. The struggle for control of the land would rage until the 1990s.

In the early 1800s, European nations began to outlaw the transatlantic slave trade. Meanwhile, the East Africa slave trade continued in Asia. Many people helped freed slaves resettle in Africa. In 1787, the British organized Sierra Leone in West Africa as a colony for former slaves. Later, free blacks from the United States settled in Liberia; by 1847, Liberia had become an independent republic.


“Great Trek”


Analyze maps showing how Africa was colonized in the 19



Summarize what happened at the Berlin Conference of 1884

Identify key people and groups involved in the colonization of Africa


Imperialism in AfricaEuropean Contact Increases

From the 1500s to the 1700s, Europeans traded along the African coast; Africans traded with Europeans but kept them at a distance.

Resistance by Africans, difficult geography, and diseases all kept Europeans from moving into the interior of Africa. In the 1800s, medical advances and river steamships changed all that

In the early 1800s, European explorers began pushing into the African interior. Explorers set out to map the course and sources of the great African rivers: the Niger, the Nile, and the Congo.


Going Deeper into Africa

Explorers were fascinated by African geography, but they did not understand the people they met. All endured great hardships while exploring Africa.

Dr. David Livingstone, a doctor and missionary blazed a trail that others soon followed.

In 1869, the journalist Henry Stanley trekked into Central Africa to find Livingston, who had been lost for many years. He finally tracked him down in 1871 in Tanzania, greeting him with the now-legendary phrase “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?



Evangelism in Africa: Spreading Christianity

Catholic & Protestant missionaries followed the explorers. All across Africa, missionaries converted many people to Christianity.

The missionaries were sincere in when helping the Africans; they built schools, medical clinics, and churches. They also denounced the slave trade.

Still, missionaries viewed the Africans as children in need of guidance; they urged Africans to reject their traditions in favor of Western ways. To them, African cultures and religions were “degraded.”


Dr. David Livingstone





Dr. David Livingstone: Not such a bad guy

The best-known explorer and missionary was Dr. David Livingstone. For 30 years, he crisscrossed Africa & wrote about the many peoples he met with sympathy and less bias than did most Europeans.

He greatly opposed the slave trade, which remained a profitable business for some African rulers and foreign traders. He believed the only way to end slavery was to open up the interior of Africa to Christianity and trade.


Imperialism in AfricaA Scramble for Colonies

Later on, the Belgian King Leopold II hired Henry Stanley to explore the Congo River basin & arrange trade treaties with African leaders. Publicly, Leopold spoke of a civilizing mission to carry the light “that for millions of men still plunged in barbarism will be the dawn of a better era.”

Inside, Leopold dreamed of conquest and profit. Leopold’s activities in the Congo set off a scramble by other nations. Shortly afterwards, Britain, France, and Germany were pressing claims to the region.


Berlin Conference 1884


Berlin Conference 1884

European powers met at an international conference in Berlin in 1884;

no Africans were invited


The Conference recognized Leopold’s private claims to the Congo Free State but called for free trade on the Congo and Niger rivers.

They agreed that a European power couldn’t claim parts of Africa until it set up a government office there. This led Europeans to send officials who would exert their power over local peoples.


Imperialism in AfricaA Scramble for Colonies

The rush to colonize Africa was on. 20 years after the Berlin Conference, the European powers partitioned almost all of Africa. As Europeans carved out claims, they established new borders. They redrew the map of Africa with little regard for traditional patterns of settlement or ethnic boundaries.




What happened?


Belgian Congo and King Leopold II

Leopold and other wealthy Belgians exploited riches in the Congo, including copper, rubber, and ivory.

Soon, horrifying reports of Belgian overseers brutalizing villagers surfaced. Forced to work for barely anything, laborers were beaten or mutilated. The overall population declined drastically.


Belgian Congo

Eventually, international outrage forced Leopold to gives his personal colony to the Belgian government. It became the Belgian Congo in 1908. Under Belgian rule, the worst abuses were ended.

The Belgians still regarded the Congo as an exploitable possession. Africans were given little to no role in the government, and all the wealth of their mines left Africa for Europe.


France in Africa

France took a giant share of Africa. In the 1830s, France invaded and conquered Algeria in North Africa. The victory cost tens of thousands of French lives, but killed many times more Algerians.

Later on, France extended its influence along the Mediterranean into Tunisia; it also won colonies in West and Central Africa. At its height, the French Empire in Africa was as large as the U.S.


Britain in Africa

Britain’s share of Africa was very scattered. However, it included heavily populated regions with many rich resources. Britain took chunks of West and East Africa. It gained control of Egypt and pushed south into the Sudan.

In southern Africa, Britain clashed with the Boers, who were descendants of Dutch settlers. Britain acquired the Cape Colony from the Dutch in 1814. At that time, many Boers fled British rule, migrating north and establishing their own republics.


Britain in Africa continued

In the late 1800s, the discovery of gold and diamonds in the Boer lands started conflict with Britain. The Boer War, which lasted from 1899 to 1902, involved bitter guerrilla fighting. The British won in the end, but at great cost.


Cecil Rhodes: British Imperialist


Cecil Rhodes on Spreading British Influence

I contend that we are the first race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. I contend that every acre added to our territory provides for the birth of more of the English race, who otherwise would not be brought into existence…I believe it to be my duty to God, my Queen and my country to paint the whole map of Africa red, red from the Cape to Cairo. That is my creeed, my dream and my mission.”


Cecil Rhodes

Went to South Africa when he was 17

Unsuccessful venture into cotton farming

Gold and diamond mining --- SUCCESS!

By age 40, Rhodes had become one of the richest men in the world.

Rhodes helped Britain gain 1,000,000 square miles and had an entire colony named after him --- Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe).

How? He tricked native kings into giving allegiance to the British and intimidated with military force.



Chief Kabongo of the Kikuyu in Kenya

A Pink-Cheek man came one day to our Council…and he told us of the King of the Pink Cheek who…lived in a land over the seas. ‘This great king is now your king,’ he said. This was strange news. For this land was ours…We had no king, we elected our Councils and they made our laws. With patience our leading Elders tried to tell this to the Pink Cheek…But at the end he said, ‘This we know, but in spit of this what I have told you is a fact. You now have a king…and his laws are your laws.”


Three Types of Statuses for Places Taken Over

Colony – area under immediate political control of another state. The French also made African territories and Indochina (Vietnam) into colonies.

Protectorate – local leaders were left in place but were expected to follow the advice of European advisors on issues such as trade or missionary activity. The British often used this policy.

Sphere of Influence – an area in which an outside power claimed exclusive investment or trading privileges. Europeans and Japan had spheres of influence in China.


Weaknesses of Non-Western States

Major empires in Asia and Middle East were in decline – Ottoman Empire in Middle East, Mughals in India, and Qing (Ching) Dynasty in China

Wars between tribes and the slave trade had weakened many of the West African kingdoms

Their technology was not advanced (They did not experience the Industrial Revolution).


European Technology

The Maxim Gun


Western Advantages

Strong economies and well-organized governments

Powerful armies and navies

Medical advancements – Discovery of quinine – anti-malarial medicine

Superior technology – steam riverboats, telegraph, Maxim machine guns, repeating rifles, and steam driven warships.

These tools and weapons persuaded Africans and Asians to accept Western control.


Resisting Imperialism

Africans and Asians strongly resisted Western expansioni into their lands

Fought back in wars even though they did not have weapons like the Maxim machine gun or steam warships

Ruling groups tried to strengthen their societies to bring greater unity (tougher laws, avoiding Western products and influence)

Western-educated Africans and Asians returned home to form nationalist movements


Imperialism Faced Some Criticism at Home

A small group of anti-imperialists emerged

Some argued that colonialism was a tool of the rich

Others said it was immoral. Westerners were moving toward greater democracy at home but were imposing undemocratic rule on other peoples.


What was the Berlin Conference of 1884?

Who was Cecil Rhodes? What were his feelings about the British and other peoples?

What were three statuses that subjugated (taken over) areas could take under imperialism?


The Boer War


Imperialism in AfricaA Scramble for Colonies

In 1910, the British united the Cape Colony and the former Boer republics into the Union of South Africa. The new constitution set up a white-run government and laid the foundation for a system of complete racial segregation that would remain in force until 1993.

Other European powers joined the colonization scramble, many in part to bolster their national image, while also furthering their economic growth and influence. The Portuguese carved out large colonies in Angola and Mozambique. Italy occupied Libya and then pushed into the “horn” of Africa, at the southern end of the Red Sea.

The newly united German empire took lands in eastern and southwestern Africa, including Cameroons and Togo. A German politician, trying to ease the worries of European rivals, explained, “We do not want to put anyone in the shade, but we also demand our place in the sun.”


Union of South Africa


Imperialism in AfricaAfricans resist Imperialism

Europeans met armed resistance across Africa. The Algerians battled the French for many years. In West Africa, where he was building his empire, Samori Touré fought French forces.

The British battled the Zulus in southern Africa. They also fought the Asante in West Africa. When their king was exiled, the queen of the Asante, Yaa Asantewaa, was put in command of their country. She led the fight against the British in the last Asante war.

Another woman who became a military leader was the clever tactician Nehanda, of the Shona in Zimbabwe. Sadly, Nehanda was captured and executed. However, the memory of her achievements inspired later generations to fight for freedom.

In East Africa, the Germans fought the Yao and the Herero. Fighting was especially fierce in the Maji-Maji Rebellion of 1905. The Germans triumphed only after burning acres and acres of farmland, leaving thousands of civilians to starve.

One ancient Christian kingdom in East Africa, Ethiopia, managed to resist European colonization & maintain its independence.


Famous Female Leaders

Yaa Asantewaa



Imperialism in AfricaAfricans resist Imperialism

Like feudal Europe, Ethiopia was divided up among a number of rival princes who ruled their own domains. In the late 1800s, Menelik II, a reforming ruler, began to modernize Ethiopia.

Menelik II hired European experts to plan modern roads & bridges and set up a Western school system. He imported the latest weapons and European officers to help train his army. So when Italy invaded Ethiopia in 1896, Menelik was prepared.

At the battle of Adowa, the Ethiopians decimated the Italian invaders. Ethiopia was the only African nation, aside from Liberia, to preserve its independence.

During the Age of Imperialism, a Western-educated African elite, or upper class, emerged. Some middleclass Africans admired Western ways, rejecting their own culture, while others valued African traditions, condemning Western societies that upheld liberty and equality for whites singularly.

By the early 1900s, African leaders forged nationalist movements to pursue self-determination and independence.


Menelik II




“Imperialism in Africa.”

IB History

. 2008 Silvapages. 14 June 2009 <>

Krieger, Larry S. "World History Perspectives on the Past."

World History Perspectives on the Past

. Fifth Edition. Evanston Illinois: DC Health and Company, 1997. Print.

“Scramble for Africa.”


. 1999 - 2003. Regentsprep. 13 January 2010 <>

World History

. Boston, Massachusetts: Pearson Education, 2007. 392-398. Print.

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