The Scramble for Africa Conquest of “the Dark Continent” 1880-1914
The Continent of Africa http://www.smarttravelinfo.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Africa-Satellite-small.jpg Africa is a continent!
The Continent of Africa http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/africa/africa_pop_79.jpg Africa is divided into countries
The Scramble For Africa • Although exploration and colonization had led the European powers to explore and claim much of the known world, the continent of Africa remained largely unexplored and independent of European Control. • The west coast of Africa had long been used by the Europeans; however, the interior remained unclaimed. • By the late 19th Century, the European powers (notably smaller powers) were looking to acquire overseas possessions. Africa was the ideal place.
The Scramble For Africa: The Berlin Conference • Some claims had been made to African territories prior to the Berlin Conference; The British had occupied Egypt and the French claimed Tunisia as a protectorate. • In 1884 the World Powers sat down to discuss the fate of Africa. The intention of the participating powers was to divide Africa amongst themselves. • The participants decided that access to major river-ways (the Congo and the Niger) would be available to all powers. To claim territory, the European country would have to demonstrate occupancy and adequate influence in the territory. How do you think a European country could go about filling these requirements?
The Scramble For Africa http://www.internationalpeaceandconflict.org/photo/borders-the-scramble-for?commentId=780588%3AComment%3A512051&xg_source=activity Africa as it was divided by the imperial powers
The Belgian Congo King Leopold II of Belgium and the Belgian Congo: 1885-1907
Belgium: The Late 19th Century • Was a newly independent country (gained independence in the 1830s from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands). • Consequently, the newly independent country experienced a cultural and industrial revival in the late 1800s.
The Belgian Congo • In 1885, the Congo was acknowledged by the European powers as the personal possession of King Leopold II. • It remained Leopold’s personal possession until 1907, when it became a Belgian colony. • It remained a Belgian colony until 1960.
LEGACIES OF IMPERIALISM • Factionalism and civil war. Imperial territorial borders in no way considered existing cultural divides. When imperial powers withdrew, conflict broke out between pre-existing cultural groups. • When rumors of Belgian withdrawal began, foreign investment in the country was quickly withdrawn, leaving the economy weak and causing widespread unemployment. • Environmental problems exist in many varieties including pollution of the Congo river from commercial over-use http://postconflict.unep.ch/congo/en/content/multimedia