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Colonization of Africa. 19 th Century. Colonialism. Colonialism is forced control of one nation by another nation. Beginning in the early 19 th Century, Europeans aggressively tried to establish colonies in Africa.

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Colonialism is forced control of one nation by another nation.

  • Beginning in the early 19th Century, Europeans aggressively tried to establish colonies in Africa.
  • European civilization experienced a period of unprecedented rapid expansion around the globe during the last third of the nineteenth century.

Colony is when a nation establishes a government under its rule in a foreign territory.

Imperialism is empire building by taking over other countries’ government’s trade, and culture.

reasons for colonialism
Reasons for Colonialism
  • Despite Europeans involvement in the Slave Trade Europeans usually relied on Africans to trade slaves instead of colonizing the continent.
  • By the 1880s every major nation in the world had abolished the institution of slavery.
  • Europeans found a new interest in Africa.
  • Africa is a continent of vast wealth.
positive european reasons for colonialism
Positive EuropeanReasons for Colonialism
  • Colonies provided Europe with strategic military and economic advantages.
  • Open up new trading markets for European goods.
  • Europe received minerals and other natural resources (diamonds, gold, cotton, ivory, and rubber) which fed the Industrial Revolution
  • Spread Christianity throughout the continent.
  • Europeans had access to cheap labor

When most European nations ended slavery in the early______, they shifted their focus to trading goods such as gold, ivory, and____________.

Soon after, the European powers divided up most of Africa. They used ______________to keep power. This is a policy of taking over other countries’ government’s trade, and culture.




negative european reasons for colonialism
NegativeEuropeanReasons for Colonialism
  • European powers had to fight against rebellions.
  • Colonial rule in many places, especially the Congo, was morally nauseating (sickening).

The Berlin Conference

In 1884 at the request of Portugal, German chancellor Otto von Bismark called together the major western powers of the world to negotiate questions and end confusion over the control of Africa. Bismark appreciated the opportunity to expand Germany's sphere of influence over Africa and desired to force Germany's rivals to struggle with one another for territory. At the time of the conference, 80% of Africa remained under traditional and local control.

berlin conference 1884
Berlin Conference (1884)

Berlin Conference in 1884 led by Otto Von Bismarck, German Chancellor

20% of the Europeans already controlled.

By the end of Colonialism most of Africa was under its control.

Series of Meetings in Berlin, Germany, held by European nations, Africa’s rulers not in attendance.

Met to discuss how to divide Africa’s land.


The Berlin Conference

"The Berlin Conference was Africa's undoing in more ways than one. The colonial countries superimposed or forced their powers on the African continent. By the time independence returned to Africa in 1950, Africa had developeda condition or custom of political division that could not be eliminated or made to work properly as a government for the people.

impact of colonial period partitioning of africa negative effects for africa
Impact of Colonial Period/ Partitioning of Africa Negative Effects for Africa

African tribes lost control of their own countries.

Conflicts broke out between tribes that were once friendly.

Land was confiscated for farms for the European colonies.

Wars, revolts, and protests were common.

Starvation and disease became widespread.

“NEW BORDERS” were drawn that separated families and tribes.

impact of colonial period partitioning of africa positive effects for africa
Impact of Colonial Period/ Partitioning of Africa Positive Effects for Africa
  • Schools and hospitals built.
  • Economy was improved by new governments.
  • Roads and railroads were built.
  • Health was improved (Health systems, etc…)
  • Berlin Conference set a specific date for the end of the slave trade.
  • New technology elevated the standard of living.
colonization of africa1

Colonization of Africa

Effects on Individual Countries and Regions

south africa
South Africa
  • Mid-1600s, the Dutch established a small colony at the Cape of Good Hope (southernmost tip of Africa).
  • to serve as a trading post for ships on their way to Asia.
  • The Cape grew into a large colony, Dutch government began awarding Dutch settlers territories occupied by the native Africans.
  • In 1795 the Dutch Monarch invited Great Britain to take over South Africa.
south africa1
South Africa
  • Exacerbated tensions between British colonists and Afrikaners(white colonists of Dutch descent).
  • The British and Afrikaners, however, oppressed the black Africans.
  • Gold and Diamonds discovered in South Africa, led to violent conflicts between both groups.
  • From 1899 – 1902 they fought one another in the Boer War.
  • Both groups used black Africans.
  • Many blacks and Afrikaners died in British concentration camps and suffered due to Britain's scorched earth warfare.

Diamond Mines

Raw Diamonds


Boer-British Tensions Increase

  • 1877 – Britain annexed the Transvaal.
  • 1883 – Boers fought British in the Transvaal and regained its independence. - Paul Kruger becomes President.
  • 1880s – Gold discovered in the Transvaal
boer war
Boer War
  • Scorched earth tactics caused devastation and starvation among much of the black population as well.
  • Britain's brutal tactics still remain a source of resentment between Afrikaners and English-speaking whites in South Africa.

The Boer War: 1899 - 1900

The British

The Boers


The British implementing the scorched earth policy - Boer warThe British found themselves at a disadvantage, due to the size of the territory, lack of familiarity with the terrain and the mobility and skills of the "Boers". In an effort to bring the war to an end, the British responded with a scorched-earth policy. This included burning down the farms and homes of the "Boers", and putting their women and children in concentration camps. Some 26,000 "Boer" women and children and 14,000 black and colored people were to die in appalling conditions.

european powers involved in colonization
European Powers involved in Colonization
  • Belgium
  • King Leopold II claimed much of the African Congo.
  • African Congo became best known for their rubber plantations and ivory.
  • East Africa

The _______controlled much of East Africa. Large numbers of Europeans settled in Kenya. But most colonial rulers used African deputies to control the countries. Many deputies were traditional chiefs. They often favored their own peoples. This caused conflict between ethnic groups.



These conflicts have made it hard for governments

to influence feelings of national identity. Most East African countries gained independence in the early 1960s.________, however, was never colonized.

Independence did not solve all the problems of the former colonies. New challenges

faced the newly independent countries.




European countries claimed colonies in West Africa in the late 1800s and kept control until after___________. They built schools, roads, and railroads, but many Africans gave up farming and worked for low wages. All the countries in West Africa became independent by 1974.

World War II




In the 1800s _________ countries began invading

North Africa. By 1912 Spain and France controlled

Morocco, France also controlled Tunisia and

Algeria, Italy controlled Libya, and the British

controlled Egypt.


The countries gradually gained

independence in the mid-1900s. _______ was the last country to win independence in 1962. Today

the countries of North Africa are trying to build stronger ties to other Arab countries.




Name the European colonial powers.

Some of the Central African countries became rich from trading with the Europeans. But they were all weakened in time… Why?








The people of Central Africa speak hundreds of different languages. They also speak regional varieties of the same language or ____________.


The reason for the for the great variety is that each ethnic group speaks its own native languae or dialect of one such as _________. However each country has an offical language as well.



Religion in Central Africa draws heavily from its colonial history. Many of the countries that were once part of the former French, Spanish, and Portuguese colonies are Roman Catholic while Protestant Christians can be found in former British Colonies.


Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902)

“The Colossus of Rhodes”


A Future British Prime Minister

British Boer War Correspondent, Winston Churchill