British Imperialism in Africa

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Giancarlo Zipper
Period 1

Imperialism is one nation taking over another by social, economical, political aspects. In the nineteenth century, Britain had a huge empire, extending to many different regions of the globe. Before 1869, Britain only controlled a small amount of land in Africa. The British concentrated on imperialism in other, more profitable places around the world; places that would give them more markets for trade and more opportunity to increase their economy. Suddenly, the British were annexing land in places like Egypt and South Africa; in 1869 these were places that did not have monetary value. What in the world at that time changed, to change the British attitude toward Africa? What were the reasons for their continued imperialism in Africa after 1869, even though their experience in Africa consisted mostly of conflicts and embarrassments such as the Boer war

Before the 1870's, thanks to the influence of Livingstone, the main reason for British imperialism in Africa was to bring Christianity and European-brand civilization to African countries. They also practiced imperialism for trade purposes, but very little in Africa. The British economy has always depended heavily on trade, and Britain did want the West Coast of Africa for its palm oil. They took control of it simply because the native political structure was too unstable for good commerce without British control. For trade purposes, they concentrated on practicing imperialism in India and the Caribbean. Since the slave trade in Europe was stamped out in the 1830's, the British were not very interested in Africa. People had been one of the few resources they were interested in. However, after the 1870's, the motivations behind British imperialism in Africa changed drastically, for several reasons. Probably the greatest reason the British annexed land in Africa after 1869 was to protect their biggest money maker: India. In 1869 the French completed the Suez canal in Egypt....
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