Scramble for Africa

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Francisco Osornio
Scramble for Africa
During the Berlin Conference from 1884-1885 the European powers divided up the continent of Africa in order to avoid wars amongst the European powers. However, not a single African leader was invited to the Berlin Conference. The leaders of the native African kingdoms reacted to European imperialism by clearly expressing their opposition to the European officials, highlighting how strange and hypocritical European culture was, and implementing any means available to fight the Europeans.

The African leaders elucidated that they would never give in to European imperialism. Prempeh I, an Ashanti leader, clearly stated that he would never allow Britain to conquer the Ashanti kingdom (Doc. 2). Prempeh I demonstrated an extreme amount of courage to stand up to one of the strongest European powers, but his unwillingness to submit to Britain was greater than his fear of defeat. Yaa Asantewa made a speech to the chiefs, telling them that they needed to muster their courage to fight the British soldiers (Doc. 6). She adamantly believed that the chiefs of West Africa should never give in despite the doubt and fear they might feel. Samuel Maherero, a leader of the Herero people, told another African leader that he needed to resist the Germans because they were ruthless (Doc. 7). He knew that the Germans could easily defeat him militarily, but he still deemed it important to resist German imperialists. Samuel Maherero’s opinion that the African leaders needed to resist the Europeans was influenced by his attempt to be obedient to the Germans, which failed, and his observance that the Germans would show no mercy to the Africans. The African leaders adamantly resisted the European conquests of Africa. The leaders of Africa tried to understand the culture of the Europeans, but they found it strange and often hypocritical. Menelik II, emperor of Ethiopia, appealed to the great powers of Europe to have mercy on Ethiopia in sight of their...
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