West Africa: Colonial Times

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West Africa: Colonial Times

From the early 1500’s to the mid 1900’s Europeans have been known for their success in colonizing foreign territories. The Dutch, British, Portuguese, French and Germans were the main European groups who throughout the 15th and 19th century felt the need to take over beneficial countries to improve their power. The desire for money, goods, territory and empire building led the Europeans to all search around the world in hopes of finding a weaker country with raw materials to take over. In Western Africa, the main European forces that colonized most of the western area were the Portuguese, the French and the British. Like in many other parts of the world, the European countries were invading, conquering and controlling the goods that West Africa had to provide; much like the East Indian Company (British) in India. From the early 1500’s until the late 1900’s the Portuguese, the French and the British came into West Africa and began to increase trade, overpower and become racial towards the Africans and turn a tribal country into a strict European ruling type of government. With the Europeans in charge, the way of life, expenses and laws/rules quickly began to change for the benefit of the Portuguese, French and British.

The main reason for European colonization was to boost up the Europeans’ economy. In West Africa many of the countries such as the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria were blessed with many resources and raw materials that the Portuguese, French and British could acquire and trade with other countries in exchange for other goods or money. Another main attraction to Africa, were the available slaves that the French and British shipped to the Americas for cheap labor. The slaves were so demanded that the European nations began the Atlantic slave trade in the 16th century and shipped many slaves to the new world in order to be able to produce multiple products and not have to pay the workers. The constant...
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