Question: Analyze the policies of three European colonial powers regarding Africa between 1871 and 1914. (1997 #3)
Introduction: Between 16th and 18th centuries European powers did not usually acquire territory in Africa and Asia but rather built a series of trading stations. European migration was growing and the population was gradually decreasing in Europe and rising in places that were being conquered. The rise of new imperialism (the control of one people by another can be political, economic or cultural-) began in 1800s in Africa but even earlier in Asia. In 1800 Europeans controlled about 7% of the world's territory; by 1914, they controlled 84%! Europeans colonized Africa and Asia by using military force to take control of local governments, exploiting local economies for raw materials required by Europe's growing industry and imposing Western values to benefit the "backwards" colonies. There was a new emphasis on spreading Christianity to Africa and Asia by Western Europe. The ideology: nationalism and Social Darwinism were also an influential factor in Africa's downfall against three very powerful nations. Four European colonial powers in particular: Great Britain, France, Germany, and Belgium were the driving forces of the outreach into Africa between 1871 and 1914 due to their desire to expand their boundaries for economic, political, religious, and social reasons by using direct or indirect control.
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Policies of Britain
Britain Empire alone controlled about 25% of the world's population by 1900 and 20% of the world's territory: i.
It was considered "the Empire upon which the sun never sets" 1.
One could travel around the world by railroad and sea, moving only through British territories 2.
Included Australia, Canada, India, colonies in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean
Britain used indirect control of colony to gain control over portions of Africa c.
Britain was concerned by French and German land grabs in 1880s i.
Those countries might seal off their empires with high tariffs and restrictions future economic opportunities might be lost forever d.
Britain's control of Egypt in the 1880s became the model for the "New Imperialism" i.
Turkish general Muhammad Ali had made Egypt into a strong and virtually independent state by 1849 ii.
Egypt's inability to satisfy foreign investors led to control of its finances by France and Britain iii.
1875, Britain bought a significant portion of shares for the Suez Canal and began managing it. iv.
In 1883, Britain declared Egypt a protectorate*, setting the stage for similar practices by other European powers 1.
Protection of the Suez Canal was a key motive in British occupation of Egypt and its bloody conquest of the Sudan. 2.
Britain claimed the protectorate would only be temporary. 3.
Technically, Egypt was still part of the Ottoman Empire but Britain actually controlled the country. v.
Egypt remained a protectorate* of Great Britain from 1883 until 1956 e.
Britain prided itself on being the most enlightened of the imperialist powers (though its rule can still be considered oppressive) f.
Took control of Egypt in 1883 (see above)
After taking control of Egypt Britain pushed southward to the Sudan ii.
Battle of Omdurman (1898): General Horatio H. Kitchener defeated Sudanese tribesmen and killed 11,000 (with machine guns) while only 28 Britain died. iii.
Fashoda Incident (1898)
France and Britain nearly went to war over Sudan
France backed down (partly because it was in the midst of the Dreyfus affair) h.
South Africa and the Boer War (1899-1902)
Cecil Rhodes had become Prime Minister of Cape Colony in South Africa 1.
Principal sponsor of the "Cape-to-Cairo" dream where Britain would dominant the African continent. ii.
Diamonds and gold were discovered in the Transvaal region and Rhodes wanted to extend his influence there but Boers controlled the region (the descendents of whit Dutch settlers) iii....
Bibliography: "AP Euro Lecture Notes- Unit 8.3: The New Imperialism 1880-1914". ©2006.
Buckler, Hill, McKay. A History of Western Society. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.
"Europe (1871-1914)". Sparknotes. © 2006.
Mc-Graw Hill. A History of the Modern World. California: San Francisco, 2002.
"Protectorate". Wikipedia. © February 2007.
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