In the late 1880s, only limited areas of Africa were subjected to the direct rule of Europeans. However, the next 20 years saw an increase in the confiscation of African colonies by the Europeans and by 1914 the partition of Africa had been consolidated. By 1914, with the exception of Ethiopia and Liberia, the whole of Africa had been partitioned and occupied by the imperial powers of France, Britain, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and Italy, and colonialism was implemented. However, by 1918 Germany lost its African colonies and they were distributed among the other European powers. Lenin and Hobson both argue that the partition of west Africa was highly economically motivated. These two scholars economic motives are somewhat similar to each other but Lenin argues more firmly that the crisis was one of finance capital and the development of "monopoly capitalism / oligopoly capitalism". In addition, it may be interpreted that though the partition of West Africa can be seen as largely for economic motives, it is acknowledge that there were other factors, which led to the partitioning of West Africa.
The French conquered most of the territory of West Africa. They established control over the interior Savanna, the Sahara, and three new coastal colonies: Guinea, Ivory Cast, and Dahomey. Britain settled on the Gambia Sierra Leon, and the Gold Coast. (Freun, 84). Goldie's company received the Royal Charter and proclaimed a protectorate over much of the Niger Delta while the British states assumed control over the remainder. The company treaties gave a legal cover to further penetration within the Sokoto Caliphate and the French agreed to accept a demarcation line, which granted the British what became known as Northern Nigeria (Freun, 84).
There were several reasons which led to the scramble of African territory by the Europeans. The scramble was on one part, the
Cited: Boahen, A. Adu. General History Of Africa VII: Africa under Colonial Domination 1880-1935. London: James Currey Ltd., 1990. Boahen, A Adu., and J. Webster. Revolutionary Years. West Africa Since 1800. 2nd ed. London: Longman Group Ltd., 1980. Freun, Bill. The Making of Contemporary Africa. 2nd ed. U.S.A: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc., 1998.