Topics: Leopold II of Belgium, Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa Pages: 5 (1346 words) Published: January 26, 2014
Part A
(Suggested writing time—45 minutes)
Percent of Section II score—45

Directions: The following question is based on the accompanying Documents 1-12. The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise. Write your answer on the lined pages of the Section II free-response booklet.

This question is designed to test your ability to work with and understand historical documents. Write an essay that: • Provides an appropriate, explicitly stated thesis that directly addresses all parts of the question and does NOT simply restate the question. • Discusses a majority of the documents individually and specifically. • Demonstrates understanding of the basic meaning of a majority of the documents. • Supports the thesis with appropriate interpretations of a majority of the documents. • Analyzes the documents by explicitly grouping them in at least three appropriate ways. • Takes into account both the sources of the documents and the authors’ points of view.

You may refer to relevant historical information not mentioned in the documents. 1. Analyze attitudes toward and evaluate the motivations behind the European acquisition of African colonies in the period 1880 to 1914.

Historical Background: The maps below show European expansion in Africa from 1878 to 1914.

Document 1
Source: Prince Leopold, heir to the throne of Belgium and future king, conversation, 1861.

Surrounded by the sea, Holland, Prussia and France, our frontiers can never be extended in Europe. . . . [But] the universe lies in front of us; steam and electricity have made distances disappear, all the unappropriated lands on the surface of the globe may become the field of our operations and of our resources. . . . Since history teaches that colonies are useful, that they play a great part in that which makes up the power and prosperity of states, let us strive to get one in our turn . . . let us see where there are unoccupied lands . . . where are to be found peoples to civilize, to lead to progress in every sense, meanwhile assuring ourselves . . . the opportunity to prove to the world that Belgians also are an imperial people capable of dominating and enlightening others.

Document 2
Source: Benjamin Disraeli, British prime minister, speech to the House of Commons regarding the Suez Canal, February 1876.

I have never recommended, and I do not recommend now, this purchase either as a financial investment or as a commercial speculation. I have always and do now recommend it to the country as a political transaction, and one which I believe is calculated to strengthen the empire.

Document 3
Source: Chancellor Otto von Bismarck of Germany, speaking to a countryman back from exploring Africa, 1888.

Your map of Africa is very nice, but my map of Africa is in Europe. Here is Russia and here is France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.

Document 4
Source: Joseph Chamberlain, British industrialist, politician, and reformer, speech, 1888.

We have suffered much in this country from depression of trade. We know how many of our fellow-subjects are at this moment unemployed. Is there any man in his senses who believes that the crowded population of these islands [the British Isles] could exist for a single day if we were to be cut adrift from the great dependencies which now look to us for protection and which are the natural markets for our trade? . . . If tomorrow it were possible, as some people apparently desire, to reduce by a stroke of the pen the British Empire to the dimensions of the United Kingdom, half at least of our population would be starved.

Document 5
Source: Cecil Rhodes, British imperialist, speech at the chartering of the British South Africa Company, 1889.

Philanthropy is good, but philanthropy at 5 percent is even better.

Document 6
Source: George Washington Williams, Baptist minister, lawyer,...
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