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Scramble for Africa

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Submitted By ymay1210
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European powers were involved in Africa since the mid-1500's but had restricted their area of influence to only the coastal regions of Western Africa, where powers such as Great Britain established hubs for their highly profitable slave trade (David). Over a period of nearly three hundred years, European ships had transported more than 11 million people from Africa to different areas of the world, including America after the slave trade was abolished in Europe, and sold them into slavery (David). In a period of less than 30 years from 1870 – 1900, European powers, consisting of countries like France, Britain, and Portugal, had increased their control of Africa nations from a mere 10% to 90% of the entire continent (David). There were several reasons for Europe's aptly dubbed “Scramble for Africa,” ranging from thinly veiled intentions of “liberating” Africa from Arab slave traders to not so thinly-veiled hopes of economic and political gains. During this time in history, Europeans strongly felt that they were the superior race and that the darker-skinned residents of Africa were their evolutionary inferiors (David). This deeply rooted idea of racial superiority undoubtedly played a role in the European powers' decision to insert themselves into the African continent in an attempt to “civilize” the native people, who surely perceived as savages by the Europeans. At The Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, thirteen European powers signed a declaration vowing to aid in the abolishment of the slave trade in Africa and proceeded to fashion borders of their liking without any consideration of how this would affect the native tribes and people (David). Africa was divided up between France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Great Britain – who would eventually control an entire third of the populace of Africa (David). Great Britain had initially only been…...

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