African Civilization

Topics: Atlantic slave trade, Africa, Colonialism Pages: 4 (1152 words) Published: September 19, 2013
European Colonization of Africa

The European colonization of Africa during the 17th through 20th centuries had many positive and negative impacts on world nations and cultures; some lasting to present day. The “Scramble” or “Race” for Africa resulted from the process of invasion, occupation, and colonization of the African continent by European countries looking to expand their world influence and increase their fortunes (, 2012). Europe’s exploration and settlement of Africa was originally limited to the coast. The African interior was much harder to access for Europeans because of the rough terrain, hostile natives, and disease risks. As technological advancements improved and industrialism took over, European advancements in transportation, communication, and medicines to treat malaria allowed Europeans access to parts of Africa they hadn’t been able to colonize previously. The first representatives of European countries in Africa were most often missionaries interested in ministering to the pagan tribes. One of their main goals was to stop the slave trade that had done so much damage previously. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to establish permanent settlements along the coasts of Africa in the 15th century. Portugal competed with Britain and France to control large areas of Africa while Italy and Germany held much smaller parcels. Scholars note that there seemed to be a sense of self-esteem building as countries raced to control territories that were much larger than themselves (, 2012). Otto von Bismark, the German Chancellor, initiated the West African Conference in 1884. Ambassadors from many countries attended and agreed to notify all participating countries of any new African conquests. Europe’s colonizing nations felt drawn to Africa for its natural resources. Europe’s industrialization needed raw materials to continue, and many of its countries were also interested in civilizing and converting...

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