Imperialism: Domination and Resistance


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A presentation that outlines why the Europeans were able to take control of Africa during the age of imperialism.

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Imperialism: Domination and Resistance

  1. 1. Domination and Resistance in Africa
  2. 2. Europe’s Advantage <ul><li>Advances in transportation (steamships and railroad) and communications (telegraph and later the telephone) </li></ul><ul><li>Medical advances (especially a cure for malaria) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Europe’s Advantage <ul><li>Superior military weaponry </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bolt-action rifles gave the Europeans the ability to quickly reload </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maxim Gun and Gatlin Gun (an early machine gun) allowed vastly outnumbered Europeans to defeat Africans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Steamships with machine guns and cannons traveled up and down the rivers of Asia and Africa </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Africa’s Disadvantages <ul><li>Variety of cultures and languages made unification difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Low level of technology readily available – most of the guns owned by Africans dated back to the slave trade (which ended two generations before) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Africa’s Disadvantages <ul><li>Ethnic strife and warfare hampered attempts to work together and build up resources </li></ul>
  6. 6. Domination <ul><li>People of the Sudan resisted British rule and at the Battle of Omdurman. The British killed some 10,000 Sudanese with machine guns. </li></ul><ul><li>In Nigeria, some 500 British soldiers and African allies defeated 31,000 with machine guns </li></ul>
  7. 7. Domination <ul><li>African religious leaders during the Maji Maji Rebellion in German West Africa claimed magic water would make bullets harmless – some 26,000 died as they attacked machine guns with spears </li></ul><ul><li>Zulus in South Africa put on formable resistance to Boers and later the British, but are outgunned and defeated in 1879 </li></ul>
  8. 8. Successful Resistance <ul><li>Ethiopia was the only country to successfully resist the Europeans </li></ul><ul><li>Its leader, Emperor Menelik II, skillful played the Italians, French, and British against one another along with his Ethiopian rivals </li></ul><ul><li>At the Battle of Adowa in 1896, the Ethiopians successfully defeated the Italians and maintained their independence </li></ul>
  9. 9. Successful Resistance <ul><li>In the 1930s, Benito Mussolini would target Ethiopia as his first target in the years leading up to World War II – avenging Italy’s loss. (The Ethiopians then fought with the same guns that had defeated the Italians forty years before.) </li></ul>