Scramble for Africa
SS7H1a: Explain how the European
partitioning across Africa contributed to
conflict, civil war, and artificial political
Africa Faces Imperialism
• From the 1870s to 1900 Africa faced imperialist
hostility, political pressure, military invasion
and then conquest and colonization by Europe.
• By the early 1900s all of Africa, except Ethiopia
and Liberia were colonized by European
• Europe wanted African land for raw materials,
and markets for their manufactured goods.
The One Who Has Territory, Has
• Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy,
Portugal and Spain were competing for power
• The main way to gain political power is to
have territories around the world.
Berlin Conference of 1884
• The desire to have lands in Africa was so
strong that there was a fear of war.
• German chancellor Otto von Bismark called
the Berlin Conference of 1884 to set some
ground rule in Africa.
1. Slave trade was forbidden by land or sea.
2. Countries had to notify others when adding
3. Congo Basin was free to trade on
4. Congo and Niger River would remain neutral
and free for trade.
5. Countries could not have a colony in name only.
6. Free State of Congo would remain open to all
• Borders were drawn up to benefit the
European powers and without participation of
• This division was disastrous as the new
boundary lines divided ethnic groups and in
most cases forced rival ethnic groups to live
…BUT BY 1885,
OVER 90% OF
BE UNDER THE
The Negatives of Colonialism
• Rival ethnic groups forced
to live together causing
conflicts and wars.
• Lost many resources
without equal return.
• Lost their freedom to
• Africans were forced to
work on plantations and in
mines for very little money.
Children as young as 10 are recruited
for civil wars in Africa
Positives of Colonialism
• Improved roads and
• Improved medical centers
• Improved schools
• Improved economies –jobs
• Democracies allow freedom
for many people (except in
countries where corruption
leads to dictatorships)
Hospitals in South Africa are heavily
burdened by HIV- infected children—a
leading health issue in Africa.
Conflicts in Africa because of artificial political boundaries
created by Europeans during the Berlin Conference of
• Conflict between native Africans and
Europeans during colonization
• Conflict between ethnic groups
• Conflict over who should have political power
AFTER Africans gained independence from