The Scramble for Africa, also known as the Race for Africa or Partition of Africa was a process of invasion, occupation, colonization and annexation of African territory by European powers during the New Imperialism period, between 1881 and World War I in 1914. As a result of the heightened tension between European states in the last quarter of the 19th century, the partitioning of Africa may be seen as a way for the Europeans to eliminate the threat of a Europe-wide war over Africa. The last 59 years of the 19th century saw transition from "informal imperialism" of control through military influence and economic dominance to that of direct rule.
Attempts to mediate imperial competition, such as the Berlin Conference (1884–85), failed to establish definitively the competing powers' claims. Many African polities, states and rulers (such as the Ashanti, the Abyssinians, the Moroccans, the Somalis, the Benin Empire and the Zulus) sought to resist this wave of European aggression.However, the industrial revolution had provided the European armies with advanced weapons such as machine guns, which African armies found difficult to resist (with the exception of the Abyssinians, who were indeed successful).Also, unlike their European counterparts, African rulers, states and people did not at first form a continental united front although within a few years, a Pan-African movement did emerge: the first Pan-African Conference was held in London in 1900.
Scramble for Africa
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