Recent Event Highlights: Most of Africa is under European control, Boer War in South Africa, Spanish-America War breaks out; Puerto Rico, Spain, and the Philippines taken from Spain, European trade with Africa becomes well established, and 6 more...
Created by elmolovesyou88 on Jan 30, 2010
Last updated: 01/31/10 at 03:17 PM
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Industrialization stirred ambitions in many European nations. They wanted more resources to fuel their industrial production. They competed for new markets for their goods. Many nations looked to Africa as a source of raw materials and as a market for industrial products. As a result, colonial powers seized vast areas of Africa during the 19th and early 20th centuries. This seizure of a country or territory by a stronger country is called imperialism. As occurred throughout most of Africa, stronger countries dominated the political, economic, and social life of the weaker countries.
Diamonds and gold were discovered in southern Africa in the 1860s and 1880s. Suddenly, adventurers from all parts of the world rushed in to make their fortunes. The Boers tried to keep these “outsiders” from gaining political rights. An attempt to start a rebellion against the Boers failed. The Boers blamed the British and, in 1899, took up arms against them. In many ways, the Boer War (also known as the South African War) between the British and the Boers was the first modern “total” war. The Boers launched commando raids and used guerrilla tactics against the British. The British countered by burning Boer farms and imprisoning women and children in disease-ridden concentration camps.
The United States acquired the Philippine Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Gaining the Philippines touched off a debate in the United States over imperialism. President McKinley’s views swayed many to his side. He told a group of Methodist ministers his intention to “educate Filipinos, and uplift and Christianize them.”
Italians claimed all of Ethiopia as a protectorate. Meanwhile, Italian forces were advancing into northern Ethiopia. Menelik declared war. In 1896, in one of the greatest battles in the history of Africa—the Battle of Adowa—Ethiopian forces successfully defeated the Italians and kept their nation independent. After the battle, Menelik continued to stockpile rifles and other modern weapons in case another foreign power challenged Ethiopia’s liberty.
About the same time, the new Hawaiian ruler, Queen Liliuokalani, took the throne. In 1893, she called for a new constitution that would increase her power. It would also restore the political power of Hawaiians at the expense of wealthy planters. To prevent this from happening, a group of American businessmen hatched a plot to overthrow the Hawaiian monarchy. In 1893, Queen Liliuokalani was removed from power.
To prevent conflict, 14 European nations met at the Berlin Conferencein 1884–85 to lay down rules for the division of Africa. They agreed that any European country could claim land in Africa by notifying other nations of its claims and showing it could control the area. The European nations divided the continent with little thought about how African ethnic or linguistic groups were distributed. No African ruler was invited to attend these meetings, yet the conference sealed Africa’s fate.
The Suez Canal was viewed as the “Lifeline of the Empire” because it allowed Britain quicker access to its colonies in Asia and Africa. In a speech to Parliament, Joseph Chamberlain explained that he believed Britain should continue its occupation of Egypt because of “the necessity for using every legitimate opportunity to extend our influence and control in that great African continent which is now being opened up to civilization and to commerce.“ This painting represents the opening celebration of the canal on November 17, 1869.
Sepoys marched to Delhi, where they were joined by Indian soldiers stationed there. They captured the city of Delhi. From Delhi, the rebellion spread to northern and central India. Some historians have called this outbreak the Sepoy Mutiny. The uprising spread over much of northern India. Fierce fighting took place. Both British and sepoys tried to slaughter each other’s armies. The East India Company took more than a year to regain control of the country.Recognizing Effects Look back at As a result of the mutiny, in 1858 the British government took direct command of India. The term Raj referred to British rule after India came under the British crown during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Those Europeans who did penetrate the interior of Africa were explorers, missionaries, or humanitarians who opposed the European and American slave trade. Europeans and Americans learned about Africa through travel books and newspapers. These publications competed for readers by hiring reporters to search the globe for stories of adventure, mystery, or excitement.