European Control in Africa
So, why did the Europeans want control in Africa?
The answer is quite simple, Africa had raw materials and natural resources that Europe did not. A few of these goods are diamonds, gold, and silver; these were all very popular goods with the Europeans at that time. In the photo below, you can see gold and other precious gems that the Europeans lusted after.
But was it just for control of natural resources?
Nope! The Europeans also wanted better strategic military placement as well as to "modernize" Africa to their standards. i.e. Christianity, better government, etc.
Europeans Military Ships
This picture depicts European military ships in the 1800's.
Map One of Africa
This shows who had control over what parts of Africa as the colonization era was ending.
Map Two of Africa
This map shows from where the different invading Imperial powers took over Africa.
So, then it was just for land and products?
Again, the answer is no. Europeans wanted to take Africa on the basis of they could flex their power over Africa without fear of too much retaliation like they had gotten from their colonies in America.
Then based on all the things that the Europeans did, wouldn't there be negative effects for the Africans?
Absolutely! The Africans did not want to be under European control just as much as the Americans did not want to be under European control. Africans were treated awful; just about as awful as the African slaves in America just with a little pay. This was another form of ethnocentrism; an attitude that one's country or race is superior. The Europeans had no care for what the original African tribes were so when the continent was split up, there was much clashing between already existing clans and tribes.
Is it possible that the Europeans also helped Africa?
Yes, that is absolutely possible. The Europeans introduced modern transportation, medicine, and communication. Along with this, they also gave education to some of the people which increased the literacy rate significantly.