** scramble for Africa European colonialism

Scramble for Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa in the 19th Century

Figure 1.--This photograph was taken in a village near Lake Victoria, prbanly in modern Tanzania. The photograph is undated, but was probably taken in the late-19th cenury. Large areas of central Africa at the time still showed little evidence of European colonial rule. Many villages had still not been visited by Europeans. This image is an example of the daily life in the region before the Europeans influence ws felt. scramble for Africa. So we can see that the women wore only little locally made loincloths made locally with plant fiber. The children commonly wore nothing at all.

It was not until the 1870s did the Europeans began to carve out colonies in sub-Saharan Africa. It was then that the "Scramble for Africa" began. [Scramble] Africa in the 1860s was still in many ways the Dark Continent. The Europeans had enclaves along the coast. They were first established by the Portuguese (15th century). The Spanish, Dutch, English, and French followed in their wake (16th century). These were, however, with the exception of South Africa, trading outposts. And few Europeans for several centuries ventured into the interior. Those that did, did not go very far into the interior and primarily stayed along major rivers. Basic geographic information such as the source of the Nile was still unknown. The work of explorers was headline news. The source of the Nile was found by Burton and Speke finally discovered the source of the Nile (1865). A U.S. newspaper sent Henry Stanley (a former work house boy) to find Dr. David Stanley. The search and eventual encounter made headlines throughout America and Europe (1869). Stanley died in Africa and his body was brought back to Britain to be burried in Westminster Abbey, an indication of the importance of these explorers to the Victorians. Colonial rule soon followed. While the lines abd features began to apper on the map large areas of Africa even in the late-19th century were hardly touched or visited by Europeans. And what the Europeans found were tribes and villages little changed from the time when the Europeans first arrived. The exception was those reas ravahed by the Arab and European slave trade.


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Created: 10:05 PM 5/25/2011
Last updated: 10:05 PM 5/25/2011