Dbq Imperialism In Africa

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Pages: 4

Until the 1800’s, Europeans didn’t go very far into Africa. Africa was vast and unknown to all Europeans, except for a few. They called the west coast of Africa ‘The white man's grave’ because of the vast number of deaths by malaria (Background Essay 1). Malaria is a disease that only native Africans are immune. It was one of the leading causes of death of Europeans in Africa at this time. It wasn't until 1820, when a cure for malaria was found in the Industrial Revolution, that the imperialism of Africa began. Imperialism is the process of extending the power of an empire over a country that is already populated. African land was so desired and valuable, that it was feared that a war would break out. The imperialism of Africa was controlled …show more content…
Each country was inventing products, and marketing to other countries, so when the Berlin Conference was called, seven major countries attended. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, and Spain participated. According to the map on Document A, Britain and France claimed the most land. During this time, France and Britain were not allies, in fact, they were known to be enemies. So when France took the opportunity to claim land, Britain did the same. This competition is the reason that the Berlin Conference was called. The Berlin Conference was called to split Africa without war. If Africa had been there freely available, then several wars would have surely broken out. However, most conflict was avoided. The reason for the competition was that countries believed that in order to become great, or to remain so, they had to keep ahead of the other countries. An English intellectual, John Ruskin spoke to a crowd at Oxford University in 1870. He said, “ Will the youth...make your country again royal?...[This] is what [England] must either do or perish...found colonies as fast and as far as she is able…” (Document B). People in England could feel their greatness slipping, and believed that the way to retain it was to spread the empire. Spreading an empire meant claiming more land wherever possible. This drove other countries to expand, creating a cycle.
Another effect that the Industrial