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gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 42 C H A P T E R 4 The European Conquest of Africa When the Suez Canal opened in 1869, Europeans directly controlled only a scattering of outposts on the African coast, Algeria in North Africa, and the southern tip of Africa. By 1912 several European nations had partitioned nearly all of the continent and incorporated vast areas into their empires. Only two states in Africa, Liberia and Ethiopia, remained independent after the partition. Liberia was partly settled by former slaves from the United States and remained heavily dependent economically on U.S. companies such as Firestone. Ethiopia had the unique distinction of defeating a European nation when it repulsed an Italian attempt to conquer it in 1896. AFRICAN SOCIETIES EARLY MUSLIM AND EUROPEAN CONTACTS WITH AFRICA 42 The African continent in the late nineteenth century was home to many different ethnic groups that lived in a varied landscape of desert, rain forest, savannah, mountain, and coastal lands. These peoples had adapted their social and economic organizations to their environments; hence, some were hunters, while others were agriculturalists, nomads, food gatherers, or herders. Their political systems varied from large empires to tribal groupings, but some of Africa’s greatest empires had existed centuries earlier. For example, in the early sixteenth century, the kingdom of Songhai dominated most of western Africa. Under its Muslim ruler the city of Tombouctou (in modern-day Mali) became a great commercial and cultural center with its own university. From the eleventh century onward, Africa south of the Sahara had experienced an influx of newcomers from Islamic Arabicized North Africa and from western Asia. By the sixteenth century, Europeans were engaging in active trade with coastal African areas, and it was mainly Europeans who began shipping slaves to the Americas. Although African slave trading predated the European arrival, the insatiable demand of European slave traders greatly increased the capture and sale of slaves. From 1600 to 1870 many millions of Africans were enslaved and sent to the New World. During this same period some European nations controlled small portions of coastal African areas, but during the 1870s and 1880s the pace of European imperialism and its penetration of the African interior rapidly accelerated. gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 43 ATLANTIC OCEAN SPANISH MOROCCO TU N I S I A M OROCCO Mediterranean Sea ALGERIA RIO DE ORO EGYPT LIBYA (British external control) Re dS T A C F H R TOGO PORT. GUINEA SIERRA LEONE N I C A N NIGERIA O O GOLD COAST ER ERITREA F RENCH SOM ALILAND Fashoda ETHIOPIA (independent) ITALIAN SOMALILAND UGANDA KENYA H SÃO TOMÉ AND PRINCIPE RUANDAURUNDI C Africa to 1935 FR EN BELGIAN CONGO European Possessions BRITISH SOMALILAND Adowa EQ EQUATORIAL GUINEA C A M LIBERIA (Independent) ANGLOEGYPTIAN SUDAN A S E ORIAL A FRIC E R UAT W F ea GAMBIA TANGANYIKA ZANZIBAR British French ATLANTIC Belgian OCEAN ANGOLA M MADAGASCAR M O League mandates of former German colonies ZA SOUTHERN RHODESIA SOUTH WEST AFRICA B E C H U A N A LAND (Prot.) Italian BI Q U NORTHERN RHODESIA Portuguese Former Boer republics COM OROS (Fr.) E Spanish NY AS ALAN D NYASALAND SWAZILAND Instances of unrest or revolt by indigenous populations 500 1000 Miles UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA (British Dominion 1909) BASUTOLAND INDIAN OCEAN [ORANGE FREE STATE} KENYA ATLANTIC OCEAN Chagos Archipelago (U.K.) SEYCHELLES TANGANYIKA CAPE VERDE ISLANDS (Portugal) (British) COMOROS (Fr.) INDIAN OCEAN MADAGASCAR S IE R R A L E O NE zam biq ue Ch an PORTUGUESE G U INE A ne MOZAMBIQUE l MAYOTTE (Fr.) G A M B IA Mo 0 [TRANSVAAL} MAURITIUS RÉUNION (Fr.) (British) 43 gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 44 44 Part I The Era of Imperialism THE PARTITION OF AFRICA The late-nineteenth-century European penetration of Africa owed much to the scientific and technological advances of the nineteenth century (see Chapter 2). Once convinced that quinine (taken from the bark of the cinchona tree) could defend against malaria, the Dutch and British empires began producing it in significant enough quantities to reduce the danger malaria had earlier posed for Europeans entering tropical areas. As technological advances increased industrial development, the demand for raw materials from Africa and elsewhere grew. Improvements in shipping reduced transportation costs, and steamships, telegraphs, railways, and superior guns and other military equipment, despite African resistance, facilitated European imperial control of the African interior. Besides economic incentives, nationalistic and strategic reasons also motivated the European conquest and competition for African territories. Also, most Europeans believed they were benefiting Africans by exposing them to European civilization and Christianity. Leaders of several nations watched with particular interest the activities of a private commercial association organized by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1876 for the purpose of exploiting the resources of the Congo basin. As Leopold had commented, “I want my share of this wonderful African cake.” The Congo Free State, the name given to the area controlled by Leopold’s company, was headed by the king in his private capacity, although his prestige as king of the Belgians was crucial to the success of the association. The company’s oppressive policies in the Congo Free State and its exploitation of the people justified accusations that modern colonization by Europeans was motivated only by economic greed. International outcry against Leopold’s regime forced him to appoint a Commission of Inquiry in 1904. Its report horrified the world. Witness Ilange Kunda of M’Bongo: “I knew Malu Malu [Quickly Quickly, the African name for Force Publique Lieutenant Charles Masard]. He was very cruel; he forced us to bring rubber. One day, I saw him with my own eyes kill a native named Bongiyangwa, solely because among the fifty baskets of rubber which had been brought, he found one not full enough. Malu Malu ordered the soldier Tshumpa to seize [Bongiyangwa] and tie him to a palm tree. There were three sets of bonds: one at knee height, a second at stomach height, and a third crushing his arms. Malu Malu had his cartridge-pouch on his belt; he took his rifle, fired from a distance of about 20 meters, and with one bullet he killed Bongiyangwa. . . . I saw the wound. The unhappy man gave one cry and was dead.” EUROPEAN RIVALRIES AND PARTITION OF AFRICA In 1908 the Belgian government replaced the king’s private regime in the Congo, which it continued to rule until 1960. Leopold’s early success played a key role in sharpening the mutual suspicions of European nations about one another’s intentions in Africa; these countries muscled in after 1880 to get what they wanted. At the Berlin West African Conference in 1884–1885, European colonial powers agreed on “first come, first served” as the basic rule of dividing Africa. Any power that effectively occupied an African territory and notified others would be recognized as having established sole possession. After 1884, the scramble intensified as the older colonial powers—Portugal, Spain, and particularly Great Britain and France—expanded inland from their original coastal outposts. Newly unified Italy and Germany also gained footholds on the African coast and gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 21:55 Page 45 Chapter 4 The European Conquest of Africa Herero warriors in German captivity. pushed inland as well. By 1912 almost all of Africa was under European control. Between 1871 and 1900, Britain added about 4.3 million square miles of territory and 66 million people to its African empire, and France added about 3.5 million square miles and 26 million people. The possessions of the other imperial powers were smaller and less populous. Since Great Britain and France dominated the partition of Africa, their actions will be the focus of this chapter. As Europeans sought to consolidate their holdings, Africans saw their traditional ways of life disrupted or destroyed. They resisted bitterly; there were at least 25 conflicts with Europeans before World War I. Besides the Ethiopians, other key resisters were the Ashante in present-day Ghana, the Hereros in South West Africa against Germany, and peoples in Islamic northern Africa. Two groups were most determined and fought for years. They were the followers of the Mahdi in the Sudan and the Zulus of southern Africa; both will be discussed later. In the end, all lost except for the Ethiopians, who skillfully used knowledge of the local terrain and the modern weapons they purchased. The scramble to divide Africa created a number of intense hostilities among the imperialist nations, particularly among Great Britain, France, Germany, and Italy. However, problems were generally settled peacefully at conference tables in European capitals. After partitioning Africa, Europeans found that few areas could produce immediate wealth without large capital investment. Not surprisingly, most European governments thus lost some interest in their newly acquired possessions. The following will detail the partition of Africa by regions by major European powers in the late nineteenth century. 45 gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 46 46 Part I The Era of Imperialism NORTH AFRICA North Africa between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sahara Desert was a land of ancient civilizations. Since the eighth century C.E., most peoples of this region had become Muslim. This land was called the Mahgrib, meaning the West in Arabic, because it was the westernmost extension of Arab culture. North Africa came under British, French, and Italian control. THE SUEZ CANAL: STRATEGIC LINK BETWEEN EUROPE AND ASIA GREAT BRITAIN GAINS CONTROL OF ENTIRE NILE VALLEY British Control of Egypt and the Sudan Great Britain’s interest in this region was primarily strategic, focused on the Suez Canal, which shortened the distance between Europe and Asia. Designed by a French engineer and built by an international company, it was opened in 1869. Because of their far-flung empire and global trading network, the British were the most interested in the canal. In 1875 Great Britain acquired control of the waterway when the ruler of Egypt sold his shares in the company to the British government to avert bankruptcy. To protect the canal, Great Britain looked for an opportunity to gain control over Egypt, making it into a de facto protectorate, in 1882. British advisers supervised all important Egyptian government offices and became the real rulers of the country, although it nominally remained a province of the Ottoman Empire. Egypt claimed authority over the Sudan, which controlled the water supply of the Nile River. The Sudanese, who resented Egyptian and British expansion, rose in revolt in 1883 under the Mahdi (Rightly Guided One), the leader of a nationalist Muslim movement. Since Great Britain controlled Egypt, it too became involved in putting down the Sudanese uprising. Between 1896 and 1898, General Sir Herbert Kitchener undertook the reconquest of the Sudan. After its conquest, Great Britain and Egypt established joint rule over the land, which in effect meant British control. In 1898 when British forces reached Fashoda, a village on the bank of the Nile in southern Sudan, they found a French expedition, which had arrived overland from the west, already established there. France hoped to control the Sudan so that its African empire might extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, and at the same time put pressure on the British downriver in Egypt by controlling the source of the Nile. The ensuing standoff was called the Fashoda incident. It ended when France backed down in 1899 and renounced all claims to the Nile valley in return for British recognition of its claims in the Sahara. This crisis illustrates the intensity of rivalries among the colonial powers in Africa. The French Conquest and Settlement of North West Africa Outside Egypt and the Sudan, France was the dominant colonial power north of the Sahara. France had conquered Algeria between 1830 and 1869, which it then used as a base for further advances into the Sahara. In 1881 the French had made Tunisia (situated to the east) a protectorate, against a strong claim by Italy, also anxious to build an empire in Africa. As in Egypt, a facade of native government was allowed to remain in Tunisia. The French also moved southward across the Sahara and finally westward into Morocco. gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 47 Chapter 4 The European Conquest of Africa Unlike the British, who made no attempt to send settlers to Egypt, the French from the start encouraged the immigration of Europeans into Algeria, pushing Algerians off their best agricultural lands. By 1911, out of a total population of 5.6 million people in Algeria, 752,000 were Europeans. Tunisia had a European population of 130,000. In both Algeria and Tunisia, there was friction between the privileged European minority and the Arab majority. Under the circumstances, it is hardly surprising that a racial problem developed between the Europeans and Muslims. In no other part of the Islamic world were Muslims confronted with so large a number of foreigners settled in their midst. In addition to economic advantages, the privileged European settlers enjoyed the right of political representation in the legislature of metropolitan France. Under the French constitution, the colons (French settlers) in Algeria sent six deputies and three senators to the French legislature in 1900. The Muslims had no representation. Established in a position of superiority, many colons regarded the Algerians with open contempt. “The Arab must accept the fate of the conquered,” wrote one colon. “He must either become assimilated to our civilization or disappear. European civilization can have no sympathy for the life of the savage.” Gradually, the abuses of the colonial system became widely known in France, and a spirited debate on colonial policy ensued in the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of the French legislature), which enacted limited reforms early in the twentieth century. Given the tenor of French thought, most reformers sought the assimilation of upper-class Algerian Muslims, who were encouraged to attend French schools and adopt French ways, for which they would be rewarded with a share in the power structure of the French empire. The policy of assimilation failed, however, for three basic reasons. One was the resistance of most Algerians, who were not prepared to renounce their culture and Islamic law for those of their masters. Second, not all French opinion supported the assimilation plan, and it was therefore extremely limited in application. The colons were the third factor. Unwilling to give up their privileges, they vigorously opposed measures designed to lessen or dilute their power. Morocco was the last French acquisition in North Africa. At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was an independent kingdom beset by internal problems. For a time, the government of Morocco was able to delay French imperialistic advances by exploiting the Franco-German rivalry in international affairs and appealing to the German government for help. Anxious to further its influence in Africa, Germany was at first happy to comply, but in the face of European opposition it eventually backed down and recognized Morocco as a French sphere of influence. In 1912, the sultan of Morocco was forced to sign a treaty that handed his country over to French protection. WEST AFRICA The huge territory of West Africa contained grasslands, tropical rain forests, and some of the harshest desert in Africa. Before European colonization, the peoples in this area lived in societies that ranged from large empires like that of the Muslim Hausa-Fulani peoples in today’s northern Nigeria, through well-organized 47 FRANCE SETTLES EUROPEAN COLONISTS IN ITS NORTH AFRICAN TERRITORIES FRANCE ATTEMPTS POLICY OF ASSIMILATION gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 48 48 Part I The Era of Imperialism kingdoms like that of the Ashante in today’s Ghana, to small groups who still lived by hunting and gathering in the equatorial rain forests. Except for those areas south of the Sahara that had become largely Islamic, traditional religions prevailed in West Africa. Indirect Rule in Great Britain’s Scattered Colonies GREAT BRITAIN APPLIES “INDIRECT RULE” IN WEST AFRICA In West Africa, Great Britain ruled four colonies strung out on the coast and mostly surrounded by French possessions. The earliest was Sierra Leone, begun in the eighteenth century for freed slaves in British colonies, just as Liberia was later established for former slaves from the United States. The British opened mines and encouraged cash crops grown by African peasants. They made this development profitable by building railroads to connect the coast with the interior. The Gold Coast (Ghana) was the best example of a successful and prosperous colony. Here, the railroad system made it possible to exploit timber, open up cocoa farms, and develop gold mines in the hinterland. British-owned trading companies and their shareholders became rich from these operations. This economic process also provided jobs for some Africans, but it disrupted the previously self-sufficient economy. In administering Africa, the British applied no preconceived notions of colonial government but devised practical solutions to the problems of governing. The policy Great Britain eventually applied in West Africa was called “indirect rule,” a system developed by Lord Lugard, governor-general of Nigeria, the largest and most populous British West African colony. Because the British administrative staff was small, local chiefs and advisers were delegated the task of running the day-to-day matters of government. They were supervised by a British official who also ensured that British interests in the area were upheld. Climatic conditions and an already large population made West Africa unsuitable and unattractive for British immigration. The absence of a British immigrant group eager to compete for local jobs meant more opportunities for Africans. Many were anxious to acquire a Western education to qualify them for the new skilled positions opening up in a rapidly changing economy. British official opinion was responsive and sometimes even enthusiastic about West African demands for more schools and job opportunities. Sir Frederick Guggisberg, governor of the Gold Coast during World War I, appointed a committee that drew up a new educational plan for the colony. This plan provided a foundation for the modernization of the Gold Coast, paving the way for the independent nation of Ghana. France’s Vast West African Empire By the twentieth century, France had also acquired a huge block of territory south of the Sahara that stretched 3,000 miles from the extreme west coast of Africa to the Congo River deep in central Africa. In Senegal, the oldest French colony in West Africa, the colonial administration encouraged the population to grow groundnuts as gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 49 Chapter 4 The European Conquest of Africa a cash crop. The peasants sold the nuts for cash, part of which they used to pay the head tax that was for many years the chief source of revenue for the government of Senegal. The French worked hard to implant French culture in Senegal, with some success. With its boulevards and shops filled with French-speaking Africans and Europeans, Dakar (the capital of Senegal) came to be called the Paris of Africa. Senegalese soldiers fought in the French army around the world. In France’s other coastal colonies, Guinea, the Ivory Coast, and Dahomey, cash crops such as palm oil and cocoa were introduced and proved profitable. The French colonies in the interior of West Africa were sparsely populated, limited in resources, and difficult to reach. Formidable rapids made the three major river systems in this area—the Congo, the Senegal, and the Niger—difficult to navigate. New cash crops, such as cotton in Niger, were introduced, but until railroads could be built to penetrate the interior, few products could be brought out. These colonies were therefore a financial drain on France. Pending the completion of new railroads to move interior products to market, the quest for economic efficiency led the French government in 1904 to gather the West African territories into a single unit, called French West Africa, under a governorgeneral who ruled from Dakar. The economic benefits that emerged from the formation of French West Africa led the French government to follow the same policy in its territories in the Congo basin, joining them in 1910 into a single colonial unit called French Equatorial Africa, under a governor-general who ruled from Brazzaville. In both cases, the greater resources of a consolidated colonial government resulted in faster economic development. BRITISH EAST AFRICA: THE ADVENT OF A MULTIRACIAL SOCIETY Geographically, East Africa is dominated by mountains and high plateaus that extend southward from Kenya to the Cape of Good Hope. Although near the equator, the temperate climate of the uplands soon attracted British settlers. To the Colonial Office in search of revenue, the prospect of settlement by British farmers seemed a good step toward economic development. Up to World War I, the number of British settlers in East Africa and central Africa remained small—around 3,000 in what is now Kenya and a few hundred in Uganda. Although some English settlers congregated in what were previously sparsely populated lands, others took over lands already settled by Kikuyu tribes, displacing the people or making them tenant farmers. British colonists were a disruptive factor in the region, competing with Africans for land and exploiting labor. Many Africans were forced to become migrant laborers on European farms. This development caused political and social problems in the next generation. The racial tensions of East Africa were further inflamed when the British government allowed large numbers of emigrants from India to settle as indentured laborers to build railroads or work as clerks in government offices and commercial companies. Indians settled in towns and villages, and many became traders. In the early decades, Europeans resented the numerous and resourceful Indians in their 49 FRANCE CONSOLIDATES ITS WEST AFRICAN HOLDINGS ENGLISH COLONISTS SETTLE IN EAST AFRICA gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 50 50 Part I The Era of Imperialism midst. In a later era, as a result of growing African nationalism, Indian British subjects were ousted by African majorities who did not think Indians belonged in Africa. Thus, in British East Africa, a pluralist society was formed in the early twentieth century that had disturbing consequences in later years. COMPETITION FOR LAND IN SOUTHERN AFRICA CONFLICTS BETWEEN THE BRITISH AND BOERS SOUTHERN AFRICA Dutch colonists began settling in southern Africa in the mid-seventeenth century. The early inhabitants of southern Africa were the San and Khoi; small in number, they lived by hunting and gathering and were easily subdued by white settlers. Bantuspeaking peoples, who engaged in both herding and agriculture, especially the Zulu, had been emigrating from the north in large numbers over a long period. Clashes broke out among the Bantu tribes and between the Bantus and Europeans. Zulu leaders forged their people into a fighting nation that defeated and subjugated other tribes and fought white colonists in several Zulu wars. Although the white settlers eventually defeated the Zulus, they were not able to prevent the movement of Bantu peoples into southern Africa. As a result of both Bantu and European immigration, South Africa became a land with a black majority and a white minority, the basis for race problems in the twentieth century. The Rise and Fall of the Boer Republics South Africa attracted large numbers of white colonists because of its benign climate, good soil, and, in the late nineteenth century, the discovery of large gold and diamond deposits. When Great Britain acquired the Dutch colony located at the Cape of Good Hope in 1815, it also inherited the Dutch colonists of the land, who called themselves Boers (farmers). The Boers resented British rule, particularly a law passed in 1833 that ended slavery in the British Empire and forced the Boers to emancipate their slaves. To escape British control, many Boers made a mass migration called the Great Trek into the interior of Africa between 1835 and 1841. There they founded two independent republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. Meanwhile, British settlers moved into the Cape Province and into Natal, a new colony to the east. The relationship between the Boer republics and Great Britain became increasingly tense, especially after gold was discovered in the Transvaal. Non-Boer prospectors, including many British, encountered discrimination at the hands of the Boer government in the Transvaal. In 1899 war broke out between Great Britain and the two Boer republics. The Boers were ably led by President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal, and for three years Boer commandos (guerrillas), using hit-and-run tactics copied from the Zulus, successfully resisted the might of the British Empire. British forces resorted to the same harsh but effective antiguerrilla measures used in that period by the Spanish in Cuba and the Americans in the Philippines, burning farms and herding women, children, and other noncombatants into concentration camps to deprive the commandos of sanctuary and resources. Hopelessly beaten, the Boers finally surrendered in 1902. gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 51 Chapter 4 The European Conquest of Africa Modern Boer, or Afrikaner, nationalism emerged out of this resistance. In an attempt to conciliate the defeated Boers, Great Britain let them decide whether black and other nonwhite inhabitants should be given the vote; true to their white supremacist tradition, the Boers denied suffrage to all but whites. When the two former Boer states federated with the two British colonies of Natal and the Cape in 1909 to form the Union of South Africa, a self-governing dominion in the British Empire, black people were denied political rights. BLACK AFRICANS DENIED SUFFRAGE IN UNION OF SOUTH AFRICA The Rhodesias: One-Man Imperialism North of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State was an area of high plains and good soil. In earlier centuries it was the site of an African state called Great Zimbabwe. Here, empire-builder Cecil Rhodes, an English adventurer who had made a fortune from diamond mining in South Africa, carved out two new colonies for Great Britain. At his request Britain annexed the territories and called them Northern and Southern Rhodesia, entrusting the South African Company owned by Rhodes to govern them. An unabashed imperialist, he once exclaimed, “I would annex the planets if I could!” During the 1890s, the company’s army was responsible for winning Portuguese acquiescence to the British takeover of that area and for the defeat of the local people, who bitterly resented the company’s demands on their land and labor. Fighting did not stop until 1897, after which the company sponsored European immigrants who eventually constituted about 5 percent of the total population. THE IMPACT OF COLONIAL RULE ON AFRICA The positive and negative effects of colonial rule on Africans varied greatly and differed from society to society. As always under conditions of change, some groups benefited. They were either lucky or farsighted enough to cooperate with the masters and to take advantage of new circumstances, thereby winning favors, prestige, and sometimes additional land. Among such beneficiaries were the Baganda people of Uganda and the Igbos in Nigeria, who welcomed chances for a British education and cooperated with the British authorities. They were rewarded with positions in the colonial bureaucracy. On the other hand, large numbers suffered from colonial rule, especially in areas where Europeans sought to settle or to extract minerals. In some instances tribes were split under different European jurisdictions, while in others several traditionally hostile tribes were grouped under a single administration. In parts of Kenya and the Rhodesias, for example, hundreds of thousands of Africans lost their land. Many were forced to live on inferior lands designated as native reserves or became tenants and laborers on the new white-owned farms. However, many Africans were at first not directly affected when European countries annexed their lands. Large areas, in fact, remained untouched by white rule. Until World War I, colonial officials frequently had little control over the local scene EFFECTS OF COLONIALISM ON AFRICANS 51 gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 52 52 Part I The Era of Imperialism Western cultural impact on Africa: A drawing of missionary Robert Moffat preaching to the Tswanas. CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES IN AFRICA and had to work within the restraints of local kinship groups, village communities, and tribal ties. In Morocco and Tunisia, European diplomatic entanglements compelled the French to retain native rulers in power. The indirect effects of imperialism were much more widespread. Europeans investing in Africa demanded laborers to work in mines and on plantations and to build roads and railroads. Whether laborers were paid or not, their service was compulsory. The European attitude toward forced labor was contradictory and tinged with hypocrisy. Europeans abhorred slavery, but they permitted the forced labor of Africans. Yet when facts about King Leopold’s methods for exacting labor services in the Congo Free State were made public, adverse European and American public opinion forced the Belgian government to take over responsibility for its administration. Despite the violence generated by the imposition of colonial rule, some forms of violence in Africa decreased after colonization. Colonial authorities largely suppressed the tribal wars, cattle rustling, and slave raids that had caused much bloodshed before the European takeover. Peace, better public health programs, development of cash crops, and agricultural improvements resulted in large increases in population. In some areas, rural peoples moved into the newly established cities for work, causing new problems of social adjustment. European control was also accompanied by Christian missionary activity, which had an important impact. In many inaccessible villages, the missionary teacher and preacher was much more likely than the colonial administrator to be the first white gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 53 Chapter 4 The European Conquest of Africa person an African encountered. In the early days, the teachers in the missionary “bush schools” were Europeans, but soon Africans themselves became teachers and missionaries. By the early twentieth century, Western education and Christian religion were expanding hand in hand in many parts of Africa. Christian missionaries and teachers brought with them not only a new religion and education but also medical care and a general acquaintance with the scientific, technological, and intellectual bases of Western civilization; however, they also frequently held the same ethnocentric and racist beliefs of Western societies at the time. In northern Africa, Islam remained the rallying point of the people and Christianity had little impact. Thus, the majority of Algerians resisted conversion to Christianity, as did the peoples of Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and northern Sudan. At the same time, Muslim missionaries were active in spreading their religion and culture south of the Sahara. Early in the twentieth century, a new kind of leadership emerged in Africa when many European-educated, black Africans rejected the authority of the traditional chiefs and willingly seized the new opportunities created by colonialism. Some of the new elite received higher education in the West, where they gained new perspectives for judging the colonial administrations of their lands. They found that the colonial practices of the European imperialist states invariably fell short of their professed democratic ideals. Consequently, these modern educated Africans established anticolonial movements. Even before World War I, these new leaders were demanding that African Christian churches be placed under black African leadership and that African independent states be established based on modern democratic concepts. SUMMARY In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, European imperialism, based on a mixture of economic, strategic, cultural, and nationalistic motives, led to the partition of the African continent. The European preeminence in industrial, technical, and military development enabled Europeans to defeat African societies and seize their territories. Although nationalism created intense rivalries between the imperialist states, diplomacy triumphed and they were able to avoid war against each other as they carved up Africa. Great Britain and France seized the largest amount of African territory, but Germany, Italy, and Belgium also made extensive acquisitions. Spanish and Portuguese holdings dating from an earlier century were enlarged. Africans often resisted European imperialism, but with the exception of the Ethiopians and Liberians, all Africans were eventually subjugated. Many African groups were dislocated or destroyed in the process. Europeans in Africa extensively exploited the continent’s mineral and agricultural products, often by means of forced labor and sometimes with imported outside labor. On the other hand, colonial authorities began to introduce programs for health, education, and social welfare and suppressed intertribal violence. Although Europeans ruled some areas of Africa indirectly and allowed the indigenous cultural patterns to continue, in many cases their colonial administrations eliminated the traditional 53 NEW AFRICAN LEADERS EMERGE gof0692X_ch04_042-054 12/7/06 18:25 Page 54 54 Part I The Era of Imperialism political leadership and imposed Western systems of government, taxation, and justice. Both Christian and Muslim missionaries worked to win converts from adherents of local African religions. SUGGESTED SOURCES Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. 1978. Classic novel on the profound effects of British contact on Igbo society in Nigeria.* Collins, Robert O. Problems in African History: Historical Problems of Imperial Africa, Vol. II. 2004. Updated account of colonial expansion and rule in Africa.* Farwell, Byron. The Great Anglo-Boer War. 1971. This book is acclaimed as the best general history of the war.* Gilbert, Erik, and Jonathan T. Reynolds. Africa in World History: From Prehistory to the Present. 2004. Excellent section on European influences and Africa’s place in a global historic context.* Hochschild, Adam. King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa. 1998. Gripping book on the colonization of Africa, with particular attention to the Congo. The Horizon History of Africa. 1971. A thoughtful text, with lavish illustrations and maps. Kenyatta, Jomo. Facing Mount Kenya. 1962. A collection of studies by the Kenyan nationalist leader that favorably depict the customs of Kenya’s Kikuyu tribe before they were altered by the impact of imperialism.* Nederveen, Jan. White on Black: Images of Africa and Blacks in Western Popular Culture. 1992. A thoughtful discussion on how racism toward Africans permeated Western attitudes during the twentieth century.* Oliver, Roland Anthony, and Anthony Ernest Atmore. Africa since 1800. 5th ed. 2005. A standard survey of Africa and European imperialism.* Pakenham, Thomas. The Scramble for Africa; White Man’s Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912. 1992. Highly readable book about the colonization of the entire African continent.* Thompson, Leonard. A History of South Africa. Rev. ed. 1995. A well-written and balanced book.* WEB SOURCES www.fordham.edu/halsall/africa/africasbook.html www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/storyofafrica/index.shtml. Two excellent sites, each offering numerous links to materials dealing with Africa, including a section on European imperialism there. *Paperback available.