Scramble for Africa - Imperialism Outline | Student Handouts
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Imperialism: The Scramble for Africa
Scramble for Africa - Free printable 5-page outline for high school World History students. #imperialism
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     I.        “Dark” continent

a.    “Dark continent” – racist terminology referred to both the peoples of Africa and their alleged ignorance

b.    In reality, Africa has always had diverse groups of people with their own unique cultures and histories

                                          i.    Civilizations

                                         ii.    Languages

                                        iii.    Religions


   II.        Geography of Africa

a.    Continent – not a country

b.    Continent is three times larger than Europe

c.    Northern Africa – desert

d.    Mid-to-southern Africa – diverse climates and topography


  III.        Foreign history in Africa

a.    Greeks controlled Egypt after conquest by Alexander the Great

                                          i.    Ptolemaic dynasty

b.    Romans ruled all areas along the Mediterranean coastline, including northern Africa

                                          i.    Mediterranean Sea – “Roman lake”

c.    Arab traders converted many Africans to Islam from the 7th century

d.    Source of slaves for the Americas from the 17th century

e.    But little foreign interest in the interior of sub-Saharan Africa


 IV.        “Opening up” of Africa

a.    Mid-1800s

b.    Missionaries and explorers sparked foreign interest in Africa


   V.        David Livingstone (1813-1873)

a.    Scottish missionary

b.    1841-1873 – lived in central Africa

                                          i.    Explored Africa

1.    Named Lake Victoria after the British queen

                                         ii.    Converted many Africans to Christianity

                                        iii.    Wrote books on Africa which piqued Foreign interest

c.    1871 – reported “lost”

                                          i.    “Found” by Henry Stanley

                                         ii.    “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”


 VI.        Henry Stanley (1841-1904)

a.    Welsh-American reporter

b.    “Found” Dr. Livingstone in Africa

                                          i.    “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

c.    Explored Africa

                                          i.    Congo River

                                         ii.    Lake Tanganyika

                                        iii.    Lake Victoria

d.    Worked with Belgium’s King Leopold II and his African colonization company

                                          i.    International African Society


VII.        Karl Peters (1856-1918)

a.    German explorer in Africa

b.    Organized and propagandized for Germany’s colonial expansion

                                          i.    Founded the Society for German Colonization

c.    Acquired German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania)

d.    Convinced Otto von Bismarck to take over German East Africa and increase Germany’s colonies in Africa


VIII.        Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902)

a.    British businessman and politician in southern Africa

b.    Made a fortune from African diamond mines

c.    Established South African Company

                                          i.    Land later became Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)

d.    Prime minister of Cape Colony (1890-1896)

                                          i.    Wanted British control over South Africa

                                         ii.    Wanted Cape-to-Cairo Railroad

e.    Architect of British imperialism in southern Africa

                                          i.    Great Britain became leading colonial power in southern Africa


 IX.        King Leopold of Belgium (1835-1909)

a.    Took over land in central Africa

b.    Berlin Conference (1885)

                                          i.    Leopold’s control over Congo Free State recognized by major powers

c.    Belgian Congo (1908)

                                          i.    Leopold criticized for the cruelty of his rule in the Congo

                                         ii.    Leopold forced to sell Congo Free State to Belgian government

                                        iii.    Renamed Belgian Congo

d.    Created European race for African colonies – “Scramble for Africa”

                                          i.    Diamonds, foodstuffs, gold, ivory, rubber


   X.        British in southern Africa

a.    1815 – British took Cape Colony from the Dutch

                                          i.    Boers moved north

1.    Transvaal

a.    1886 – gold discovered and British moved in

b.    1881 and 1895 – British attempted to take Transvaal from the Boers

2.    Orange Free State

b.    Boer War (1889-1892)

                                          i.    Dutch led by President Paul Kruger

                                         ii.    British won


 XI.        Union of South Africa

a.    Created in 1910

b.    Included Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Natal, and Transvaal

c.    Self-government


XII.        British colonies in southern Africa

a.    Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)

                                          i.    Named for Cecil Rhodes

                                         ii.    North of Union of South Africa

b.    Bechuanaland (now Botswana)

                                          i.    1885 – became a British protectorate

c.    Kenya

                                          i.    1888 – became a British protectorate


XIII.        British in north Africa

a.    Egypt – in name ruled by Ottoman Turks but largely independent

b.    European capital investments

                                          i.    Suez Canal opened in 1869

1.    Built by the Egyptians and French

2.    Taken over by the British (1875)

a.    British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli

                                                                                          i.    Bought shares in Suez Canal Company from Egypt

1.    Egypt was nearly bankrupt from the expense of building the Suez Canal

                                                                                         ii.    British government became largest shareholder


XIV.        Europeans in Egypt

a.    1870s – with the Egyptian government bankrupt, the British and French took over financial control of the country

                                          i.    Egyptian monarchs (technically Ottoman viceroys) ruled as puppet leaders

b.    1882 – Egyptian nationalist rebellion

                                          i.    France withdrew its troops

                                         ii.    Great Britain left in control of Egypt

1.    Lord Cromer introduced reforms

                                        iii.    De facto British protectorate

1.    Made official in 1914

2.    Independence came in 1922


XV.        British in northern Africa

a.    Sudan

                                          i.    Area south of Egypt

                                         ii.    Under Anglo-Egyptian control

                                        iii.    Cotton needed for British textile mills

                                       iv.    Entente Cordiale (1904)

1.    Great Britain controlled Sudan

2.    France controlled Morocco

b.    Cape-to-Cairo Railroad

                                          i.    Idea of Cecil Rhodes

                                         ii.    Would secure Great Britain’s dominance in Africa

                                        iii.    Never completed – sections missing through modern Sudan and Uganda


XVI.        French in Africa

a.    Algeria

                                          i.    1830 – invasion

                                         ii.    1831 – annexation

b.    Tunis

                                          i.    1881 – controlled by France

1.    Led Italy to join the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany

c.    Morocco

                                          i.    1881 – large part under French control

                                         ii.    1905 and 1911 – nearly sparked a European war between France and Germany

1.    1906 – Algeciras Conference – Germany recognized French rights in Morocco

2.    1911 – Agadir Crisis – Germany recognized French protectorate over Morocco in exchange for part of France’s territory in the Congo

a.    Madagascar

                                          i.    1896 – controlled by France

b.    Somaliland

                                          i.    1880s – partly under French control

c.    West Africa

                                          i.    Late 1800s – largely under French control

d.    Sudan

                                          i.    1898 – met Britain’s area of control and nearly went to war

                                         ii.    Entente Cordiale settled British-French disputes in Africa

e.    By World War I – 1914

                                          i.    France controlled 3,250,000 square miles in Africa

1.    14 times the area of France

                                         ii.    France ruled 30,000,000 Africans

1.    75% of the population of France


XVIII.        Germans in Africa

a.    Togoland (now Togo and Ghana)

b.    Cameroons (now Cameroon and Nigeria)

c.    Southwest Africa (now Namibia)

d.    East Africa (now Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania)


XIX.        Italians in Africa

a.    1882-1896

                                          i.    Eritrea (along the Red Sea)

                                         ii.    Somaliland (along the Indian Ocean, part of today’s Somalia)

b.    1896

                                          i.    Defeated in attempt to conquer Abyssinia (Ethiopia)

c.    1912

                                          i.    Won Tripoli from Ottoman Turks


XX.        Belgians in Africa

a.    1908

                                          i.    Belgium gained control of Congo (Congo Free State) from King Leopold II

                                         ii.    Leopold was infamous for the cruelty of his rule in the Congo

b.    Congo Free State (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo)

                                          i.    80 times the size of Belgium

                                         ii.    Source of uranium


XXI.        Portuguese in Africa

a.    Under “old imperialism” Portugal gained African territory and led the early trans-Atlantic African slave trade

b.    Angola

c.    Mozambique


XXII.        Spanish in Africa

a.    Spain had few possessions in Africa

b.    Tip of Morocco

c.    Rio de Oro

d.    Rio Muni


XXIII.        Africans in Africa

a.    By the time of the First World War (1914) – only 2 independent African countries

                                          i.    Abyssinia (Ethiopia)

1.    Ruled by dynasty stretching back to at least the 13th century

2.    Last emperor was Haile Selassie, deposed in 1974

3.    Home to Ethiopian Orthodox Church (strongly tied to Egyptian Coptic Church)

                                         ii.    Liberia

1.    Formed by freed slaves under auspices of the United States government


XXIV.        Review questions

a.    What led to the “scramble for Africa”?

b.    Which European nations controlled the most land in Africa?

c.    Which African nations were left independent at the time of World War I?

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