African Imperialism In Africa

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During the Berlin Conference in 1884-1885, European countries such as Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy all decided that Africa should be divided into territories. No African leaders were informed of this, making Africans unaware that Imperialism was about to strike and take 90% of Africa’s independence away. Some African leaders, such as Menelik II, wanted to negotiate rather than to fight against the Europeans. Other African leaders, such as Prempeh I and Ndasni Kumalo, went to war with the Europeans. With Imperialism striking so quickly, it practically tore Africa apart. The Royal Niger Company, commissioned by Great Britain’s government, wrote, “The said Royal Niger Company bind themselves not to interfere with any of the native laws or customs of the country, consistently with the maintenance of order and good government.” Most of the African leaders who signed this couldn’t read - the rulers signed a paper that said that the European countries could colonize most of Africa. While it is stated that the native laws and customs wouldn’t be changed, the Europeans were motivated to introduce imperialism in Africa for various reasons, such as gaining raw material, competition with other countries, and national pride. Prempeh I, an Ashanti leader, responded to…show more content…
Ndansi Kumalo, an African veteran of the Ndebele rebellion (March 1896-October 1897), states, “We were treated like slaves. They came and were overbearing.” Kumalo is referencing social darwinism, the British belief that humans have a struggle which natural selection which results in ‘survival of the fittest’. Some African leaders wrote to other African leaders, stating that they would rather die than see their people and themselves be treated like slaves. Samuel Mahereo, a leader of the Herero people, wrote to another African leader, “Let us die fighting than die as a result of maltreatment, imprisonment, or some other
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