Effects Of Imperialism In Africa Essay

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The Effects Of European Imperialism On Africa

By the year 1924, approximately one-quarter of the world’s total land area and population was under the control of the British Empire. This was the time at which it was at its peak -- however, the British were faced with an abundance of competition during this time. Preceded very closely by the Industrial Revolution of the 18th and 19th centuries, this sudden hunger for expansion was felt by many “famished” countries in Europe -- and elsewhere around the world -- that wished to acquire new territories and, in so doing, gain status and boost their economies. A notable example of the extent to which a need for expansion took hold of Europe is the Scramble for Africa -- an event that can be considered a prominent display of active imperialism. During the turn of the 20th century, Africa was divided up by the major imperialistic powers of Europe (as well as some non-European countries). France, Germany and the United Kingdom were the primary imperialist powers involved in the Scramble for Africa, with 15%, 9% and 30% of the continent being allotted to them respectively; each country left its deep impressions on the continent, many of which are observable today.

France, being the second-most-prominent power in Africa, mainly impacted it culturally. Although its cardinal motivation to expand its empire to Africa involved economic reasons (such as the slave trade), there was also an intent to assimilate and, in essence, glorify French ideals and culture. Very little evidence of its economic presence in Africa remains -- however, a French presence can be very easily detected. French is the primary official language in 18 African countries; it is one of two official languages in another country; finally, its undeniable and powerful existence in three of the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia). Africa is the content with the most French speakers -- more than a quarter of a billion -- and is viewed as “the future of Francophone culture”. Besides language, however, other aspects of France can be found -- that is, mainly in the form of political ideologies. France is a secular country and its influence has allowed that trait to be “passed on” to the African countries in which it prevailed during the Scramble; this effect can be most clearly observed in Algeria. Islam’s predominance in Algeria is a source of much tension between the government and its people. The victory of secularism (which was introduced and implemented by the French) implies a very strong French influence that is presented through various ways throughout Africa.

Germany had the third-most amount of control over Africa -- its impacts on the continent were mainly negative. The want for protectorates and, subsequently, world status were the primary reason it sought to establish a presence in Africa; also, like many of the other countries involved in the Scramble for Africa, a desire to improve its economy influenced the decision. The logic behind this was that...

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