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Up until the late 1800s, there were just a few European colonies on the African
coastline. No Europeans had really explored the interior of what they called the
“Dark Continent”.
Remember “The
White Man’s

Which one do you think is more accurate?

Forms of Imperial Control
Management Methods
Indirect Control Direct Control
Characteristics Characteristics
-Local officials were used -Foreign officials brought into rule
-Limited self-rule - No self-rule
-Goal to develop future leaders -Goal assimilation---adopt the
-Govt’s based on European White Way
styles, but may have local rulers -Govt’s institutions based only on
European styles
Examples Examples
-British colonies such as Nigeria, -French colonies such as
India, Burma Somaliland, Vietnam
-U.S. colonies on Pacific Islands -German colonies such as
• Direct military intervention total control of the country
• Protectorate - own govt. but “guided” by mother
• Sphere of influence - imperialist hold exclusive economic
• But overall aim was to gain the most at the least
Forms of Colonial Control
Forms of Imperialisn Characteristics African Example
Colony Country governed Somaliland by France
internally by a foreign
Protectorate Country with its own Niger River Delta by
internal government Britain
but under the control
of an outside power

Sphere of Influence Area in which an Liberia by the United

outside power claims States
exclusive investment
or trading privileges
Types of Control
• Settlement Colonies:
large groups of people from
one country living together
in a new place (Australia).

The aborigines were

of African descent.
They were brutally
treated and
murdered by the
British settlers.
• Protectorates: the local
ruler keeps their title,
but the colonizers really
control the area (Puerto
• A political unit that
depends on another
government for its

Spanish-American War of 1898 – the U.S.

gained the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico,
and Guam.
Dependent Colonies (Direct Rule or Indirect Rule)
• Dependent Colonies:
– Direct Rule: European
officials ruled the natives
– Indirect Rule: Europeans
left the local chiefs or
kings in charge and ruled
through them.
New Patterns of Government

• European Governments controls

Direct Rule

• European officials make

decisions and native leaders
Indirect Rule enforce them
Forms of Imperialism Examples of Differences Between
French and British

• The French used their colonial officials to govern, spread

French culture, and make territories overseas extensions of
• The British focused strictly on administration and were less
apt to convert colonial peoples to British ways
• The British often allowed local rulers to govern territories as
their representatives
Direct Rule
Colonization under Direct Rule

• Colonies featured administrative districts headed by

European personnel who assumed responsibility for tax
collection, labor and military recruitment, and the
maintenance of law and order.

• Administrative boundaries intentionally cut across

existing African political and ethnic boundaries in order to
divide and weaken potentially powerful indigenous
(native) groups.
Direct Rule

• This was used commonly by France.

• Would have a governor-general in charge of the colony.
• Was to assimilate African subjects into French culture.
• Did not preserve native traditions.
• Africans were could run for office and even serve in
French National Assembly in Paris
• Though this was rare
Difficulties Under Direct Rule

• Constant shortage of European personnel

– Ex. In French West Africa some thirty-six hundred
Europeans tried to rule over an African population of
more than nine million.
• The combination of long distances and slow transport
limited effective communication between regional
authorities and officials in remote areas.
• An inability to speak local languages and a limited
understanding of local customs among European officials
further undermined their effective administration.
Indirect Rule
Indirect Rule

• Local rulers allowed to keep their authority and status in

the new colonial setting
• Made access to region’s natural resources easier
• Was cheaper because few officials had to be trained
• Affected the local culture less
• But some local elites resisted foreign conquest
• Was used by Great Britain
Indirect Rule

• First implemented by Lord Lugard in Nigeria and used by

the British in West Africa
• Consisted of keeping the African power structure and
making it part of the colonial administration
• If there was no local power structure, then new tribes and
chiefs were created.
• The local leaders had to follow the colonial rules in return
for protection, salaries and gifts
Indirect Rule

• The local leaders were responsible for collecting taxes,

providing cheap labor, and reporting back to the governor
or the colony
• The governor was an official appointed by the British
• The intent of the British was not to destroy the African
structure and culture, but to share skills and values
Colonization under Indirect Rule

• A British colonial administrator Frederick D. Lugard was

the driving force behind the doctrine of indirect rule,
which the British employed in many of its African
• Lugard wrote The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa.
• In this he stressed the moral and financial advantages of
exercising control over subject populations through
indigenous (native) institutions.
Frederick D. Lugard
Indirect Control

• Lugard thought that by using tribal and customary laws

Europeans could establish a strong foundation for
colonial rule.
• Forms of indirect rule worked in regions where Africans
had already established strong and highly organized
• Often this plan was not effective, especially in the regions
that were not well organized under the control of its
colonial leaders.
Indirect Rule

• British administrators made all the major decisions while

local authorities just carried out the orders
• Kept the old African elite in power and provided few
opportunities for ambitious and talented young Africans
• Sowed the seeds for class and tribal tensions of the 20th
Indirect Company Rule

• Was adopted in Northern and Southern Rhodesia, now

Zimbabwe and Zambia
• Was implemented by Cecil Rhodes
• In 1888, Rhodes set up his own private company, the British
South Africa Company, after he acquired control of the gold
and diamond resources in the area
• Between 1890 and 1923, Rhodes and his company set up a
colonial administration using the British system of indirect rule
• In 1923, the company colony became self-governing
• The white settlers ran the administration free from British
government control
Difficulties Under Indirect Rule

• Many colonial leaders were confused by the complexity of

tribal laws and boundaries and imposed their own idea of
what they thought was tribal boundaries and tribal laws.
• This was done with little regard to the differences between
tribes and these tribes were split up into what Europeans
thought was acceptable boundaries.
• These colonial boundaries divided ethnic groups or grouped
traditional enemies.
• Some groups were even given limited access to water in their
newly drawn up lines of tribal territories.
Results of Indirect Rule

• As a result of colonial rule with little regard to African’s

tribal boundaries and practices many African nations
today are fighting tribal wars
• Ex.(Rwandan genocide) and still having disputes over land
for reasons such as ethnic dominance and control over
natural resources.
Berlin Conference
The Division of Africa

• Diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) were discovered in South

• Berlin Conference (1884-85):
• 14 European nations agreed to lay down rules for the division
of Africa.
• No African ruler was invited to this conference.
• Demand of Raw Materials: Africa was rich in mineral resources
like copper and tin in the Congo and gold and diamonds in
South Africa.
• Cash crop plantations for peanuts, palm oil, cocoa, and rubber
were also developed.
Berlin Conference 1884

 GOALS: to promote the  Ensure Free trade

three c’s
 Ensure free navigation on
 Commerce
Niger River
 Christianity
 Agree to rules to divide up
 civilization
Also, there was the question of how to divvy up Africa in an
orderly manner…

• Of course, no one asked the native Africans.

• Over time, “warring” tribes would be placed together
• Straight lines in Africa and the Middle East clearly
indicate “imperial” meddling.
The Berlin Conference laid down certain rules—

• A European power with holdings on the coast had prior

• Occupation must include administrators or troops
• Each power must give notice to the others of what
territories it considered its own
African Colonization

• 1884 Berlin Conference: European powers meet and

agree on how to divide Africa into colonies.
– Only Liberia and Ethiopia remain independent.
“We have been -British Official
engaged in drawing lines
upon maps where no white
man’s foot has ever trod.

We have been giving away

mountains and rivers and lakes
to each other, only hindered by
the small
impediment that
we never knew
exactly where the
mountains and rivers were.”
Berlin Conference of 1884-1885

– England, France,
and Germany take
the most territory.

– France takes most

of the Sahel.
• 1884-1885: Berlin Conference







*Recognized the Independent

International Association of the Congo (IAC) as sovereign
• 1884-1885: Berlin Conference
– “Spheres of Influence”
• Region over which a state or
organization has a level of
cultural, economic, military, or
political exclusivity

– An international prohibition of the

slave trade throughout their
respected spheres
• "International Society for the
Suppression of Savage
Customs" (Joseph Conrad,
Heart of Darkness)
Europeans: Carving up a Continent

Who is missing from this picture???

British Colonies in Africa
Suez Canal
• 1869, Suez Canal influenced Britain’s interest in Egypt
• Canal linked Mediterranean with Red Sea, shortened trip from Europe to
Indian Ocean; no need to sail around southern tip of Africa
• 1882, Egyptian government appeared unstable; British occupied Egypt to
protect British interests in Suez Canal; later established partial control as
protectorate to ensure British access to canal

Division in Africa No Regard for Tradition

• European nations competed
aggressively for other territories
• 1884–1885, European leaders
met in Berlin to divide African
• Tried to prevent conflict between
European nations
• Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
– Named for Cecil Rhodes
– North of Union of South Africa
• Bechuanaland (now Botswana)
– 1885 – became a British protectorate
• Kenya
– 1888 – became a British protectorate
• Sudan
– Area south of Egypt
– Under Anglo-Egyptian control
– Cotton needed for British textile mills
– Entente Cordiale (1904)
• Great Britain controlled Sudan
• France controlled Morocco
• Cape-to-Cairo Railroad
– Idea of Cecil Rhodes
– Would secure Great Britain’s dominance
in Africa
– Never completed – sections missing
through modern Sudan and Uganda
South Africa
• Cecil Rhodes
• Dr Jameson
Jameson Raid, unsuccessful attempt to take over Boer
• Boer War (1899-1902) British eventually won a war of
Soon after that, the British got involved
in the Boer War—The Germans
supported the Boers, while the British
were ultimately victorious.
South Africa
• By 1880 European nations only controlled 10% of Africa
• The British took the Dutch settlement of Cape Town after
the Napoleonic Wars
• Boers - Dutch descendants moved northward to avoid the
• Vortrekkers - The Great Trek created two independent
states: Orange Free State and Transvaal
• After 1853 the Boers proclaimed political independence
and fought the British
• By 1880 British and Boer settlers controlled much of
South Africa
Second Boer War

• The Second Boer War was In 1899, the Boers end up

taking up arms against the British.
• This is the first “total war”. The Boers use
commando raids and guerilla tactics against the
• The British burn Boer farms and imprison women
and children in concentration camps.
• The British finally won this war.
• In 1910 the Boer Republic joins the Union of South
French and German Colonies in Africa
French and Germans
French West Africa
• West Africa, leader of Malinke peoples, Samory Touré, formed army to fight
against French rule; fought for 15 years; proclaimed self king of Guinea
• 1898, French defeated Touré, ended resistance to French rule in West Africa

German East Africa

• Africans called on gods, ancestors for spiritual guidance in resistance
• 1905, several African peoples united to rebel against Germans’ order to grow
cotton for export to Germany

Rebellion Put Down

• To combat Germans, spiritual leader encouraged followers to sprinkle magic
water over bodies to protect selves from German bullets; did not work
• Rebellion quickly put down; Germans killed tens of thousands of Africans
• Algeria
– 1830 – invasion
– 1831 – annexation
• Tunis
– 1881 – controlled by France
• Led Italy to join the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Germany
• Morocco
– 1881 – large part under French control
– 1905 and 1911 – nearly sparked a European war between
France and Germany
• 1906 – Algeciras Conference – Germany recognized French rights in
• 1911 – Agadir Crisis – Germany recognized French protectorate over
Morocco in exchange for part of France’s territory in the Congo
French Colonies
• By 1879, there are 150,000 French in Algeria so
France takes control
• 1881---made Tunisia a protectorate
• 1912---made Morocco a protectorate
• By 1900, France had added the French West
Africa to empire
• Madagascar
– 1896 – controlled by France
• Somaliland
– 1880s – partly under French control
• West Africa
– Late 1800s – largely under French control
• Sudan
– 1898 – met Britain’s area of control and nearly went
to war
– Entente Cordiale settled British-French disputes in

• By World War I – 1914

– France controlled 3,250,000 square miles in
• 14 times the area of France
– France ruled 30,000,000 Africans
• 75% of the population of France

• Togoland (now Togo and Ghana)

• Cameroons (now Cameroon and Nigeria)
• Southwest Africa (now Namibia)
• East Africa (now Burundi, Rwanda, and Tanzania)
Belgian Colonies in Africa
Pre-Colonial Congo
The Kingdom of Kongo
– According to Portuguese explorers the kingdom was a
sophisticated and well run state, an imperial federation
– Known for advanced working in copper and iron
– Rich in ivory and rubber
Pre-Colonial Congo
– Slavery was part of the culture of the Congo
– Originally slaves were captured during warfare, were
criminals, or were debtors who could earn back their
– Eventually, Muslim slave traders began to sell their slaves
to European traders for export to the Americas
Company Rule
• The Congo Free State was the personal domain of King
Leopold II of Belgium
• His rule is known as the most brutal of all colonial rulers
• He gave Belgian businesses free access to the Congo, who
administered the colony and exploited the mineral and
human resources
• The treatment of the Africans was so hard that when the
Belgian government took control of the territory in 1908, it
became known as the Belgian Congo
• However, the Belgian businesses still ruled the colony
Where the story begins

• In 1872, Henry Stanley, an American journalist, ventured

into the central region of Africa, known as the Congo, and
located a “lost” British explorer named David Livingstone.

• The news of Stanley’s successful venture became

a sensation in Europe, and the King of Belgium,
Leopold II, became instantly interested in the
territory known as, “The Congo”.
• In particular, Leopold was drawn to Stanley’s
reports of rubber trees, ivory-tusked
elephants, and gold-wearing natives.
The Congo Free State
• Leopold sent the famous explorer of Africa, Henry Morton
Stanley, to negotiate treaties with the natives.
• Native chiefs were offered trinkets or cloth if they would place
an X on a document in foreign tongue.
The Congo Free State

 Use of river to gain access to ivory- and rubber-rich interior

made the Congo a coveted area for colonization.
 European nations negotiated and agreed to respect each

others’ claims to African territory, Leopold made claim for

Leopold waged a skillful public relations campaign to promote
his “Congo Free State” as an effort to stop the Arabs from
running a slave trade in Africa. This, of course, was a ruse.

Slave raids such as this one carried out by the kingdom of Dahomey in
return for European muskets and money provided Leopold II with his
“humanitarian” excuse for going into the Congo.
Role of Stanley in Congo
• Stanley began to sign treaties with over 450
native chiefs from the Congo
• As a result, Leopold gained rule of these lands
given up by the chiefs
• In 1885, after the Berlin Conference, Leopold
was given personal rule over the newly
declared Congo Free State
• Leopold had what he wanted because other
European powers recognized his hold over
Chiefs of Ngombi & Mafela, in return for "one piece of cloth per month to
each of the undersigned chiefs, besides present of cloth in hand," they
promised to "freely of their own accord, for themselves and their heirs and
successors for ever...give up to the said Association the sovereignty and all
sovereign and governing rights to all their territories...and to assist by
labour or otherwise, any works, improvements or expeditions which the said
Association shall cause at any time to be carried out in any part of these
territories....All roads and waterways running through this country, the right
of collecting tolls on the same, and all game, fishing, mining and forest
rights, are to be the absolute property of the said Association.”
--Treaty handing over land to Leopold II
• Took over land in central Africa
• Berlin Conference (1885)
– Leopold’s control over Congo Free State recognized by
major powers
• Belgian Congo (1908)
– Leopold criticized for the cruelty of his rule in the Congo
– Leopold forced to sell Congo Free State to Belgian
– Renamed Belgian Congo
• Created European race for African colonies –
“Scramble for Africa”
– Diamonds, foodstuffs, gold, ivory, rubber
The Congo Free State: Leopold’s False

• European countries recognized Leopold’s claim to the territory in

1885 because of:
– Stanley’s treaties for Leopold
– Leopold’s assurances that he would end slavery
– Leopold’s promise that the Congo would remain a free trade area.
Leopold II
1885: Congo Free State
– Leopold pledge to uphold Berlin Conference
• Suppress East African slave trade
• Promote humanitarian policies
• Guarantee free trade within the colony
• Impose no import duties for 20 yrs.
• Encourage philanthropic and scientific enterprises

"I do not want to miss a good chance of getting us a slice of this magnificent African cake."
King Leopold II
Promises, Promises

• Leopold promised the European nations at

the conference that he would build a nation
of free Congo states, like the United States,
and end the slave trade.
In the early 1880s, King Leopold II of Belgium paid for
expeditions to the the Congo in the center of the African
He claimed that, “millions of men still plunged in
barbarism will be at the dawn of a better era.”
But he really wanted the Congo’s natural resources:
copper, rubber and ivory.
He forced the locals to work for almost nothing and had
them killed and tortured if they complained or disobeyed.
• Instead, Leopold began a 70 year plunder of the
Congo of its rubber, ivory, gold, diamonds, copper,
and tin.
• And, his Belgian forces enslaved Congolese peoples
with regularity.
Leopold II
– Exploitation of resources
• Ivory, Rubber, Minerals
– One of the greatest international scandals of the early 20th
• Forced/slave labor
• Starvation
• Disease
• Torture/mutilation
– Directly and indirectly eliminated 20% of the population
• 10 to 13 million people

A 1906 Punch cartoon depicting Leopold II as a rubber vine entangling a

Congolese man
The Congo Free State :
“The Profit Imperative”
• Leopold drove slave traders out and portrayed
it as humanitarian act.
• Reality: he did it to gain control of region.
• Leopold paid his ‘agents’ in the Congo a
percentage of profits, encouraging them to
make the trade more and more profitable.
• Also authorized the use of as much force as was
deemed necessary.
The Congo Free State :
“The Profit Imperative”
• Colony not profitable in first few years.
• Soon the idea of free trade was abandoned
• Natives could only trade with Leopold’s
representatives, with 50% of profits going to
Leopold himself.
• Profit required cheap labor (gathering rubber
is very labor intensive).
Leopold’s Abuse of the Congo

• Agents ‘encouraged’ young men to work by holding their wives

and children captive until each man’s quota was met.
• Many who resisted were killed on the spot.
• Others were beaten with whips made from dried hippo hide with
sharp edges.
– 20 lashes resulted in unconsciousness
– 100 lashes resulted in death.
Women kept hostage to force their husbands to go and gather rubber.
Rubber was harvested by climbing the rubber tree, tapping into it and
letting the sap run all over the slave’s body, where it would congeal.
Later he would peel the rubber off his body, taking any body hair with
Rubber harvesters were given impossible quotas to fill each month.
In addition to enduring the hardships of gathering rubber in the jungle,
many of them were killed by wild animals.
"The station chief selects the victims....Trembling, haggard, they lie face down on the
ground...two of their companions, sometimes four, seize them by the feet and hands,
and remove their cotton drawers....Each time that the torturer lifts up the chicotte, a
reddish stripe appears on the skin of the pitiful victims, who, however firmly held,
gasp in frightful contortions....At the first blows the unhappy victims let out horrible
cries which soon become faint groans....In a refinement of evil, some officers, and
I've witnessed this, demand that when the sufferer gets up, panting, he must
graciously give the military salute.”
-- Stanislas Lefranc, Belgian prosecutor

The chicotte, a particularly vicious type of whip made from rhinoceros

Primary Source: Roger Casement, Report
from the Congo Basin in 1903

• Here Nkwabali took up the tale from Moyo, the

Bangongo chief: ‘We said to the white men, We
are not enough people now to do what you want
us. Our country has not many people in it and we
are dying fast. We are killed by the work you make
us do, but the stoppage of our plantations, and the
breaking up of our homes.’”
Mutilated People in the Congo Free State
"I have just returned from a journey inland to the
village of Insongo Mboyo. The abject misery and
utter abandon is positively indescribable. I was so
moved, Your Excellency, by the people's stories that
I took the liberty of promising them that in future
you will only kill them for crimes they commit.“
John Harris (Missionary)
5-8 Million Victims! (50% of Popul.)

It is blood-curdling to see them (the soldiers) returning with

the hands of the slain, and to find the hands of young
children amongst the bigger ones evidencing their
bravery...The rubber from this district has cost hundreds of
lives, and the scenes I have witnessed, while unable to help
the oppressed, have been almost enough to make me wish I
were dead... This rubber traffic is steeped in blood, and if the
natives were to rise and sweep every white person on the
Upper Congo into eternity, there would still be left a fearful
balance to their credit. -- Belgian Official
Leopold’s Abuse of the Congo
• Revolt broke out.
• Leopold sent troops into villages to exterminate the young men.
• To make sure bullets weren’t wasted, soldiers were expected to return
with the severed right hands of those they killed.
• Soldiers who couldn’t meet quotas or spent bullets hunting would cut
hands off of living women and children.

Between 1895-1908 an estimated 8-10 million people died

due to murder, mistreatment and starvation.
The “Hand” Tax

 Hands cut off as proof of killing or punishment: received

payment for hands and “proved” that supervisors were not
“wasting” bullets on game hunting

 Hands cut off as proof of killing or punishment: received

payment for hands and “proved” that supervisors were not
“wasting” bullets on game hunting
The First Modern Genocide?

From 1885-1908 the Congolese population declines by one-half to 10

million due to
1) murder
2) starvation/exhaustion
3) disease
4) low birth rate
An estimated 10 million people died during this time
Effects of Imperialism on Congolese Continued

• They were forced to collect sap from rubber plants by European

Companies that King Leopold II issued.
• A near 10 million Congolese died from the brutality of Leopold’s rule.
• Humanitarians all around the world wanted big changes because of the
horrible acts of Leopold.
• The Belgium Government took control in 1908, away from the vicious
• There was slavery throughout Africa and they were beaten and forced to
work but that would soon be over because they were going to gain
independence from Belgium soon.
Effect on the Congo: The Human Rights
• Public pressure eventually forced Leopold to sell the Congo
Free State to the Belgian government. It became The Belgian
Congo in 1908
• The Belgian Government ended the worst of the atrocities, but still
controlled the fate of the African natives “For their own good.”
• The African natives were never consulted about their future
Imperial Power Removed In Congo
• In 1908 the Congo was surrendered by King Leopold II
to Belgium.
• It was renamed the Belgium Congo.
• Working conditions were harsh but the Belgium rule
improved them significantly.
• People began to demand self rule.
• The Belgium government agreed to give their political
power to the people because they were so confident
that they would later regain control.
• The Belgium Government was wrong, on June 30,1960,
Congo gained their independence.
• Joseph Kasavubu and Patrick Lumumba were the new
president and prime minister of the Belgium Congo.
Benefits and Modernization
• The Belgian modernized the colony
• The Belgians built railroads and automobiles
• They brought over electricity and telephones
• ("Encyclopedia Britannica,“).
Cultural Imperialism

• The Belgians forced many different Congo tribes

to live together
• The Belgians set up Belgian style schools
• The Congolese lost their native language and way
of religion
• The Belgians brought a new system of law
• (Everything Culture," ).
Resistance and Independence Movements
• Congo rebelled from beginning
• The first Congolese party started in 1958 whose name
was Congo nation movement
• In 1959 riots broke out and Congo people demanded
• Congo became an independent republic on June 30, 1960
("Encyclopedia Britannica," ).
Consequences on the Occupied Region

When the Belgians left the country was unstable

The Congo lost a lot of its resources
Most people live in poverty
Government corruption has caused civil wars

• 1908
– Belgium gained control of Congo (Congo Free State) from
King Leopold II
– Leopold was infamous for the cruelty of his rule in the
• Congo Free State (today’s Democratic Republic of Congo)
– 80 times the size of Belgium
– Source of uranium
Modern Status
Congo Belgium

GDP-$300 per year GDP-$37,900 per year

Literacy rate-67.2% Literacy rate-99%
HDI-.239 (rank 168) HDI-.867 (rank 18)
Italian Colonies in Africa
• 1882-1896
– Eritrea (along the Red Sea)
– Somaliland (along the Indian Ocean, part of today’s
• 1896
– Defeated in attempt to conquer Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
• 1912
Won Tripoli from Ottoman Turks
Portuguese Colonies in Africa

• Under “old imperialism” Portugal gained African territory and

led the early trans-Atlantic African slave trade
• Angola
• Mozambique
Spanish Colonies in Africa

• Spain had very few possessions in Africa

• Tip of Morocco
• Rio de Oro
• Rio Muni
Examples of African Resistance to Imperialism
Primary Source…
• Nor is violent physical opposition to abuse and injustice
henceforth possible for the African in any part of Africa.
His chances of effective resistance have been steadily
dwindling with the increasing perfectibility in the killing
power of modern armament. Thus the African is really
helpless against the material gods of the white man, as
embodied in the trinity of imperialism, capitalistic
exploitation and militarism.
– Edward Morel, “The Black Man’s Burden”
• According to this statement, do you think the Africans
could overcome the challenges of Imperialism?
Many Africans fought back:
“I have listened to your words but can find no reason
why I should obey you – I would rather die first… If you
desire friendship, then I am ready for it, today and
always. But I cannot be your subject. If you desire war,
then I am ready.” -Chief Machemba (1890)
African Resistance
• Many Africans attempted to resist European
• It was difficult for Africans to resist because
– Europeans had superior weapons
– More organized armies
– Unlimited money
“Whatever happens, we have got
the Maxim gun, and they have not.”

When Africans rebelled, Europeans killed thousands of

Yao, Zulu, Asante, Shona, Herero, and Maji-Maji people.
African Resistance
Africans did not passively accept European claims to rule over them. As European
troops advanced on African territory, they met stiff resistance.

The Zulu Ethiopia

• Only nation to retain independence by
• Zulu people resisted
matching European firepower
colonialization more than 50
• 1889, emperor Menelik II modernized
• Zulu leader Shaka built strong
nation, army
• 1895, Italian forces invaded over treaty
kingdom by subduing several
neighboring peoples
• Menelik’s forces defeated Italians
• 1879, British invaded Zulu
territory, annexed kingdom as
Even without modern weapons, other Africans still fiercely resisted European
Halie Selassie’s cousin, Emperor Menelik II, had
modernized Ethiopia by hiring Europeans to build roads,
bridges and schools. He bought weapons from Great
Britain to fight the Italian invaders, and defeated the
Italians in 1896.
Ethiopia: Successful Resistance

• Only African nation that was successful in resisting the

• Menelik II, leader, played the Italians, French and British
against each other.
– He built a large arsnal of weapons
– Learned that treaties were not always correct
• Defeated the Italians in the Battle of Adowa
When Italy invaded again in 1935, Haile Selassie I made a
famous speech to the League of Nations.

Bob Marley used his speech as lyrics to a song, “War”

“That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another
inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned:
That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of
any nation;
That until the color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the
color of his eyes;
That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without
regard to race;
That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship
and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting
illusion, to be pursued but never attained…”
“And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers
in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman
bondage have been toppled and destroyed…
Until that day, the African continent will not know peace.
We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win,
as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”
Effects of Imperialism
Effects of Imperialism
• Positive
– Reduced Local Warfare
– The introduction of modern of transportation and
communication systems, such as telegraphs, railroads and
– Improved Sanitation
– Introduction of medicine increased population
– Life Span and Literacy Rates Increased
• Negative
– Loss of land and independence
– Breakdown of traditional culture
– Division of Continent
Effects of Imperialism
• Positive For Europe: The imperialists profited
from the colonies by digging mines, starting
plantations, and building factories and ports
• Negative for Africans:
• Africans were used as cheap labor and abused in
many colonies.
• Europeans divided Africa and ignored the tribal,
ethnic, and cultural boundaries of the African
• This has led to tribal conflicts in many African
nations that continue to this day.
Positive/Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Led to the rise of African nationalism under a new
class of African leaders who had been educated
under the Western systems
• Saw the good and bad of the Western colonists
• Realized they were hypocrites---did not bring
democracy to Africa
• Upset by the segregated clubs, schools, and
• Upset by how they would call African male boy
Positive/Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Schools set up by Europeans taught Africans that
European ways were best
• A western-educated elite had emerged in many
European colonies in Africa
• These elite condemned imperialism
• They founded nationalist groups to push for self-
• By the end of the 20 Century Africa’s peoples
had won their political independence from
European rule
Positive/Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Africans could communicate through a common
European language like English.
• Africans became part of a greater European
• Africans became more ‘civilized’ and spread
Europeans customs and traditions.
• Africans were not using resources that benefitted
the Europeans.
• European entrepreneurs used those resources to
provide wealth and trade in Europe and Africa.
Positive/Negative Effects of Imperialism
• The effect on the economies of Africa was to
provide more jobs and trade.
• Africans were used as labor and provided
passage as guides through undeveloped
• Africans worked in mines, cleared jungles,
acted as interpreters, built railroads, and
were servants.
• Africans helped businesses by facilitating
trade and worked as local policemen to
maintain law and order.
Positive Effects of Imperialism
• There was a uniform legal code instead of laws
varying from tribe to tribe.
• Intergenerational and intertribal wars were
• The European governments had the military
resources to maintain law and order peacefully.
• Africans were given salvation by converting to
• Africans went to school and learned to read and
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• African culture and heritage were replaced by
European culture and heritage.
• Many Africans were not included in society
because they did not speak the European
• Indigenous peoples were divided according to
whether they followed European customs or not.
• A new set of values and beliefs was created
blending European and native traditions.
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Many of the natural resources were taken from
Africa without any environmental concerns.
• The profit from the natural resources went to the
• Most of the indigenous people were employed in
difficult manual labor and for very low wages.
• Indigenous economies were replaced by a market
• The Europeans imposed taxes and forced Africans
into the labor force.
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• African peoples lost the power to govern their own
• African indigenous peoples already had laws and
traditions for maintaining order and did not need
European interference.
• African culture did not grow or prosper.
• There were arguments among the indigenous
peoples over which religion should guide the
• Missionaries destroyed African culture.
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• The colonial governments took much of the
land away from the Africans for personal and
commercial use, such as mining and large
commercial farms
• The Europeans took the best land for their
• Examples of this: Belgium and Britain in
Central, East, and South Africa
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Since European powers needed manpower to
manage their farms and mining companies, they
used Africans as cheap labor
• The Africans, either having lost their lands or not
able to live off their lands, began to move to towns,
farms, and mines in search of work
• The working conditions were horrible, often
involving corporal punishment and low wages.
• Wages were partially given in the form of cash and
partially as food rations
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Taxes: Europeans were quick to tax Africans on
anything they could
• According to Kumalo, “The government said,
‘You must contribute more; you must pay £1.’
We did so. Then those who took more than one
wife were taxed… that is not all. We are also
taxed for our dogs… then we were told we were
living on private land; the owners wanted rent in
addition to the government tax…”
• Kumalo said, “If we do raise anything, it is never
our own: all, or most of it, goes back in taxation”
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Due to World War One and Two, the European colonial powers
started a new policy of forced labor in the 1920s
• Africans were recruited to work and sent to towns, farms, and mines
• This led to many African men being separated from their families,
since only men were used
• The villages lacked the manpower for food production, which led to
• Male homosexuality and female prostitution increased among the
African communities in the towns
• There was alienation from traditional village life, which led to the
declining power of the village chiefs
• Immigrant laborers were brought from Asia to Africa and tensions
developed between the native Africans and the foreign immigrants
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• The Europeans changed the economic structure of
African society
• They introduced commercial or cash crops to meet
the industrial demands of the home countries
• Cocoa, coffee, tea, and cotton were produced on a
large scale
• Minerals were mined extensively
• Resulted in neglecting of production of food for
basic needs
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Europeans changed the economy from one where
basic foods were produced to feed the native
peoples to an economy based on the production of
a few cash crops
• All the crops produced were exported to Europe at
prices set by the European countries
• Few colonies allowed the Africans to grow the cash
crops for their own benefit
• Trade was not allowed between Africans
• As a result, the Africans became produced of cheap
cash crops and minerals for the Europeans
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Africans Land and Food Scarcity: Europeans take
land, cattle, and food Africans acquired
• Kumalo said, “All the best land has been taken by
the white people. We get hardly any price for our
cattle; we find it hard to meet our money
obligations. If we have crops to spare, we get very
little for them… When we have plenty of grain the
prices are very low, but the moment we are short of
grain and we have to buy from Europeans at once
the price is high”
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• The colonial powers had no plans to
industrialize or aid in the modernization of
• Africa produced the raw materials, which
were exported to Europe, and re-exported to
Africa as final products sold at high prices,
which the Africans could not afford to pay
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Ndansi Kumalo, an African, said, “We were treated
like slaves… the treatment we received was
intolerable. We said, ‘It is no good living under such
conditions; death would be better—let us fight’”
• King Leopold II of Belgium justified brutality against
the Africans by saying, “the natives hardly knew
how to get their daily food”
• Cecil Rhodes wrote in his will in 1877 that African
Americans were “the most despicable specimens of
human beings.”
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• British Matabele War: Rhodes gained control of
the mineral mines in Matabeleland and with
the help of his South Africa Company, exploited
the mineral wealth in the area, sparking the
rebellion of the Matabeles against the British.
• The British Matabele War ended with Britain
easily slaughtering thousands of Africans with
the help of the machine guns.
Negative Effects of Imperialism
• Civil War in Africa: After the Europeans relinquished
control, civil war broke out all over Africa; some of these
civil wars are still going on today.
• In January, representatives at the Pan Africanist Congress
said that, "the problems which were being blamed on
[President Robert] Mugabe [of Zimbabwe] were created
by British colonialism, whose agent Cecil Rhodes used
armed force to acquire land for settlers."
• In Zimbabwe, formerly called Rhodesia, Mugabe called his
enemies of all races "colonialists," despite that Rhodesia
was renamed Zimbabwe in 1980
Positive Effects of Imperialism
• Western medicine was introduced and aided in the
growth of the African population
• Formal education was introduced and broaden the
African outlook
• Africa’s infrastructure was based on the European
one with roads, railways, water, electricity, and
communication systems
• The introduction of Christianity promoted literacy
and health care through the work of missionaries
• Create a basis for all Africans to come together and
assist one another
Positive Effects of Imperialism
• Christianity made African spirituality simpler in
regards of life, death, and salvation
• There was no need for sacrifices and rituals, which
were traditionally required
• It made individual progress possible because it
destroyed the traditional fabric of the African
• The boundaries as established by the different
colonial powers made state formation easier in the
process of independence
Positive Effects of Imperialism

• Ndansi Kumalo, an African warrior in the

British Matabele War said “the Government
has arranged for education and through that,
when our children grow up, they may rise in
• Kumalo said, “they brought us European
implements—plows; we can buy European
clothes, which are an advance”