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The Berlin Conference and Its Effect Upon Africa

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.4 
  • Words: 1064
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Europe’s colonization of Africa ended in the rape of the “Dark Continent” for its natural resources to support their continuing and growing industrialization. They divvied the land with no regards for the cultural, religious, or linguistic divisions between people living there, forming incredibly powerful tensions throughout the populace. The European leaders committed these questionable acts under the guise of bringing civilization to the backward and unenlightened natives, freeing them from slavery, only to enter into a different form, known as wage labor. The Berlin Conference of 1884 personified one of the core ideas of “New Imperialism”, free trade, and supported economic liberty for all, yet it caused strife between the colonizing powers, leading to several conflicts regarding control of the locales of African resources.

Perhaps the most famous of the African imperialist conflicts is the Boer War, between the British controlled Cape Colony and Afrikaner controlled Transvaal and Orange Free State. Boer is a Dutch word meaning farmer, which mostly composed the colonies’ populations. The farmers were rather xenophobic, and reluctant to allow entrance to foreigners, especially those seeking profit and riches. Thus, when Transvaal discovered diamonds and gold within its borders, a problem arose due to the British lust for this territory. The British people and government wished to capitalize upon this, but access to the mines was denied by the Transvaal when they decided to restrict the corporations and individuals allowed entrance. Outrage quickly spread across the British people, and Cecil Rhodes, the famous imperialist, launched a misfit campaign into the Transvaal under authority of Dr. Jameson in 1895. The raid failed, and simply caused more hatred against the British for being mean to powers smaller than themselves. In 1899, the British Empire entered into war against the Transvaal and Orange Free State, eventually subduing the two republics and...

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