Model Question and Answers for APSC | Africa was chopped into states artificially created by the accident of European competition. Analyse.
Africa was chopped into states artificially created by the accident of European competition. Analyse.
Ans: The Scramble for Africa also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa was the invasion, annexation, division, and colonization of most of Africa by seven Western European powers during a short period known as New Imperialism (between 1881 and 1914).
By the turn of the 20th century, the map of Africa looked like a huge jigsaw puzzle, with most of the boundary lines having been drawn in a sort of game of give-and-take played in the foreign offices of the leading European powers.
The 10 per cent of Africa that was under formal European control in 1870 increased to almost 90 per cent by 1914, with only Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and Liberia remaining independent, though Ethiopia would later be invaded and occupied by Italy from 1936 to 1941.
Chopped into states artificially created by the accident of European competition:
- The Berlin Conference of 1884, which regulated European colonization and trade in Africa, is usually accepted as the beginning.
- In the last quarter of the 19th century, there were considerable political rivalries among the empires of the European continent, leading to the African continent being partitioned without wars between European nations.
- The later years of the 19th century saw a transition from "informal imperialism" — military influence and economic dominance — to direct rule.
- By 1914, 90% of Africa had been divided between seven European countries with only Liberia and Ethiopia remaining independent nations.
Many of the boundaries drawn up by Europeans at the Berlin Conference still endure today with little regard to natural landmarks or historic ethnic or political boundaries established by the Africans themselves. The disregard for these boundaries, most of which were retained after independence, often continues to generate conflict in Africa today.