[World History] Imperialism & Colonization: Africa, Scramble for colonies, Paper Partitions, Slave Trade, Boer War

map-triangular trade

[World History] Imperialism & Colonization: Africa, Scramble for colonies, Paper Partitions, Slave Trade, Boer War

  1. Prologue
  2. Slave Trade
    1. Why Slaves needed?
    2. Why African slaves preferred?
    3. Who ran the slave trade?
    4. Slave Trade: British Entry
    5. Triangular trade
    6. Middle Passage
    7. Slave Trade: Why declined?
    8. Slave Trade: Consequences
  3. Colonization of Africa: The beginning
    1. Explorers, traders and Missionaries
    2. Why Africa was easily conquered?
    3. The Scramble for Africa
    4. Bogus Treaties and Paper Partitions
  4. West and Central Africa
    1. Congo Free State (Zaire)
    2. Congo Epilogue
    3. West Africa: French Congo
    4. West Africa: Nigeria
    5. #EPICFAIL: Germany
    6. West Africa: Liberia
  5. Southern Africa
    1. Rhodesia, Cecil Rhodes
    2. Boer Wars (1899)
    3. Gandhi @Boer Wars
    4. Zulu War (1879)
    5. Gandhi Returned Medals
  6. East Africa
    1. #EPICFAIL: Italy
    2. Battle of Adowa
  7. North Africa
    1. Unhappy Germans
    2. Egypt, Suez Canal
    3. Egypt: British occupation
    4. Sudan
  8. Timeline of Colonization: Africa + Asia
  9. Mock Questions


Ok where were we?

  1. Meaning of Imperialism
Already covered click me
  1. Conditions that helped growth of Imperialism
  1. Conquest of Asia (Boxer rebellion, Rise of Japan etc.)
Already covered click me
  1. Conquest of Africa,
Covered in the present article
  1. Conquest Americas and the Pacific, Effects of Imperialism.
Will be covered in the next article

Slave Trade

  • Although Europeans started exploring Africa since late 15th century but for a long time their presence remains mainly to certain coastal areas.
  • But even these limited contacts led to the most tragic and disastrous consequences for the Africans- due to slave trade.

Why Slaves needed?

  • During this era, Spanish were ruling Americas.
  • But it led to resulted in the large-scale extermination of the original inhabitants of the Americas (=Native Americans).
  • Why? Because
  1. Native Americans were forced to work in gold and silver mines under inhumane conditions
  2. Native Americans lacked immunity to European diseases (smallpox, mumps, and measles)
Continent Slaves needed for Plantations of
N.America tobacco, rice, and indigo, Cotton
S.America Sugar

Why African slaves preferred?

Laborers Why unfit for plantation work?
Native American
  • They could easily run away and hide in jungles. They were familiar with the territories, knew how to survive on local plants and animals.
  • They lacked immunity to European diseases (smallpox, mumps, and measles) = died easily in plantation.
White prisoners /indentured servants
  • Not immune to tropical malaria and yellow fever= died easily.
  • They could also escape and blend in as white town-folks in the colony.

On the other hand, African slaves offered following advantages:

  1. African slaves came from an environment where those who survived into adolescence acquired some immunity to such “Old World” diseases as smallpox, mumps, and measles
  2. They also had some immunity against tropical maladies as malaria and yellow fever.
  3. Hence, African laborer lived three to five times longer than white laborers under the difficult conditions on plantations.
  4. When Africans ran away from plantation, they could neither go home nor disguise themselves among town folks. (Unlike those white prisoners).

Thus, African slaves=inexpensive labor for the plantation owners.

Most of the slaves transported in the Atlantic slave trade were adult men. Why?

  • Because African chiefs tended to retain women slaves, as agricultural workers and to bear more children.
  • Children were less economical to trade: because they cost as much to enslave and transport, yet brought lower prices when sold.

Who ran the slave trade?

  • In medieval times, Arabs had dominated the slave trade. They organized slave caravans and moved them from the interior to the Gold and Slave coasts (= Now region of Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria)
  • Then Portuguese entered the Slave trade business. They had two advantages over others
    • Early in the exploration race of Africa
    • Its Colony in Brazil was @relatively short distance from Africa.
  • Portuguese established a slave market in Lisbon.
  • Spaniards bought slaves from that Lisbon market and took them to American colonies. But later the demand for slaves in America increased, so slaves were sent directly from Africa to America.
  • The Spanish church saw the black-slaves as an opportunity for converting them, so also gave tacit approval.
  • Portuguese themselves also needed Black slaves to work in their sugar plantations of Brazil.
  • Slave traders raided African villages, kidnaped people and handed over to the European traders.
  • Some African chiefs also took part in this business. They sold slaves to Europeans in exchange of guns and ammunition, cloth, metal ware, spirits, cutlery, coins, decorative wear, horses, salt and paper.

Slave Trade: British Entry

  • Initially the Portuguese were dominating African slave trade. But then British decided to take over this business.
  • Sir John Hawkins went to Africa to bring slaves in a ship called Jesus. He also shared a part of his slave-trade profit to the British Queen Elizabeth I.
  • 17th Century:  a regular company received a charter from the King of England for purposes of trade in slaves. The share of the king in the profits from slave trade was fixed at 25 per cent!
  • Later, Spain gave the monopoly of slave trade to Britain. (=Spain only bought slaves from Britain, to work in their American colonies).

Triangular trade

It is the term used to describe the prosperous trading cycle across Atlantic as a result of Slave trade:

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