Terra Incognita: A Land of Riches
Long before the Imperialism in Africa, European countries were planning their partition of the continent filled with natural resources. Nations such as France, and Belgium believed by dividing up the continent and taking over separate countries this would increase their economic wealth, help their competition with national pride and improve their technology.
Due to the vast amount of natural resources discovered in Africa, European colonies gathered together in order to take control of Africa’s resources, and for their own national pride. These European colonies were present to the rule of occupation, a conference allowing them to divide Africa’s countries evenly to gain wealth. African countries slowly stopped being independant and one by one were controlled by a European colony. The driving force behind the imperialism in Africa was because of their vast amounts of natural resources, and the profits economically from this. Although it has been argued that technology was the force behind imperialism in Africa, this argument fails to overlook that without various kinds of resources the technology could not have been built and if were built, would not have enough of it to take over an entire country. Imperialism in Africa, was a main issue, with the main driving force behind it being Africa’s possession over their various amounts or kinds of resources.
European colonies were desperate to gather Africa’s natural resources, as with them they had the opportunity to increase their amounts of technology to be created, and the amount of exports and imports they profited from. According to document A, The British Empire: 1558-1995, shows you that the amount of pounds great britain had profited from exporting Africa’s natural resources was 22 million dollars. The European colonies would import items from Africa, and then export them back to them to earn large amounts of resource and would benefit from the money. Great Britain and other European colonies clearly benefited from the 22 million dollars made from their importing and exporting Africa’s natural resources. This point is significant because it explains these countries would benefit from the money made as they could use the resources for “economic use or industrial use” as document D stated.
European colonies had used some of this money to improve their technology for going to places like Africa for their resources to gain power over them and threatened them with their new technology from the money that they had made from exporting Africa’s natural resources. Thus, the driving force behind imperialism in Africa was their provided natural resources, and the benefits this would create for all European colonies whom had attended the rule of occupation, as they would empower their strength and wealth. However it has been argued that the force behind imperialism in Africa was the increase of technology. According to document C, European countries and thetechnological development from conquering Africa was the “method of getting quinine from cinchona tree bark”. By allowing European countries to gather this specific tree bark with their technology, this was the “treatment for the disease malaria”.
This provided evidence is significant because several amounts of the crew ships had stopped as the risk of catching malaria or other tropical diseases was clearly very high, and especially to Europeans. To have a treatment for malaria through technology, European colonies were able to send more ships to conquer Africa without the fear or threat of catching malaria or other diseases. Although this argument appears plausible at first, itoverlooks the fact that without Africa’s natural resources they would not have been provided with any substances or materials tobuild and create the technology required to overpower another nation. In document D it summarizes that the technological advances during the industrial revolution and imperialism caused an increased need for raw materials imported from Africa. This excerpt from the document shows that without any raw materials and natural resources provided by Africa, European technology would never have been able to develop nor be created, as it relied on the materials. Given the evidence, some conclude that technology was important, and therefore was the driving force behind imperialism in Africa.
Nevertheless, this argument fails to consider the fact that without raw materials, there would never have been technology, or any materials to create technology. To summarize, when one country takes control of one another, there shall always be a driving force behind the reason to why the colonization is occurring. In Africa there were many natural resources, which European countries made a great amounts of exports and money from. However many may argue technology was the driving force, this fails to understand technology was only developed with using various types of natural and raw materials imported from Africa. Therefore, the imperialism in Africa relied on Africa’s natural resources which lead to great amounts of money, and European countries benefited from the economics.