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19th Century European Power

Essay by   •  October 5, 2018  •  Essay  •  724 Words (3 Pages)  •  138 Views

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Throughout the 19th century European power’s main goal was to colonize Africa as they wanted to gain the country’s resources and govern the land themselves, fully expanding their country. One could respond to the statement, “The need felt by some Europeans to stop the internal slave trade and spread civilization and education is often stated as … the main reason for the partition of Africa”, in many different ways, agreeing or disagreeing with it, but I believe the Europeans had more motives that just overall expansion and the spread of education. For the European expansion and the overall partition of Africa we must also look at the European’s economic, political, and social motives at this time.

        As we look back at Europe at this time in history it is clear that Europe was on the verge of a total breakdown throughout the country, both economically and also politically. Looking at Europe at the time from an economic standpoint, it is clear that the country was struggling with resources, particularly raw materials, which they could then either sell or use for the creation of other products. As the Industrial Revolution started the demand for raw materials started to become even higher. This led Europeans to Africa, as Africa was known for its surplus of raw materials. Thus it is clear that there were economic motives involved in the European expansion.

From a political standpoint it is clear that there were political motives involved in the European expansion and the separation of Africa. At this time in history, Europe struggled with their political power as their population kept growing and growing with limiting space left in their country. With such population surplus and the current unstable political conditions, many Europeans fled the country to Africa, as Africa had a fair system of politics and just seemed like the best place to go at this point in time. This didn’t last long as many other Europeans tried to colonize many different small African colonies, as colonization was seen as a “symbol of power”. This led to an overall expansion of their country, thus more political power at a time where they needed it most. Thus, there were also political motives in the European expansion, thus the partition of Africa.

As we look into what the Europeans claim to be the “main reason for the partition of Africa” better known as the spread of education, we can see that there is actually little to prove this. In actuality only five percent of the African population was thus able to receive an education from the colonization. From this five percent, all of them were male, as females weren’t given such opportunity. This “education” was more of a formal training to get the Africans to do what the Europeans needed them to do during the expansion, thus saying that education was the main reason for the partition of Africa is moreover false.

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