• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain the factors which attracted European imperialism either to Africa or to Asia in the later nineteenth century.

Extracts from this document...


In the late nineteenth century, the most powerful European nations harboured a compulsive desire for conquest, domination and exploitation in the African continent, in pursuit of empire during 'The Scramble for Africa'. Their struggle to get 'a place in the sun' involved the proliferation of conflicting European claims to African territory during the New Imperialism period, and was fuelled by a range of factors which varied with both the imperialist nation and the African colony. Among the primary factors for European imperialism in Africa were the grand economic prospects of opportunities for profitable investment, brilliant opportunities for trade with favourable market dynamics for the Metro pole and sources of cheap labour for industrial development. Raw materials were also readily in Africa in abundance. European Imperialism in Africa was also driven by rivalry among the superpowers. Conquest in the African continent also promised to confer prestige on the Imperialist nation, therefore European Imperialism promised to satisfy prevailing nationalist, liberal and jingoistic sentiments and interests of the period. Hence, it often emerged as a political priority, as it could diminish domestic discontent. Another prevalent factor of European Imperialism was based on the notion that the African continent was inhabited by relatively defenseless 'uncivilized' tribes and societies, and should therefore be converted as part of a 'civilizing mission'. ...read more.


Africa was rich in raw materials, as well as a many treasure reserves. Europeans were able to build plantations where they grew peanuts, palm oil, cocoa, and rubber. They also took important minerals. The Congo produced copper and tin. South Africa had gold and diamonds. Karl Peters, a German explorer called on Bismarck to help consolidate the gains of his German East Africa company. George Goldie asked the British government for help to consolidate his palm-oil economy on the Niger river. Owners of gold mines and diamond mined pressed the British Government to protect their interests in South Africa. Major industrial companies attempted to gain a monopoly of raw materials in Asia and Africa. International rivalry among European nations was a major source of imperialist ventures in Africa. The British government wished to maintain its dominance in the colonial spheres; as other European powers sought to expand, the British responded by seizing colonies. Geopolitics made certain territories important for its location, such as the Suez Canal, while some countries seized regions to prevent other European states from seizing them. The vast interior - between the gold- and diamond-rich Southern Africa and Egypt, had key strategic value. Domination of this region was important to securing the flow of overseas trade. ...read more.


had sought to extend its own holdings from Dakar to the Sudan, which would enable its empire to span the entire continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Red Sea. Though hampered by German occupation of Tanganyika until the end of World War I, Rhodes successfully lobbied on behalf of such a sprawling East African empire. Local nationalist movements also played their part: some sought to defend territory in Africa and Asia, others wanted to collaborate with specific European powers in order to retain some semblance of local influence. Nationalism fed the drive for empires as well. A nation often felt that gaining colonies was a measure of its greatness. The French saw its empire partly in terms of economic gain and partly in terms of helping to restore its damaged national pride after its defeat by Germany in the Franco-Prussian war. King Leopold II of Belgium sought an empire to enhance his own status and for purely economic reward. The Italians coveted territory to emphasize their claims to be treated as a major European power. The German government often used imperialism to increased its popularity at home. Nationalist concerns translated into the national prestige that came as a result of gaining large expanses of territory and seeing the color of your country painting regions throughout Africa and Asia. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Historical Periods section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Historical Periods essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Extended Essay: Bismarck and The Unification of Germany

    5 star(s)

    The Zollverien was very important to later unification as it brought many states together as one economic unit and excluded Austria. It also increased Prussia's power and influence over the states. Most historians agree that the Zollverien aided hugely in the moved towards unification in Germany.

  2. What was the impact of the Norman Conquest

    Again he continued to fill vacancies with Normans. In 1075, thirteen out of twenty-five abbots were English but in contrast, in 1087 only three were English. William went on to appoint Lanfranc as Archbishop of Canterbury (who was also his personal abbot of St Stephen's at Caen) who contributed hugely to the English Church.

  1. In this essay, I shall use primary sources to measure the short term significance ...

    The rhetoric of the speech implies the natural subordination of the Native Americans ('children') to their caring fathers, while at the same time containing a barely hidden threat of violence ('we are all gun-men'). Lewis and Clark showed a genuine interest in their ways of living, forming friendly relations with most of them.

  2. To What Extent Was The South African War (1899 - 1902) A Capitalist War

    it must expand into other nations and begin the process of exploitation all over again. This is Lenin's basic principle of imperialism and empire building. It is true that as the communist leader of a classless, anti-capitalist society, Lenin's words are bound to reflect poorly on people who advocated capitalism

  1. South African Heritage - Where we come from?

    Study Source E and explain the argument put forward. The argument in source E is by the descendants of the Khoisan against the Miscast Exhibition that was set up in 1996. The Khoisan descendants were furious and outraged about the exhibition and they were not hesitant in venting their feelings.

  2. Who was more important in bringing about the end of Apartheid and minority rule ...

    Countries refused to let South Africa participate in the Olympics from 1964 onwards. Eventually in the 1980's virtually no UK teams visited South Africa. Although there were White people who were rich enough not to suffer from the economic sanctions sporting sanctions affected them.

  1. The First English Civil War

    From Abingdon, Essex moved direct on Oxford. Waller moved towards Wantage, where he could give a hand to Massey, the energetic governor of Gloucester. Affairs seemed so bad in the west (Maurice, with a whole army was still vainly besieging the single line of low breastworks that constituted the fortress of Lyme)

  2. How effectively did colonial governments respond to the rise of nationalism in Southeast Asia ...

    Sukarno was followed by other nationalist leaders, including Muhammad Hatta and Sutan Sjahrir in 1934. The only nationalist leaders who were not arrested were those whom the Dutch believed posed no danger to their position. The Dutch had the manpower and the weapons and had illustrated it time and again

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work