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Compare the importance of the 3 major reasons why Britain joined the Scramble For Africa’ 1868 – 1902

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Compare the importance of the 3 major reasons why Britain joined the Scramble For Africa' 1868 - 1902 There are three main reasons why Britain joined the 'Scramble for Africa' in 1868. These are for: economic purposes; European rivalries and tensions; and geo-political advances. Each of these were factors for the British interest in Africa, although each one for its own reasons. The first theory of the British interest in Africa is that the Financiers of Britain had built up enormous surplus capital, due to the unequal distribution of profits in the industrial sector in Britain. This left the financiers of Britain with no choice but to invest this capital abroad, with Africa offering the most chance of profits. This sucked the government in as many of these rich investors had invested in Africa were connected to the government, so needed to intervene to protect their investments. The varied industries of Africa meant that it was the perfect place for the British investors: whether it is the cocoa beans of Nigeria or the oil rivers of West Africa. ...read more.


This is the quarrel between the great European powers, which escalated to quarrels over Africa. The main theory, put out by A.J Taylor puts Germany as a key player in the rivalries and tensions. This theory attempts to show Bismarck as actually attempting to take over Africa to bring it closer to France. These expansionist tendencies led Britain to believe that Germany was attempting to cash in on Africa, which provoked Britain to expand eve further. It was this competitiveness and need to be the best that led Britain to keep expanding and expanding. It shows that Britain was only interested in projecting it rival tendencies through their expansion into a new and larger continent. Thus doing so would put its rivalries into action. British government and 'Fat cats' were the front-runners in the political struggle taking place. It would be a political triumph if Britain could take over Africa. Others believe, however that Bismarck was just trying to prevent a union between Britain and France. It seems strange, however, that the European powers let their disagreements escalate into such large rivalries. ...read more.


It was these expansionist policies that led Britain to take hold of Sudan Cairo and Egypt, as both were of great financial importance to Britain. She was prepared to go to great lengths to protect these areas of great importance them, both politically and economically. There is, in my opinion, no single reason for Britain to have entered Africa in 1868. Each of the three reasons: economic, geopolitical and European rivalries each had connections with the other, thus influencing the decisions of the government and 'fat cats'. Britain would not have entered Africa under the pretence of European rivalries if it did not expect to have made financial gain. Nor would She have entered the scramble under the hope of making economic progress if Britain did not expect to expand Herself geographic. Therefore, in conclusion, I do not believe that any of the theories for Britain joining the 'Scramble for Africa" would have existed if she did not have interest in any of the other gains she would make, whether it be economic, geo-political or due to European rivalries: each of these co-existed in the eyes of the British government when they decided to take on the Africa. ...read more.

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