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

Why did Britain expand its Empire in Africa from 1880 to 1900?

Extracts from this document...


Why did Britain expand its Empire in Africa from 1880 to 1900? In 1875 the two most important European holdings in Africa were Algeria and the Colony. The Cape Colony was a lock up point for the British Trading Fleet en route from India and the Far East. By 1914 only Ethiopia and the republic of Liberia remained outside formal European control. The transition from an "informal empire" of control through economic dominance to direct control took the form of a "scramble" for territory by the nations of Europe. Britain tried not to play a part in this early scramble- being more of a trading empire rather then a colonial empire, however it soon became clear it had to gain its own African empire to maintain the balance of power. This is the direct link to Hobson's Theory of 'Overseas Investments'. Hobson saw the 'greedy capitalists' and the British Aristocracy, that he called the 'shady elite' to be investing into Africa to only gain personally at the start. ...read more.


(France-Russia vs. Germany-Austria-Hungary became power balanced and therefore a power deadlock in Europe). The Power deadlock led to the growth of Nationalism, which was acted out in overseas colonisation. Colonisation was a result of rivalry between European powers, not events in Africa. Britain's 1882 military occupation of Egypt, itself triggered by concern over the Suez Canal, contributed to a preoccupation over securing control of the Nile valley, leading to the conquest of the neighbouring Sudan in 1896-98 and confrontation with a French military expedition at Fashoda, September 1898. This point leads onto Gallacher and Robinson's Theory to why the Scramble for Africa occurred. They felt that Britain never intended to control Africa. All that the British government wanted was an informal control of trade. However, they were forced into formal control of trade by local disputes, which threatened the British Trade Routes. The reluctant British government was 'dragged in' to Africa and forced to take control to prevent social disorder. ...read more.


In all three situations the British Government had to become involved, and protect the interests of these individuals. British gains in Southern and East Africa prompted Rhodes and Alfred Milner, Britain's High Commissioner in South Africa, to urge a "Cape to Cairo" empire linking by rail the strategically important Canal to the mineral-rich South, though German occupation of Tanganyika prevented its realisation until the end of World War I. In 1903, the All Red Line telegraph system communicated with the major parts of the Empire. Paradoxically Britain, the staunch advocate of free trade, emerged in 1914 with not only the largest overseas empire thanks to her long-standing presence in India, but also the greatest gains in the "scramble for Africa", reflecting her advantageous position at its inception. Between 1885 and 1914 Britain took nearly 30% of Africa's population under her control, compared to 15 per cent for France, 9 per cent for Germany, 7 per cent for Belgium and 1 per cent for Italy: Nigeria alone contributed 15 million subjects, more than in the whole of French West Africa or the entire German colonial empire. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics 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 GCSE Politics essays

  1. South Africa 1945-1994 The end of Apartheid.

    For sanctions to actually be made effective can take a long time for example sanctions in Rhodesia in 1960's and 1970'5 only made the white government collapse after 15 years and a civil war costing 30,000 lives. This questions us as to whether sanctions really were effective or not and

  2. Comparative Analysis: The churches and their affect on society and politics in the cases ...

    move the group and the consequences of any action by this group for society13. In addition to this theory one could say that ecumenism is a phenomenon that occurs as a result of the churches coming under more direct oppression.

  1. "The Colonisation of Africa was Inevitable in the Late Nineteenth Century" Discuss.

    In the nineteenth century many countries were experiencing a period of rapid industrialisation. Industrial production output was rising fast, while at the same time its costs were falling considerably. These processes entailed a rising need for larger amounts of raw materials, larger markets than Europe could provide.

  2. Apartheid in South Africa.

    Also, media can completely contradict the truth, so what really may have happened may have been summarised or changed and nobody other than those who changed it would have known any differently. This makes Source B unreliable as a result.

  1. Introduction and Company Background.

    These workers would then be reallocated to different departments to increase the overall productivity and competitiveness. Third party logistics company could provide the expertise logistics services and hence the core business of the company could be more developed by reallocation of human resources.

  2. How powerful was Britainin 1900?

    One important factor that helped Great Britain become as powerful as it initially did was its allies France and Russia had formed the Triple Entente. This was in reaction to the triple alliance and to keep Germany at bay, as they now had formed an alliance with Austria- Hungary.

  1. A Detail on the British Empire Between the Great Wars, from 1918 to 1939.

    many other countries could supply identical goods for a fraction of Britain's price. In addition, during the war exports had not been sustained, and so Britain's customers had had to turn to other sources for their goods, not all of them returned to Britain at peace time.

  2. Malta at the turn of the 19th Century.

    At Mdina a council met and it was guaranteed by Vabois that the French would respect the rights of the Maltese. As a result on the 13th of June 1798 the knights were sent out. The day before this one we had the capitulation of the Order of St.

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