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

    It also brought about surplus capital, which was ever harder to invest in Europe. The ever-increasing production capacity of economically growing countries did not coincide with growing markets. Europe was "suffocating". Newly established states, such as Germany, in order to spur rapid industrialisation at home, introduced tariffs and quotas for

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

    This still had not led to a change of government there. One reason apartheid managed to survive was because it was profitable for the whites. The Africans may have believed that keeping apartheid could continue bringing in money as they were using blacks as cheap labour, which is beneficial especially to businesses.

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

    Some people couldn't careless about political freedoms, as they only wanted to get rich. However others were quite disappointed because they weren't getting rich and had no political power like the landlords and the nobles. In fact number of petitions were made during these years.

  2. The colonial factor in the Nigerian civil war (1967-1970)

    Hence, they had to compensate the easterners. The Northern military officers staged a counter coup on 29 July 1966 with two aims: revenge on the East, and a break up of the country. But the wise counsel of dedicated Nigerians, interested and well-disposed foreigners prevailed. The Head of State, Maj.

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

    Many hoped that this state of affaires would continue, and indeed promises were made to tackle for example the problem of bad housing, this was exemplified by Lloyd George saying in 1918 that Britain would have to be, for the soldiers returning from the war, "a country fit for heroes to live in".

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

    ways in which religion can come to be an initiator of social change for some, while being a way of resisting social change for others.'11 There are certain phrases and words in this theory that require explanation. The first section hypothesises that religion is affected by its environment, and that

  1. The Rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire.

    No matter how much territory was won by the Ottomans, Constantinople still resisted every siege and invasion. The Ottomans greatly wanted the city for it would both represent a huge symbol of Ottoman, and Islamic power, but also gain the Empire all East-West trade.

  2. The Changing Role and Status of Women in Britain Since 1900

    Some claimed that that the union's 'militancy... came within an inch of wrecking the suffrage movement, perhaps for a generation'. In 1896 The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies was founded, uniting the 17 largest women's suffrage organisations. The organisation was led by Milicent Fawcett, with the aim 'to obtain the Parliamentary Franchise for women on the

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