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

The European partition of Africa cannot be explained in economic terms alone. How far do you agree with this statement?

Extracts from this document...


Phuong Tran 28/10/2007 Essay Title : The European partition of Africa cannot be explained in economic terms alone. How far do you agree with this statement? After low point in the beginning of the 19th century, there was a revival in Imperialism when European powers fought over Asia and Africa; as from 1875 to 1895, European control in Africa went from 10% to 90%. Through many decades in history, imperialism has been defined as extending a nation's authority by the act of actual conquest and administration of one state; however, more recently, it has been commonly agreed that imperialism can be perceived in larger terms, with a variety of methods rather than "formal" imperialism alone. Even when the common definition has been accepted, there were still numerous debates on the causes of imperialism, in which accumulation theory and monopoly capitalism by J.A Hobson and Lenin argued on term of economic motives; however, their theories were not satisfying enough as there are numerous contradictory variables, shown in the economic and political states of some leading imperial powers, popularity of Imperialism at the time, and the acceptable degree of validity in other incompatible theories. To explain the cause for the "Scramble for Africa" during the late 19th century, Lenin stated: "The impulse was always one of capitalistic greed for cheap raw materials, advantageous markets, good investments, ...read more.


Lenin's argument that the monopolistic capitalism has allowed a small group of entrepreneurs to take control of the economy, and therefore overseas expansion was a solution they sought to make profit out of the surplus capital. However, Germany, where industrialization took place early and there were clear evidence of a monopolistic capitalism in banking; little did they pay any attention to the economic gains from the colonies they sought later on. Other leading imperial powers, such as Italy and Belgium, don't necessarily have strong economic power, let alone surplus capital, but still heavily pursue overseas expansion. In addition, in the primitive colonies, which could be easily controlled and exploited, it was difficult to create a sufficient market, as the locals didn't have the economic power to purchase the finished goods, leaving the mother countries with other European powers as more suitable trading partners, despise the tariffs. Therefore, it could be proved evidently and statistically that overseas expansion couldn't fully solve the problem of trading or surplus capital, and it was perhaps more reasonable to say that illuminated economics benefits expected from European countries has a significant contribution to the scramble for Africa and Asia. Robinson and Gallagher came up with another reasonable but one-sided theory of causes of the new imperialism in the late 19th century. ...read more.


Also, Britain sought control over Egypt to secure the route to its Indies colonies. There was a growing desire for overseas colonies in the late 19th century, caused by exaggerated stories about the "new" land of Africa and Asia. The war fever which Europe was in established many rivalries between competing nations, with a belief shown clear in Lord Rosebery - a British Liberal's speech: "That greater pride in Empire which is called Imperialism...is a larger patriotism.". European leaders were indeed very enthusiastic about overseas expansion, whether it was to support to the rising nationalism, also to citizens' attention away from domestic conflicts and problems, or he/she genuinely believed in the prestige brought by establishing colonies, in the case of Wilhelm II of Germany. It was clear that imperialism created numerous conflicts between leading competing imperial powers, thus contributed greatly to the formation of the entangled alliance system in Europe. The scramble for Africa and Asia in the late 19th century was an inevitable product of former rivalries and the war-atmosphere in Europe from pervious wars and conflicts, with the main motive being highly expectation for economic interest provided from colonies, and the incident of Britain's formalization of Egypt served as a stimulus to the whole imperial expansion. Imperialism is a significant variable, being both the cause and the effect of an ongoing circle of militarism, entangled alliance system, and nationalism leading to World War I. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. American Anti-Imperialism vs. Imperialism

    The most influential anti-imperialist argument was their attack the imperial policy from the perspective of morality and the American tradition in diplomacy. The situation in the Philippines grew worse as the American army engaged rebels who wanted independence for Philippines.

  2. How far would you agree that the February/March revolution that overthrew the Russian monarchy ...

    It has been argued that the conspiracy amongst the elite of society did constitute a decisive factor for the outcome, and that these forces acted together to push the Tsar to abdicate in order to prevent the possibility of a real mass revolution from taking place.

  1. How far can Britain's colonial legacy be held responsible for Nigeria's problems since independence?

    Indeed in 1849 John Beecroft, a British merchant, was made consul for a stretch of the West African coastline, with their main hub being the Niger Delta. In 1851, after two battles involving the use of British ships, a consul was established in Lagos.

  2. The purpose of this report is to investigate how the apartheid system was created ...

    from the white Boers.[1] 3 Background 3.1 Colonization In the 1650's Dutch ships built camps along the coast of today's South Africa. They were heading to the East Indies, just like many other countries from the west. The camps grew bigger and became established bases on the way to the East Indies.

  1. To what extent did nationalism contribute to the creation and expansion of the Indochinese ...

    which then gave birth to several radical anti-colonial and independence movements (i.e. Vietnam Nationalist Party and the Viet-Nam Quang-Phuc Hoi). However, the weaknesses of these movements and their ignorance of which political system to adopt, allowed for the Indochinese Communist Party (ICP)

  2. To what extent were economic conditions the predominant factor in the proliferation and manifestation ...

    In the aftermath of Napoleons defeat at Waterloo in 1815, the states of Europe founded a successor organization to the Holy Roman Reich of the German Nation, in existence for a thousand years until its collapse due to the imperialism of Napoleon Bonaparte, known as the German Confederation.

  1. The Great Revolt (Indian Mutiny) of 1857 came as a surprise to the British, ...

    But the revolt was not solely subjected to the sepoys; it turned into a mass civilian uprising. A major cause for the hostilities was the annexation of Indian states. To begin with, the British imposed very high taxes. These were not met by many people, which led them into a cycle of poverty, impoverishment and debt.

  2. Hitler's economic miracle

    Unemployment and poverty was growing more and more between 1929 and 1933. Hitler realised that he was going to work hard to get support from the Germans to solve the massive problems his country had. The main problems were unemployment, Autarky and hyperinflation.

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