AP European History
Feb. 12, 2018
European Imperialism in Africa DBQ
During the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, Africa experienced European Imperialism throughout most of Africa. Europeans established colonies throughout Africa, driving out and enslaving African natives that got in their way. The white Europeans viewed themselves as the superior race over the African natives, therefore feeling they had to control the native people. European Imperialism of Africa had both negative and positive social and economic effects. First, slavery positively affected Europeans, but negatively affected African natives; second, European expansion negatively affected natives by pushing them out of their land as well as subjecting them to European colonial rule; and lastly, missionaries positively affected the natives by sharing European cultures.
Slavery positively affected the Europeans, but negatively affected the African natives due to the fact that they were viewed as inferior to the white Europeans. Although slavery overall is wrong, there are those who feel that the “superior races” have to rule the lower races. For instance, in document #4, Jules Ferry, a prime minister to France, gave a speech before the French Chamber of Deputies, on March 28, 1884. He stated “that indeed the higher races have a right over the lower races”(document #4). From the Frenchman, Jules Ferry’s point of view, he felt they were meant to rule the lower races. The purpose of this document is that Jules Ferry feels that by having the right over the lower races helps out their colonies’ economy prosper. The slavery affected Europeans with a boost in economic wealth, while negatively affecting the natives socially. One example of the negative aspects comes from document #9. Written by Equiano, Olaudah in 1745, this excerpt from “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano the African, Written by Himself. Vol.I” talks of Olaudah’s experiences onboard a slave ship as a slave being transported. He talks of how he was threatened and mistreated onboard as well as the other slaves. He recalls the descriptions below deck and the conditions the other slaves were in as they were, “chained together, every one of their countenances expressing dejection and sorrow”(document #9). Slavery was one of the results of European expansion in Africa.
European expansion positively affected Europeans as well as negatively affected natives by pushing them out of their land as well as subjecting them to European colonial rule. In 1875, there was little European control in Africa, but within a few decades many European countries scrambled to control as much of Africa as possible. As soon as one country went for Africa, they all rushed to get their claim on Africa. In document #1, Sir Edward Hertslet “The Map of Africa by Treaty” shows all the colonial empires of many of the European countries by 1909. The intended audience consists primarily of British inhabitants, as the creator of the map created it in London. The British point of view is emphasized by the fact that they seemed to have added a bit more detail to the map of the British control as well as the fact that they list themselves on top of all the other countries. The purpose conveyed in this document is to show the regional control in Africa by Europe during the early 20th century. One of the results the European expansion was the attempted revolts of the natives to try to get their land back. As expressed in document #2, one of the leaders that tried to encourage other natives in other colonies to stand against the Europeans was Haile Selassie, an Ethiopian emperor. From his quote stated in this document, he encourages those who have fallen under control of European power to take action against them. They people who do nothing, he insisted, “has made it possible for evil to triumph”. (document 2) With the natives being enslaved, there were those who felt it necessary to spread European culture to the natives.
The missionaries, in a way, positively affected the natives of Africa by sharing European cultures. One positive way the missionaries shared European culture was by giving the natives European clothes to better help them out of their less fortunate state. As shown in document #4, there is picture titled, “brick chapel in Kijabe” in Kenya, Africa where it shows European clothes wore by the natives most likely given to them by European missionaries. Occuring in 1914, the purpose of the document is to show the influence done by the missionaries sent there as well as bring pictures of the missionaries’ experience in Africa back to the United States. The intended audience of this document is Mr. Palmer, AIM’s Director of North America, of which Miss Young, a missionary, is writing to. This document is expressed through the point of view of the missionaries as they are the ones who took the pictures and are writing to the AIM’s Director. Another document, of which mentions missionaries trying to help the natives, is document #7. In this document, it talks of a soldier in the German army listening to one of the older Africans there telling how one must choose between being for slavery and being for Christianizing the indigenous people in Africa. In the story he mentions how the missionaries would preach to the natives saying they are their brothers and the soldier says they are not brothers but slaves of which they are to be treated humanely but strictly.
Slavery in Africa for the colonies, European expansion, and the missionaries sharing European culture all had positive and negative economic and social effects in the Imperialization of Africa. Each played an important rule; slavery increased economy, but negatively affected the natives; European expansion increased economy as well, but resulted in them stealing the land from the natives; and missionaries tried to help the natives and share European culture. In the end, the Imperialism in Africa was mostly negative time period, as it ruined the lives of the natives.