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Analyze attitudes toward and evaluate the motivations behind the European acquisition of African colonies in the period 1880 to 1914. During the late 1800’s, Europe had a steady decline rate of available work, so Europe, as a whole, was looking for a way to improve overall. Many European countries look towards Africa to create new colonies for Europeans to better their own country. European’s attitudes towards Africa was Europeans were a superior race in comparison to Africans.
Motivation was acquired from the help of strong nationalism to then acquire new land to build upon their country to improve its economy and create new available work.
European nations all had different reasons to control parts of Africa. Chancellor Otto von Bismark said to his Countryman exploring in africa, “Your map of Africa is very nice, but my map of Africa is in Europe. Here is Russia and here is France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa. ” (Doc 3).
He argues that he is focusing on Europe and he is only willing to establish colonies because France and Russia are doing it as well.
Eugene-Melchior de Vogue, French diplomat, describes how the European balance of power is now becoming a world balance of power (Doc 10) in the book, The Master of the Sea. Nations would have to develope more colonies in Africa in order to stay visible to other bigger and powerful nations. Another way to show awareness and capability was to colonize Africa, Archibald Philip Primrose stated. (Doc 8).
This statement makes it clear that Primrose was pro imperialism due to the political pluses that it provides.
The belief of European nations have the right and is automatically entitled to go to Africa and occupy their land was stated by Martial Henri Merlin. (Doc 11). He believed that imperialism is the correct and the most important thing to participate in. This point of view is justifiable through the fact that is is indeed the Governor of Africa. Europe was always competitive especially when it came to the output of resources. A French diplomat who goes by the name Eugene Melchoir said that in order to stay competitive, you must go to far lengths.
The colonization of Africa is changing europe from a balance of power to a world balance of power. Joseph Chamberlain a British industrialist, says directly in one of his speeches that economic improvement of countries is available through the process of colonization. If nations were to engage in colonization, there would be less unemployment, more trade, and an overall better economic environment. In conclusion, the motivations have a wide range and all correlate to one another. To maintain power, change and fix social and political issues, and stay competative were all prominent motivations.
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