Just before spring break, we’ve finished the last DBQ of the year in social studies class:
” Then or now, economy is a vital part of the world. It’s the wealth and resources of a region and individuals. Each country’s wealth mirrors their power over the world. There are quite a lot of history with money and wealth in this money-thirsty world. This includes the time known as European imperialism in Africa. During late 19th century to early 20th century, European countries colonized many remote lands including Africa. There are many reasons that Europeans could have imperiled Africa, including its nationalism, development of technology, and ethnocentrism. However, the main driving force behind European Imperialism in Africa was the trading system between Europe and Africa, which European country were able to make a lot of money from. Though one may think that the development of technology was the driving force of European Imperialism, after some research it is clear that technology was just a pedestal that helped imperialism happen.
Trading system between Africa and Europe played a huge role for European imperialism in Africa. Europe took advantage of the wealth made by trading with Africa and developed economically. Imperialism happened during 19th and 20th century. One significant thing to notice about this time period is that it follows after industrial revolution. In Selected American Colonies and Their Exports shows exports from Africa and the industrial or economic use of the exports. This information is significant since a lot of the resources exported that are shown in the evidence were things that could have helped with industrial revolution. It is vital to consider that with more natural resources from Africa, the more factories can produce goods, and help with Industrial Revolution. Another evidence is the graph Great Britain and South Saharan Africa Imports and Exports, 1854 and 1900 from the book The British Empire: 1558-1995 by Trevor Owen Llyd. It shows that English made a lot of money from Exporting goods to Africa. This information points to an important point that British made a lot of money from not only importing natural resources from Africa, but also from exporting products from it’s country to Africa. Even though this information is about Britain, it also projects the rest of Europe. To make trading system even more efficient, America and other European countries even made “free trade” possible during the Rule of Occupation conference held in Belgium in 1884 and 1885. This shows that America and European countries were very ardent about trading with Africa, and therefor was very important part of imperialism. Based on the evidence so far, it is clear that Europeans made a lot of economical benefits from trading with Africa, and thus kept up with imperialism in Africa.
Some historians may argue that the development of technology was a stronger driving force for European Imperialism in Africa than trading. According to Technology and Imperialism, there are a lot of technological development that were used and significantly helped with activities of Imperialism. The evidence suggests that technology helped imperialism much faster, easier, and safer. Although this argument is valid on many points, what it fails to overlook is that the development of technology was just a pedestal that supported the imperialism in Africa. It was not the engine itself. Helping and supporting things are different from making things actually happen. Also, the development of technology was led by industrial revolution. Trading system helped imperialism, and imperialism helped the development of technology. This shows that the importance of trading outweighs the importance of technology development during imperialism. Clearly, it is justified to put trading between Europe and Africa as the driving force of European imperialism.
The driving force behind the European imperialism was the trading system between Europe and Africa. They were able to make a lot of economical benefits from trading, both by exporting and importing. It also ties in very well with Industrial Revolution which was a very revolutionary period in Europe. They were able to import natural resources from Africa to Europe to help with industrial revolution, and export technology made by industrial revolution from Europe of Africa, which would help with exploring Africa for looking for more natural resources from Africa. To conclude, Africa was colonized by European imperialism due to the trading system.”
A strength I showed was my ability to write evidence for every claim I am making. However, something I felt that I need to work on is conclusion. I felt that I could benefit more from writing a thoughtful conclusion that leaves people things to think about.