In this project on European's Imperialism in Africa , we focused on learning about what was the primary driving force that led Europeans to conquer the continent and afterwards engaging on our last DBQ of Social Studies Grade 8/ Middle School to finish it off with writing an essay! This is an important skill because it helps me to fully understand how to prepare and write for one because in High School there'll definitely be more long pieces of writing involve. One thing I improved while working on this project is my ability to analyze the sources/ information in the DBQ packet for backing up my main points. This blog post provides a reflection on my work, as well as a sample of what I accomplished.
Bright spot: I have good evidence.
To work on: Refer more to other docs and the roles of other factors & contradiction of what my claim is.
What trouble did I have and why?
I had some trouble trying to finish up my essay to what I want it to be because for this DBQ, we only need to write ONE main point for the topic reason and not THREE, therefore I got confused and was stuck there trying to figure out what to write. It took away a lot of my time dwindling meaning that I had to rush on some of the counter claim and conclusion parts of my essay. I also felt that for this DBQ packet, we weren't given a lot of time (only a week) to do it and we could only do it in class time, not at home => me rushing on the last moment when it was due 😛 (I admit it was a part of my fault because of not asking for help or actually committed on doing the work!)
Before the 19th century, the majority of Europeans knew very little about the interior of Africa because of their vulnerability to atrocious disease such as malaria; that the west coast of Africa from Senegal River to Angola were famously known as ‘the white man’s grave.’ From then on, dreams of being able to finally take over Africa remained in many ambitious European nations mind as imperialism and seizing colonies became the new interest of the time. A notable explorer who pursued this goal was Scotsman Mungo Park who gave his life exploring the Niger River section in West Africa, 1806. The primary driving force of imperialism in Africa was economics because the Europeans in that time period wanted to be rich. On the other hand, technology played a larger role in the imperialization factor more than economics.
First and foremost, the factor of economics made the Europeans wealthier. In Document D, it is shown that in the table ‘Selected African Colonies and Their Exports’ drawn from various other sources; approximately all of European industries at that period of time benefited vastly from African resources found in different colonies. The evidence indicates that using the income created from imperialization, the Europeans exploited it to advance their technology such as guns, medicines and communication system suggested in the Technological Development table in Document C, as well as gaining more national pride as their nation gets more prosperous. In conclusion, influenced by incredible natural riches coming from African colonies; the Europeans took full advantage and utilized the goods therefore augmenting the economic power which upsurge their wealthy state.
It has been argued that technology was the biggest driving force of imperialism in Africa because due to advanced technology, the Europeans were able to easily take over Africa. According to Document C of the table ‘Technology and Imperialism’ also drawn from a variety of sources, it is implied that since the Industrial Revolution ride on the coattails of the Age of Imperialism; it led to many discoveries and inventions that enhanced imperialization of Africa for instance ‘the method of getting quinine from cinchona tree bark’ found in the year 1820 which helped cured the deadly disease malaria, the first ever machine gun ‘Maxim gun’ in 1884 or ‘Repeating rifle’ in the late 1800s, ‘a faster-loading gun that was able to fire multiple shots more accurately than older muskets.’ This example is used to illustrate that the Europeans can used these useful creations to slowly but steadily take over Africa likewise the boat were used as a faster form of transportation to travel over to the colonies or beforehand-planned attacks against the natives if they rebelled; furthermore the malaria medicine aided greatly in Europeans getting cured against the disease which helped explorers travel further into inner Africa.However, without economics there wouldn’t be enough financial support to actually advanced the technology itself or even invented it, therefore the imperialism of Africa might not have gone as “successful” as it would’ve been. In particular, Document D suggested again that the resources exported in African colonies such as in Rhodesia (Great Britain); lead were found which created metal alloys and ammunition to perfected the guns and rifles. Given the evidence, it is therefore logical to conclude that even without technology present; Europeans would still find a way to conquer and take control over Africa. Clearly, economics is the greater motivation to imperialize Africa than technology.
To summarize, economics is a greater factor of the imperialization of Africa than economics because most of the Europeans industrial forces gained a vast amount of income from the colonies and all nations gained more national pride of becoming wealthier. To summarize this, it is clearly stated that it wasn’t technology whom was the driving force of imperialism in Africa, but economics. If their economics are successful, so will their nations as well as other leading factors as well.