Imperialism of Africa

Essay by peanutbutterjellyA+, May 2006

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Africa suffered for centuries from European imperialist countries invading for its natural resources. Even before that, the slave trade robbed the continent of its people and led to the fall of its great empires. Later, in the 20th century, Africa was trapped in the cold war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Both of their influence was for their own political gains, propping up brutal dictatorships all in the name of stability. Even now, Africa is left with a mountain of debt from the ineptitude they inherited from centuries of conquest thous causing political instability, economic distress - poverty, starvation, serious health problems like AIDS, lack of immunization, and massive desperate refugees migration to Europe.

On the East coast of Africa the city Kilwa was once called the most beautiful cities in the world. Trade items from the south had to travel through Kilwa so Asian traders could buy them.

It was also powerful and wealthy, by controlling the gold trade from southern Africa. The Portuguese noticed the wealth and by 1488 they took control over these coastal city states by using their heavy ships's guns. They took over the trade themselves, so what the Africans slowly developed for themselves with hard work was destroyed and taken over by the Europeen imperialist.

In 1807 Britain freed African slaves on the West coast so they would help them gain control of Nigeria, which they succeeded by 1914. Nigeria was very complex to govern and Britain did not have enough troops to manage it all, so it became an indirect control. The British appointed chiefs where there had been no government before and restricted the African's power which later led to different problems.

In 1879 King Leopard II of Belgium signed a treaty where he had...