4 Reasons For European Conquest Of Africa

The primary reasons for European conquest of Africa were mainly for:

1. Economic Factors

This was one of the primary reasons for the coming of the Europeans to Africa and indeed other parts of the world. The need for the acquisition of overseas territories served as markets for European industrial products as well as sources of raw materials and cheap labour for European industries.

2. Religious/Humanitarian Factors

The activities of the foreign missionaries centered mainly on soul conversion by making Africans accept Christianity which flourished between 1842 and 1892. It has been argued that the colonizing process was among other things a ‘civilizing mission’. The contention was based on the fact that little was known about Africa which was regarded as ‘Dark Continent’ where blacks of inferior cultures lived. It was also believed that the whites had a superior culture and that was why the European humanitarians felt it was their duty to humanize Africans through the imposition of western education, abolition of slave trade and killing of twins.

3. Geographical Factor

The debates at that time concerning the nature of the world, was flat, round or spherical. Some Europeans was of the opinion that the world was round. Others believed it was flat while some believed it was spherical. The desire to ascertain which was the real state of the world prompted the first set of Europeans to engage in exploration.

4. Political Factors

The metropolitican countries also desired colonies for political reasons among which was the urge to extend their spheres of influence in order to boost their national pride. Even in contemporary international system, the metropolitan nations still align and regard their former African territories, as their prized possessions. While the colonized nations see the European nations as their colonial masters under whose influence they conduct their external relations.

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