Europe's colonialism on Africa

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The colonialism stage of the expansion of Europe was beneficial and had a good affect on industrialization in the Western European countries. Colonial territories were established often through conquest and use of force. One of the main objectives of colonialism was to exploit the colonies and their residents to create economic wealth for the mother country. The key features of the colonialism stage were the economic, political and social/cultural features. Colonialism is the expansion of a nation's control over territory beyond its borders and has direct political and economic control over the country and its people. European colonialism began as early as in the fifteenth century with the Portuguese and Spanish exploration of the Americas, the coasts of Africa and India. However it was not until the 17th century that Britain, France and Holland established their overseas colonies. The Berlin Conference of 1884 decided which European countries get which territories in Africa which led to the most rapid form of European expansion called the ‘Scramble for Africa’ which took place between 1886 and 1914. The countries involved in the ‘Scramble for Africa’ were Britain, France, Portugal, Spain, Belgium, Germany and Italy. A key economic feature of colonialism was producing and exporting raw materials either agricultural or mineral, precious metals such as gold, silver and copper. Tropical products for luxury consumption such as coffee, sugar, spices, timber and fabrics like cotton. Later when Britain, France and Germany were competing against each other for colonies in Africa in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, the international market had changed rapidly with a huge demand for raw materials for manufacturing such as jute, cotton, rubber and sisal (Bernstein, 1992:48). Mass consumption demand such as tea, sugar and vegetable oils (Bernstein, 1992:48).
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