Age of Imperialism By Serenity ottgen

The Age of Imperialism was a time in which different countries throughout Europe desired to gain control over Africa and distribute new colonies throughout the land. There were several motives for this including economical, political, ideological, religious means that would help to solely benefit the Europeons. This period of colonial expansion occurred from the late 19th to early 20th centuries.

One of the primary motives for Europeon imperialism was economic expansion that demanded access to natural resources in Africa. These raw materials included oil, copper, iron, gold, and diamonds. Europe wanted to colonize in Africa in order to expand their markets for buying and selling items that were not available in their countries. This resulted in slavery of the indigenous people because, the government required cheap labor from those who had access to these raw materials including a variety of rare crops.

The effects of the economic expansion resulted in the introduction of new types of crops which altered the landscape and social structure. Even though, European colonists took resources that were not originally theirs, it also helped the African economy to prosper by teaching the people how to manipulate and sell their products. Many tribes went from hunting and gathering for food to a more European based economy. At the same time, emigrants from oversees seeking new opportunities started taking jobs from the natives resulting in many Africans becoming unemployed.

Another motive for Europeon imperialism was the ideological beliefs that white culture was superior to indigenous culture which were considered primitive. As Europeans continued to colonize in Africa they also went about teaching white culture to the people living there through means of education. Rich white colonists held on to the belief that inferior races needed to be conquered in order to civilize them. The purpose of this imperialism conquest was to bring a "superior" and more successful culture to the indigenous people.

The effects of spreading these ideologies resulted in mainly a loss of African culture. The African people and specifically children were "educated", and forced to abandon their culture to adopt the new western culture ideals. Aside from slavery and the exploitation of resources, Africans also experienced a loss of independence meanwhile their culture continued to deteriorate. Aside from this, colonialism also had it's positive impacts as well. Although, the colonists did not come to new land with positive intentions per say, they introduced trade allowing Africans to sell and exchange their products. This helped to improve their economy including the introduction of education, religion, and a new government system.

Overall, the Age of Imperialism had both positive and negative effects on the indigenous people living in Africa. The motives of Europeon colonists included economic, political, religious, and ideological reasons. To put it simply, many colonists believed that white people were superior and other cultures needed to be "fixed." The purpose of imperialism was to spread their culture to other countries because, they believed that their culture was more successful.

One motive that played a role in this were economic opportunities that the agriculture in Africa offered to the colonists. The pictures that I used for this motive depict families that were used as slaves to work in fields while collecting resources. They worked long hours in poor conditions and sometimes lacked in clothing. Slaves were also beaten and treated harshly if they became lethargic or lazy while working. Another motive was the ideology in which colonists believed that the white race was superior to other indigenous cultures. The pictures I selected for this section depict Africans in a rather lowly position compared to the white leaders. It shows how the goal of these rich colonists was to conquer and control countries throughout Africa while using the people living there for their own sole benefit.

Created By
Serenity Ottgen
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