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Research Papers on African Imperialism

Research papers on African imperialism can examine the issue from a historical, sociological or even psychological aspect. Paper Masters believes that the depth of this issue can cause problems for some students in understanding just how troubling African imperialism was. Let us explicate the issues for you in a research paper on how colonialism and imperialism were a huge part of African history and identity.

One of the more recent and tragic problems to plague African history is that of imperialism. Africa, as a technologically inferior continent, was ripe for exploitation and domination by European powers. After 1450, European exploration not only filled in the map, but also took large numbers of Africans into slavery. Colonialism did not take over until the second half of the 19th century.

The Attraction of Imperialism in Africa

African Imperialism

While the outline of Africa was known, much of the interior remained vague to Europeans. Once exploration penetrated into the continent, the information provided by adventurers and missionaries formed the backbone of European colonization and exploitation. Africa offered new economic opportunities, presenting open markets for European goods.

At the Berlin Conference of 1884, the major European powers drew lines on a map of Africa to carve out major sections and avoid conflict among themselves. These lines were drawn irrespective of the tribal areas of native Africans. By the beginning of the 20th century, almost all of Africa was under European control.

European demand for natural resources such as the following supported the desire of these powers to exploit the people and land of Africa:

  • Copper
  • Rubber
  • Tin
  • Cocoa
  • Diamonds

Many aboriginal ways of life were destroyed under imperialism. Chinua Achebe’s classic novel Things Fall Apart tells the story of the destruction of the African way of life from an insider’s perspective.

Related Research Paper Topics

African Slavery research papers explore slavery from the point of view of the African Slave Trade.

Cultural Imperialism - Cultural Imperialism research papers discuss outright, military-based imperialism of the type that was practiced by western powers at the beginning of the twentieth century, which has gone out of favor since that time.