Greeks founded the city of Cyrene in Ancient Libya around 631 BC. Cyrenaica became a flourishing colony, though being hemmed in on all sides by absolute desert it had little or no influence on inner Africa. The three powers of Cyrenaica, Egypt and Carthage were eventually supplanted by the Romans. After centuries of rivalry with Rome, Carthage finally fell in 146 BC. Within little more than a century Egypt and Cyrene had become incorporated in the Roman empire. Interaction between Asia, Europe and North Africa during this period was significant; major effects include the spread and the cross pollination of culture.
However the events that took place in the late 19th century will forever over shadow any previous attempts to colonize African continent by previous super powers. Due to growing interest to explore and exploit Africa, the Europeans felt that it would be desirable for the powers who were interesting themselves in Africa to come to some agreement as to "the rules of the game," and to define their respective interests so far as that was practicable.
Commercial greed, territorial ambition, and political rivalry all fueled the European race to take over Africa. In part the so-called White Man's Burden to rescue the rest of the world from themselves. (Forms of arrogance, military and cultural, still a part of Western society.)
He is chiefly remembered as the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken by the King to extract rubber and ivory in the Congo region of central Africa, which relied on forced labour and resulted in the deaths of between 5 to 22 million Congolese
In 1882 Britain conquers Egypt, heating up fierce, unbridled competition among all the powers of Western Europe for control of the African continent, leading to the. . .
1884-85 BERLIN CONFERENCE
Hosted by Otto von Bismarck, at this summit meeting on Africa, the Western powers lay down the rules for dividing up Africa, mainly establishing the principle of "effective occupation" to claim territory. Simply put, they agree to recognize any areas that are already occupied or being exploited by other European nations. This ultimately led them to explore the interior zones within Africa by competing European armies, as the European powers rushed to establish legitimate claims to areas unoccupied by other European powers.
1885-1898 Germany and France cooperate against Britain in Africa. Pushing south from Algeria, East from Senegal and North from the Congo, France conquers much of Western Africa (and some of Central). The British greatly expand their holdings by pushing into the interior from their coastal colonies in the West, from South Africa north and east, and from Egypt south. Germany enters the fray with Togoland & Cameroons in West Africa, Southwest Africa (Namibia) and German East Africa or Tanganika (now most of Tanzania); Italy gets into the act in Libya & Somalia, as does Spain in coastal West Africa.
The many large and small resistance armies by the native communities were in time destroyed by the superior armaments of European armies and a brutal cultural arrogance.
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