Monday, March 5, 2012

The Scramble for Africa

Book Review
Pakenham, T., (2003). The scramble for Africa: White man’s conquest of the dark continent from 1876 to 1912. New York: Perennial. (Original work published in 1991)

This is a book about the occupation, colonization and conquest of Africa during the Victorian Era. The author, Thomas Pakenham, is an Anglo-Irish historian who writes mostly about Victorian and Post-Victorian British history. Initially, I thought that the title was of the author’s invention. However, I found out from a popular online encyclopedia, that the Scramble for Africa is a term of art for this period from 1876 until World War I.
I struggled to get into the book because I have little interest in Victorian history, and Mr. Pakenham doesn’t help matters by assuming a British audience will appreciate his wry characterizations of European historical figures. Not being British, and lacking a British history education made Mr. Pakenham’s dry humor very dead for me. In addition, I was expecting the book to be more Afro-centric. I was, instead, learning more than I cared to, about Queen Victoria. However, as I struggled through the first few chapters, enough background developed to generate interest for the remainder of the book. It was then that I could begin to appreciate the meticulousness of the research of this in-depth history of the Victorian Era land grab in Africa.
The Scramble for Africa has as its central theme the contrast between the humanitarian motives of David Livingstone, and the profit-taking of Belgium’s King Leopold. Livingstone, as a Christian missionary, represented social progress moving away from Africa’s slave trade. His philosophy was the triple-bottom-line of the day: the 3 Cs of Commerce, Christianity, and Civilization. “Trade, not the gun, would liberate Africa” (p. xxii).
Unfortunately, the fourth ‘C’ of Conquest eventually became the rule as King Leopold made his rubber money, and Cecil Rhodes made his gold-and-diamond fortune. Human rights atrocities were commonplace as Europe imposed its will with the barrel of a gun. All of this makes a kind of historical sense. But, surprisingly the fallout from the Scramble helps to explain the civil wars and anarchy that continue in Africa to this day, even though independence from Europe has been won for many years.
The rebellion against, and the withdrawal of, Europe is understandable, but the new independent African states, unprepared for party politics, split along ethnic and regional lines. Civil war and anarchy were, and are, the result. I suppose it would have been too much to ask of the European conquerors, which scrambled to divide up Africa, not to have just as quickly scrambled back out of Africa, leaving a political power vacuum in the wake of their evacuation. I suppose it would have been asking too much of the European conquerors to not have better educated their subjects while occupying Africa. And so, I wonder how many Africans today would like to turn back the clock to 1875. For good reason, this book has been reprinted a number of times since its first appearance in 1990.

18 comments:

Unknown said...

roshe run men
ralph lauren outlet
coach outlet store
coach outlet store
wellensteyn outlet
los angeles clippers
hollister canada
michael kors handbags
christian louboutin shoes
san antonio spurs
celine outlet
uggs outlet
oklahoma city thunder
cheap ray ban sunglasses
nike trainers
new york giants
mulberry uk
links of london jewellery
black friday 2015

John said...

ugg boots
canada goose jackets
toms
coach factory outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
tory burch outlet
uggs outlet
ugg boots outlet
chanel handbags
michael kors outlet online
instyler curling iron
louis vuitton outlet
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton outlet
ugg outlet
coach outlet
adidas originals
adidas originals
cheap oakley sunglasses
canada goose outlet
coach factory outlet
abercrombie and fitch
hollister kids
michael kors outlet online
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
replica watches for sale
nike huarache
abercrombie and fitch
burberry outlet
louis vuitton outlet online
20151211yuanyuan

Anonymous said...

canada goose outlet, moncler, supra shoes, pandora jewelry, canada goose, pandora charms, moncler, swarovski crystal, thomas sabo, canada goose, links of london, sac louis vuitton pas cher, swarovski, converse outlet, juicy couture outlet, ugg pas cher, barbour, doudoune canada goose, barbour jackets, moncler, ugg boots uk, replica watches, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, pandora charms, moncler, canada goose uk, moncler, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose, louis vuitton, doke gabbana outlet, moncler, wedding dresses, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, louis vuitton, bottes ugg, moncler outlet, lancel, coach outlet, hollister, toms shoes, montre pas cher, marc jacobs, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, karen millen, louis vuitton, canada goose
ninest123 12.26

Unknown said...

5.31llllllyuantory burch outlet
tory burch shoes
coach outlet
ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin outlet
cazal sunglasses
versace sunglasses
louis vuitton sunglasses
dior sunglasses
gucci sunglasses
chrome hearts
chrome hearts outlet
police sunglasses
cartier sunglasses
cartier outlet
cartier watches
prada sunglasses
burberry sunglasses
mont blanc pens
reebok outlet store
reebok trainers
adidas trainers
nike air max 90
nike air max 90
nike air max 90
timberland boots
christian louboutin outlet
ralph lauren pas cher
nike air force 1
chaussure louboutin
louis vuitton pas cher
nike tn pas cher
longchamp pas cher
longchamp pliage
longchamp solde
5.31

chenmeinv0 said...

coach factory outlet
uggs italia
bengals jerseys
ugg uk
tods outlet
michael kors outlet online
fitflop clearance
uggs sale
ugg boots
seahawks jerseys
2016.10.6xukaimin

Unknown said...

north face jackets
cheap oakley sunglasses
nike huarache
michael kors outlet
los angeles lakers jerseys
michael kors outlet online
dolce and gabbana
tiffany jewelry
canada goose jackets
golden state warriors

Unknown said...

http://www.jordanretro.uk
air max 2016
louboutin shoes uk
cheap basketball shoes
michael kors factory outlet
nike huarache
adidas superstar
air jordan shoes
authentic jordans
timberland outlet

Unknown said...

ugg boots
rolex watches
49ers jersey
ray ban sunglasses outlet
browns jerseys
converse trainers
polo ralph lauren
new england patriots jerseys
christian louboutin sale
ugg boots

raybanoutlet001 said...

nike factory store
coach outlet
coach outlet online
nike roshe run
nike air huarache
christian louboutin shoes
polo ralph lauren
ralph lauren outlet
nike roshe
true religion jeans

Unknown said...

www0704
polo ralph lauren
calvin klein jeans
chrome hearts outlet
adidas crazy
hawks jerseys
ray ban sunglasses
oakley sunglasses wholesale
indianapolis colts jerseys
nike shoes
diesel jeans

Unknown said...

bot sam duoc che bien tu cu hong sam 6 nam tuoi. bot hong sam Dau tien, sam tuoi se duoc hap roi say kho thanh hong sam co do am duoi 14% de lam kho nguyen lieu truoc khi nghien. Trong qua trinh xu ly nhiet so luong va ham luong saponi se tang len. bot sam han quoc se duoc nghien thanh bot hong sam, vi vay bot hong sam han quoc co chat luong tuong duong hong sam nguyen cu.

Hualala said...

Pandora Jewelry
Jordan 9
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Pandora Official Site
Air Jordan 11
Kyrie Shoes
Nike 270
Pandora Outlet
Red Bottom for Women
Jordan Retro 11
Paul20181231

Hualala said...

Kyrie 3 Shoes
Pandora Outlet
Jordan 4
Pandora Jewelry
Jordan 11 For Sale
Adidas Yeezy
Jordan Retro 11
Air Jordan
Jordan 9
Red Bottom for Women
Paul20190310

PalaPala said...

Kyrie 3 Shoes
Pandora Outlet
Jordan 4
Pandora Jewelry
Jordan 11 For Sale
Adidas Yeezy
Jordan Retro 11
Air Jordan
Jordan 9
Red Bottom for Women
Latrice20190326

Bilibili said...

Pandora Jewelry
Yeezy boost 350 v2
Jordan 4
Jordan 11
Pandora Official Site
Kyrie Shoes
Jordan 11
Pandora Jewelry Outlet
Air Jordan 9
Rodney20190329

Coqicoqi said...

Jordan 4 Retro
Pandora Jewelry Outlet
Jordan Retro 11
Pandora Jewelry
Jordan 11
Air Jordan 11
Kyrie Shoes
Jordan Retro 11
Air Jordan 9
Ryan20190406

Unknown said...

How to Play Pai Gow Poker | BetRivers Casino - Wolverione
Pai Gow Poker is an online nba매니아 version of a traditional table game in which players place bets in worrione.com the background. 1xbet 먹튀 Pai sol.edu.kg Gow Poker 1등 사이트 uses only the symbols from a

thesloez said...

gucci replica w51 s4q73q8r16 best replica bags y65 z1v33o4x41 replica designer backpacks q77 j9g87x7y90