Articles, Blog

A Brief History of The Scramble For Africa

November 4, 2019

Africa is a large continent home to
immense culture and history surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north
the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west it is the
world’s second largest and second most populous continent
it contains 54 countries and is extremely diverse in terms of ethnicity
and language the borders of these countries were largely decided by
European nations during the late 19th and early 20th century in what is known
as the Scramble for Africa the Sahara is a defining feature of
Africa the largest desert in the world the Sahara sheer size and magnitude
actives as a major obstacle for communication trade an exchange of ideas
however there is evidence of Roman expeditions and explorations who were able to move across the desert and into the interior of Africa with the aim to
secure sources of gold salt and spices for centuries Arabs also maintained
trade relations with the vast empires of West Africa such as the Ghana and Mali
Empire establishing trade routes that secured gold ivory and slaves the
Portuguese began expeditions down the west coast of Africa in the 15th century
and history tells us of the profound effect that followed during the 1480s
the Explorer Deigo Cao was the first to establish contact with the Kongo Kingdom situated south of the Congo River the Kongo kingdom was eager to make use of Portuguese teachers and craftsmen and the Kongo king’s allowed Catholic
missionaries to work among their people the Portuguese traded guns cloth and
other European luxuries for slaves who were captured by the Kongo in wars
against rival kingdoms by the 17th century Portugal and other European
powers began to settle on the coast of Africa
Europeans would buy slaves in Africa transport them to the Americas and
exchange them for valuable goods like sugar coffee and tobacco which were then
sold premium prices in Europe arguably between the 16th and 18th century over
12 million Africans were enslaved and transported in harsh conditions to work
on plantations in the Americas in the south of Africa the first European
settlement was established by the Dutch East India Company where merchants used
the location of the way point for ongoing voyages to the Dutch East
Indies they came into contact with a khoikhoi a nomadic indigenous population of
southwestern Africa comprising of hundreds of clans over time the
settlement known as the Cape of Good Hope grew in size
resulting in the Khoikhoi losing land and cattle to the Dutch who adopted the
name Boer meaning farmer to you to a shortage of labour the Dutch imported
slaves from Mozambique Madagascar and many Indonesian islands the Cape of Good
Hope came under the control of the British during the Napoleonic Wars the
abolition of slavery ended slavery in the Cape in 1834 in 1835 the ball was
embarked on the Great Trek as the abolition of the slave trade resulted in
financial catastrophe as a result Dutch citizens known as vote records moved
further inland into Africa they formed the free orange state and Transvaal which
was recognised by the British in the north France launched a war of conquest
against Algeria in 1830 which would last until 1847 meanwhile in the United
States there was a movement to settle Freeborn blacks and freed slaves and
transport them to Africa most whites and later a small minority of blacks
believed that blacks would be better off in Africa the American Colonisation
Society began transporting them to the closest point of Africa to establish a
colony in 1822 by 1847 the settlers issued a declaration of independence and
established the independent republic of Liberia the construction of the Suez
Canal in 1869 verified its importance as a route for trade with India and China
and in 1882 Egypt was occupied by British forces during the anglo-egyptian
war subsequently revealing the potential riches that Africa offered there were
several European explorers who explored the continent perhaps one of the most
famous was David Livingstone a Scottish missionary who attempted to convert the
natives he encountered to Christianity and strove to find the source of the
Nile Henry malt Stanley was famous for his
exploration of Central Africa he worked for king Leopold ii of Belgium
and helped map out the Congo region so why were the no major explorations into
the interior of Africa before this well there were limited seaworthy rivers
tropical diseases hostile natives and weapons were not as as balanced as they
were in the 19th century during the 19th century most European powers experienced
a dramatic growth of productivity triggered by industrialisation European
countries over produce goods and were consequently searching for new markets
interest turn towards the acquisition of land in order to grow agricultural
products for European markets Europeans moved into the interior of Africa to
extract raw materials such as rubber palm oil gold copper and diamonds these
natural resources made Africa a vital resource for the European economy between 1884 and 1885 the Berlin
conference was called by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck 14
representatives of 14 European countries attended the conference including
Britain Belgium France Portugal and Italy notably no African representatives
were invited the aim was to discuss how European countries would claim colonial
and in Africa and avoid war between them each country affirmed that they would
bring civilization in the form of Christianity and trade to each region
they occupied although most of these African colonies were controlled by
nations the Berlin Conference allowed king Leopold ii of Belgium to become the
sole ruler of a vast area that is today the democratic republic of the Congo the
intent was to make it an area of free trade for all Europeans in Africa
however in practice Leopold kept out most European traders and granted
concessions to various corporations to exploit the region’s resources in 1908
it was revealed that under King Leopold’s instructions native people of
the Congo were forced to farm wild rubber as a former tax payment to the
colonial government those unable to carry out these instructions had the
hand or foot severed once news of these atrocities became known King Leopold was
stripped of his colony and a vast Congo region was ruled by the Belgian
government understandably Europe held the technological advantage bands of
just a few hundred men and barely a handful of machine guns proceeded to
overwhelm and obliterate thousands of Africans the machine gun was a
revolutionary gun the five Rapid Shots as an unparalleled
speed the effectiveness of the weapon was obvious in Sudan where a British
force armed with roughly 20 machine guns and a small number of Gumbo’s
overpowered Sudanese forces and effectively opened the door for
colonization but the Europeans in their quest to carve up the continent would
encounter resistance by the early 1880s Abyssinia or modern-day Ethiopia was in
danger of invasion from the British French and Italians Abyssinian Emperor
made a decision to exploit European rivalries after mining concessions to
France in return for weapons Italy grew nervous of the growing French interests
in the country and offered the Emperor Italian weapons throughout the 1880s
Abyssinia grew stronger and stronger securing more modern weapons from the
British and Russians in 1889 Italy claimed Abyssinia as an Italian
Protectorate the Emperor rejected this Italy craving the glory of victory
ordered its troops into battle in 1894 outnumbered the Italians were defeated
in 1896 Abyssinia remained independent the British encountered resistance in
South Africa against the Boers they had previously recognised the independence
of the borough of Republic’s but the discovery of diamonds and the potential
of a German Boer Lions led to war the Boers use guerrilla warfare and utilise
their skills of marksmanship to hinder British advancement but in the end which
his forces prevailed Great Britain dominated the African continent with the
control of Egypt South Africa Nigeria and the Gold Coast the French occupied
vast expanses of West Africa the Germans controlled modern-day
Tanzania as well as Namibia the Italians controlled Somalia and Libya while
the Portuguese exerted full control of Angola and Mozambique by 1914
90% of Africa had been divided between seven European countries with only
Ethiopia and the African-american state of Liberia remaining independent nations
this video has been a collaboration with 26 other history channels on the history
of Africa check out the previous video by history and headlines with his video
on Timbuktu and check out the next video on French Algeria by this is Barris thank
you all for watching this video and a special thanks to my patron Jimmy
Alexander for supporting the creation of this video see you next time


  • Reply History and Headlines October 26, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    It was nice watching this video after watching one about exploration of a particular place. I'm looking forward to then watching a look at a specific place conquered (Algeria by France) after this one. I am definitely liking how the videos on the playlist were organized! 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Reply DeadSnooker October 26, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    The italians are a special bunch :')

  • Reply Jared Kaiser October 26, 2019 at 1:20 pm

    i like the age of mythology background sound

  • Reply Adam Hradil October 26, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    is that age of mythology music?

  • Reply LTrain 45 October 26, 2019 at 2:08 pm

    Will you guys do a project Native Americans?

  • Reply Neeraj Vishwanath October 26, 2019 at 2:56 pm

    Europe: It's free real estates

  • Reply 1AdoptedGeordie October 26, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    That is not the correct flag of the United Kingdom (6:08) in 1884-1885.

  • Reply kliphanger October 26, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Can you do a video on benin empire

  • Reply jordan cobb October 26, 2019 at 3:15 pm

    Good video! Although I thought the Ottoman Empire and the various caliphates also had African holdings at one point?

  • Reply Darth Guilder October 26, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I like the Age of Mythology music

  • Reply Holy Shit October 26, 2019 at 3:47 pm

    is there music from age of mythology?

  • Reply Cheydinal October 26, 2019 at 3:59 pm

    Wow, Liberia is the only place in Africa where my aunt can accidentally call Africans "African Americans" out of habit, without being wrong

  • Reply Tarush Srivastava October 26, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    Every time you upload it's guaranteed to be good quality, so even if I know about the topic already I can always learn something new from your videos so I always watch them

  • Reply Leo Conchola October 26, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Very good video enjoyed it

  • Reply NorthernLights ofDemons October 26, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    More fantastically interesting European history

  • Reply Neil Dahlgaard-Sigsworth October 26, 2019 at 5:21 pm

    What no Red Sea?

  • Reply Jake Hughes October 26, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    The sun never sets intensifies

  • Reply THING MAN October 26, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    6:10 why is the USA called European?

  • Reply A Javier October 26, 2019 at 8:29 pm

    Long life to Ethiopia

  • Reply magnus October 26, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    glorious European might

  • Reply Mathieu Leader October 26, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    quite the colonial tug of war

  • Reply Soma Hanikeri October 27, 2019 at 1:54 am

    Little disappointed to see the same character being used for the Kongo Kingdom and the Khoikhoi. That's a bit like using the same character to represent both the English and the Saami.

  • Reply Grimm Fandango October 27, 2019 at 1:54 am

    You used the Prussian Flag/ Second Reich hybrid flag for the Second Reich and the Pre 1801 flag for the UK (aka the 1707 British Flag). Neither of witch were relevant at the time. Naughty Naughty. Other than that, good video.

  • Reply Omega 01 October 27, 2019 at 5:40 am

    Europe needs to colonize Africa again

  • Reply Jek Sixten October 27, 2019 at 6:06 am

    How about Spain Equatorial Guinea?

  • Reply Nastasija October 27, 2019 at 8:03 am

    Back when Europeans were not cucked

  • Reply Sean Keogh October 27, 2019 at 10:07 am

    9:13 nice Minecraft reference

  • Reply Anis October 27, 2019 at 10:20 am

    This is actually a good 'brief history' type of videos, i commend you for your content of high quality +1sub

  • Reply Big Tex October 27, 2019 at 10:24 am

    I simply LOVE how using the Age of Mythology soundtrack has become a thing for history videos. Keep the meme coming bois

  • Reply CloverHAL October 27, 2019 at 10:38 am

    In 1830 Alsace Lorraine was part of France. It was German between 1870-1918 and 1940-1945

  • Reply Kanye Kubrick October 27, 2019 at 10:38 am

    6:41 my stomach churns every time i hear that name

  • Reply Mathieu Leader October 27, 2019 at 10:40 am

    King Leopold is quite the character

  • Reply MEUGA October 27, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Proud to be a European and what the Europeans did in history!

  • Reply THIS PENCER October 27, 2019 at 10:55 am


  • Reply FightPeople October 27, 2019 at 11:01 am

    >Describes how diverse Africa is in the intro
    >Literally uses the same illustration for the first two African leaders introduced (at 1:57 and 2:49)
    Lmao, good, unbiased, and objective look at this period in history! It’s rare to hear someone describe this period without moralizing.

  • Reply MortalZeus October 27, 2019 at 11:26 am

    Africans and Asians are free today thanks to Hitler and the Japanese (both we’re evil as well). If the World War II never happens, the European would still have colonies. After WWII, they just couldn’t afford any colonies.

  • Reply Voxel At The Screen October 27, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Boer: *is pronounced as the English 'boor' *
    VC3 productions: BOAR

  • Reply Ooppen October 27, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    I am way too distracted by the age of mythology music

  • Reply BIGJXXX October 27, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    You gained a new sub

  • Reply Afonso de Albuquerque October 27, 2019 at 12:44 pm

    Bro are you using music from Age of Mythology in the video?

  • Reply cristopher wong October 27, 2019 at 12:48 pm

    And the 1st continent to enslave Blacks by Blacks to be sold to the Whites or other Blacks.

  • Reply Too Legit To Quit October 27, 2019 at 12:51 pm

    Definitely Brief

  • Reply daniel webb October 27, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Ha ha
    You need to split sub-saharan and above. Above is genetically the same as Europeans. And its history is joined.
    Were sub-sahara wearing shoes 500 years ago?
    Have they suddenly started living longer due to home grown medicines or western developed world?

  • Reply Ivan Ivanovich Ivanovosky October 27, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    And there is still slavery in Africa. Just look at Lybia.

  • Reply Your Mom October 27, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Those diamonds tho

  • Reply Hannodb1961 October 27, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Kudos to you for not ignoring or treating the Boer republics as historical footnotes. I would've preferred that you said more about the Boer treaties with the Zulu, and the Brittish concentration camps for the Boers, but then again, I understand your need to be concise.

  • Reply Pilum October 27, 2019 at 2:20 pm

    You forgot to mention that Togo was a German colony too. It isn't even depicted on the map.

  • Reply Jose Lugo October 27, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Wild rubber trees? In Africa? It's just like Monty Python's African tigers.🐅

  • Reply muhd nabil October 27, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    europeans weapon is 9500 years more advance than african

  • Reply Altruistic Misanthrope October 27, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    "Back to the fields, go you must boy. Work or work not. There is no rest." -Plantation Owner Yoda

  • Reply kalunda October 27, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Europe needs Africa more than the other way around

  • Reply Barragan imperator October 27, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    What is that flag at 6:13 above Netherlands

  • Reply Carlosmanmax October 27, 2019 at 9:33 pm

    Ethiopia: We were one of the few African countries to stay independent during the Scramble for Africa!
    Benito Mussolini: Laughs in Italian

  • Reply SubsidingJoshua October 27, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    The Age of mythology soundtrack lol

  • Reply Jacob Baker October 27, 2019 at 10:57 pm

    Forgot to mention how shitty things went in Liberia. Many Africans died and the success rate was horrible.

  • Reply Sizano Green October 28, 2019 at 1:10 am

    German Togo Colony: Am I a joke to you?

  • Reply user 1876 October 28, 2019 at 2:16 am

    South Africa was already inhabited

  • Reply Random Username October 28, 2019 at 2:26 am

    That map of Ethiopia in the 1880’s is inaccurate

  • Reply Bob Ted October 28, 2019 at 3:16 am


    Eritrea- am I a joke to u

  • Reply Pasha Pasovski October 28, 2019 at 6:07 am

    Little is it know that Africa was the reason behind the World War!
    English grabbing most of the colonies gave them the upper hand, over Germany!

  • Reply Miko Baja October 28, 2019 at 6:38 am

    Artica is the biggest desert in the world.

  • Reply Gm Kaiser October 28, 2019 at 6:54 am

    You sound profoundly similar to Alexander Siddig.

  • Reply Stefanos Prokopis October 28, 2019 at 8:12 am

    It wasn't just the Americas that had African slaves, the middle easterners, you know, the Arabs. They would actually carstratethe males does that didn't want them breading.

  • Reply palious13 October 28, 2019 at 8:26 am

    You forgot Togoland was German colony in 1914.

  • Reply Lars Sørensen October 28, 2019 at 8:52 am

    Africa : enough! Go away you colonizers, we never wanna see you again !!
    Europe : okay we leave , here is your independence
    << A few decades pass by >>
    Africa : Hey, can we migrate to you ?
    Europe : Well I thought you never wanted to see us again ? And now you are crying to come here ??

  • Reply Lawrence Tider October 28, 2019 at 9:02 am

    I bet the original title was “The Rape of Africa”, and was not chosen because of demonitisation.

  • Reply Brainstorming Plus October 28, 2019 at 9:43 am


  • Reply seth seven October 28, 2019 at 9:44 am

    Long live colonialism

  • Reply chris October 28, 2019 at 10:04 am

    These videos rarely mention that it was Arabs who started massive African slavery (with forced castration). It makes it look as if African slavery was an European idea. Similarly to how many colonization techniques used by Iberians in the New World were Muslim techniques of conquest and torture copied. So thank you for at least mentioning it.

  • Reply spr822 October 28, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Cecil John Rhodes was the person who wanted to establish the Cape to Cairo railway line but it never came about.

  • Reply Penolongali October 28, 2019 at 10:27 am

    Africa : Exists*
    Europe : Let's rape Africa!

  • Reply quercus October 28, 2019 at 11:40 am

    I wonder who is going to own Africa in the future?

  • Reply LUCAS ANSEL October 28, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Congo: exist
    Leopold: I am going to do what is called a pro gamer move

  • Reply Jan Erik Veltrup October 28, 2019 at 1:20 pm


  • Reply TheFiresloth October 28, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Too bad it's very complicated, because east Africa's history in the 19th century is a fascinating topic. From Mehmet Ali independantist adventures, to the Madhist state, to Ethiopian resistance, to slaver Rabih al-Zubayr taking over the old kingdom of Bornou before falling to the French, it's a captivating period.

  • Reply Joey Bale October 28, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    I am a university student doing a project on the British colonial powers in Africa and was wondering if you had any bibliography/citations/references you could let me know about @VC3 Productions

  • Reply Easter Worshipper October 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    Biggest mistake of Europeans in africa was that they didnt out numbered the local population like in USA, Canada or Australia.

  • Reply Rafael Mirafuente October 28, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    brb, gna play age of mythology now

  • Reply Ricardo Silva October 28, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    Angola é nossa

  • Reply Space Racer26 October 28, 2019 at 11:10 pm

    Now it’s being taken over by China, Sad!

  • Reply Victorino Lopez October 28, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    54 nations in africa………… wow!

  • Reply Juliu_2 October 28, 2019 at 11:41 pm

    Him: calls the Sahara the largest desert
    Antarctica: allow me to introduce ourselves

  • Reply lee docchar October 29, 2019 at 5:44 am

    You forgot German Togo btw

  • Reply vaishali jagdale October 29, 2019 at 6:11 am

    What about German To go land?

  • Reply Hehning October 29, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    ok guys Lets just settle on a thing! Ethopia was a fricking colony of Italy in the 1930… Even tho it was only for some years it was still a colony

  • Reply Blackfish Tully October 30, 2019 at 1:02 pm

    You forgot the german Colony of Togoland

  • Reply CrimsonChaos 212 October 30, 2019 at 1:09 pm

    Holy shit the amount of uneducated people in the comments section is alarming. Yes, Africa did not industrialized but there was never any need to. When a continent is so rich in natural resources that it could sustain various civilizations (read about some of them whenever there's a chance) for centuries, you don't need more than a city. Just because there isn't a factory in the middle of the Sahel doesn't mean the people living there didn't know how to take care of themselves. The African continent was wealthy in the early dawn of history until the industrialization period when farm lands were being taken and forests cut down, leaving nothing but barren land for the people to live on as well as systems to opress the people not just in their own continent but outside of it as well

    Europe fucked Africa bad lol

  • Reply Mediolanon October 30, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    Boer: What am I to you
    British evil imperial overlords: "vote record"

  • Reply zah fares October 30, 2019 at 2:57 pm


  • Reply Manchac October 30, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    I think I hear late game music from Civ 3 in this video. Is it just me? .. okay, it’s not the same, but at 7:37 it’s similar to Stars.

  • Reply Dakke Fernet October 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Humans: exists*
    Mediterranean: let's play
    Earth: nooooo!

  • Reply Straight White British Protestant October 31, 2019 at 2:34 am

    British rule the waves.

  • Reply Electro Fan October 31, 2019 at 5:10 am

    Man when you think of it….
    The Europeans really fucked the world.

  • Reply Mohammed Glal October 31, 2019 at 9:31 am

    The Sudanese forces Vs the gunships and machine guns was a reponse by the British as the Sudanese gained a large following and killed the British general at the time Charles Gordon, occupier of China. Also, on another battle I forgot, but another English general died in a decisive victory to the mahadist

  • Reply Jonel 4Ever October 31, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    What app you use to do this animated video/documentary ?

  • Reply Ethan Nguyen October 31, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    You forgot German Togoland.

  • Reply A November 2, 2019 at 5:14 am

    ok you said the borders of African nations were decided by Europeans but acted as if 'Africa' itself is something natural… in actual fact the concept of a continent called Africa is itself a European invention. Europeans decided it was a continent and called it Africa.

  • Reply A November 2, 2019 at 5:19 am

    The Independent Cannibal Hellhole Big Chief Man Kingdom of Liberia

  • Reply Adam Carter November 2, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    Scroll down to see the inevitable overused free real estate joke

  • Reply TheLocalLt November 2, 2019 at 6:36 pm

    Liberia, the only country in Africa never to be colonized, was founded by Americans! Also don’t think you can slip that Age of Mythology background music by me!

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