Government Lesson 4: European Colonisation of Africa


European assets in Africa by 1875 entailed a number of forts and trading posts along the coastline and a small number of small colonies. Between 1880 and 1910, nonetheless, Africa was shared up amongst the Europeans.


For the subsequent 50 years, resolutions affecting Africa and its populaces were no longer made in Africa, but rather it was made in London, Paris, and Lisbon. France procured a gigantic territory in North and West of Africa. Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Ivory Coast, Dahomey, Mali and other regions in West Africa came under French law.


Britain’s colonies were all over the continent. Even though the French dominated more territory, Britain governed the highest number of persons. Gambia, Sierra Leone, Gold Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Egypt, the Sudan and some others were captured as well as a great part of Somaliland plus Libya. Southwest Africa, Togoland and Cameroon were governed by Germany up until Germany’s downfall in World War I.


By 1914 there were two self-governing nations left in Africa: Liberia and Ethiopia. And even Ethiopia was captured by Italy in 1935. Italy governed Ethiopia up to 1942 when the British forced out the Italians.


Reasons for colonialism

There are numerous motives why the European countries vied with each other to capture colonies in Africa. They all craved to have power and esteem. The more terrain they were able to governor in Africa the more potent and central they assumed they could come to be.


Africa was extremely rich in natural wealth, which could be conveyed to Europe and converted into factory-made goods. Europeans likewise needed marketplaces for their industrial goods. These goods could be traded in Africa for great proceeds. Repeatedly a European country would capture terrain in Africa merely to stop a different European nation from capturing it.


Indirect Rule

Indirect rule is a word used by profilers and political experts to define a form of government that was established in certain British non-colonial territories – predominantly in parts of Africa and Asia – frequently termed “Protectorates”.


By this structure, the everyday control and management of regions both small and big was placed in the hands of traditional monarchs, who got respect and the solidity and security afforded by the Pax Britannic, at the cost of losing power over their external concerns, and frequently of taxes, communications, and other issues, commonly with a slight number of European “mentors” efficiently superintending the government of great numbers of people all over wide regions.


The conceptual foundations and the practical use of indirect rule in Kenya and Nigeria are commonly traced to the effort of Lugard, the Commissioner of the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria (1899-1906). In the areas of the Sokoto Caliphate, captured by the British Kingdom towards the end of the century, Lugard introduced a structure whereby external, military, and tax regulation was done by the British, while many other facet of life was left to indigenous pre-British aristocracies who may have taken sides with the British in the course of their conquest or afterwards.


Protectorates and protected states

Protectorates and protected countries were foreign terrains to which British guard was given in some way. Protected countries were places in which: there was a well-planned interior government; and Britain controlled only the state’s exterior matters.


Protectorates were protected terrains in which there was no well-planned interior government; and Britain not only controlled exterior affairs, like the protectorate’s security and foreign affairs but as well established an interior Britain’s participation in protectorates was parallel to its participation in colonies but they did not possess the official rank of colonies.


List of Protectorates from 1949

  • Gambia
  • Kenya
  • Nigeria
  • Gold Coast
  • Nyasaland
  • Sierra Leone
  • Somaliland
  • Swaziland
  • Uganda
  • Zanzibar

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2 Responses to “Government Lesson 4: European Colonisation of Africa”

  1. Adelanwa Quadri

    Apr 26. 2014

    pls tell who colonise ethopia

  2. Adelanwa Quadri

    Apr 26. 2014

    pls tell who colonise ethopia

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