European Scramble for Africa

Dylan Powers
AP World History
3 February 2012
DBQ Africa
The European Scramble for Africa was a period of time, late 19th early 20th centuries, where European powers tried to take countries in Africa either for resources or power. Many African leaders were given an ultimatum by the Europeans; either give us your land, or we will kill you. Some problems started because the Europeans tried to create land contracts which would give ownership of the land to the whites, but giving protection from external forces for the natives (1). The African leaders did not respond well to this, and tried to rally the African people to fight back to the Europeans. Many African leaders sent letter or gave speeches stating they did not want protection from these European countries, and that they were being raided, murdered, and overtaken by the Europeans (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 9). In one speech, Yaa Asantewa even called upon the women to help fight in war, a task in which women were not previously inclined to do. They were asked to fight until death, because if they did not fight, they were destined to be slaves, prisoners of war, or even killed. This shows that the Africans were desperate for warriors (6, 7). When the Europeans started advancing, the Africans had a choice: fight back and face almost certain death, or retreat into a life of misery, slavery, and other hardships (7). Many chose to fight, but to no prevail.   Even though the retaliations by the African tribes were fierce, they were no match for the Europeans’ automatic weapons. These weapons gave the Europeans an unfair advantage and eventually led to the fall of the natives (4, 5). The points of view of these accounts were skewed a little. These documents of brutality were told through the eyes of the losing faction, the Africans, which is not how war is generally documented. The Europeans may have been brutal, but maybe not as bad as described by the Africans (4, 7, 9). One additional document that could...