The Scramble for Africa
White Man's Conquest of the Dark Continent from 1876 to 1912

Pakenham, Thomas
Publisher:  Perennial
Year Published:  2003   First Published:  1991
Pages:  738pp   ISBN:  0-380-71999-1
Library of Congress Number:  DT28.P34   Dewey:  960.3
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX8161

Describes the brief vicious scramble by Europe's imperial powers to seize colonies throughout the continent of Africa. Pakenham strips the impresarios of imperialism of their veneer of Victorian heroism and reputations for statemanlike vision, to reveal them as men with bloated and often vicious egos.

Abstract:  Up until the late 19th century (1870), many aspects of Africa remained to unknown to Europeans except for the coastal trading posts and the "strategic colonies" of South Africa and Algeria. Then, in the period Thomas calls "the Scramble," European rulers from France, England, Belgium, Germany and Italy moved in to dominate the entire continent as colonial and protectorate rulers over newly subjugated territories. Leopold II, King of Belgium, took advantage of the rivalry between England and France to achieve effectively control over much of the continent.

Why did this intensified rush into Africa occur? The Scramble for Africa fills this gap with two strands of stories: the motives and methods of the invaders.

These motives ranged from romantic nationalism to racial patriotism. The European invaders believed they would save Africa from itself. Thus, in May 1873 missionary explorer David Livingstone's declaration of the "3C's": Commerce, Christianity and Civilization in the name of God, Mammon and social progress for Africa, established trade rather than slavery as the continent's future. Africa promised economic benefits for Europe becasue of its diversified resources; including diamonds, gold, silk and gin. Furthermore, with a stronger influx into Africa came the prestige of becoming a dominant political power and the associated diplomatic advantages. England, who pioneered the invasion, became territorial and insecure as other states followed suit. As a coastal state she needed to protect the steamer routes on both ends of the country, which could be blockaded by her rivals. Consequently, Livingstone's initial goals resulted in the primary brutal method used by Europeans and the fourth unannounced "C": Conquest. Europe won over Africa at gun point through several wars and atrocious mass killings that were especially common during the first phase of occupation. Pakenham retells this story and relates how the conquered gained some retribution 50 years later when Africa fought for and achieved independence.

[Abstract by Amanpreet Dhami]

Table of Contents

Part I: The Open Path
1. Leopold's Crusade
2. Three Flags Across Africa
3. Two Steps Forward
4. The Crouching Lion
5. Ismael's Dream of Empire
6. One Step Backward
7. Saving the Bey
8. Saving the Khedive

Part II: The Race Begins
9. The Race for the Pool
10. Head in the Clouds
11. Hewett Shows the Flag
12. Why Bismarck Changed his Mind
13. Too Late?
14. Welcome to a Philanthropist

Part III: Rights of Conquest
15. Gordon's Head
16. The Sultan's Flag
17. Cries from the Heart
18. Dr Emin, I Presume?
19. Salisbury's Bargain
20. An Insubordinate Army
21. A New Rand?
22. Msiri's Mocking Smile
23. The Flag Follows the Cross
24. An Ivory War
25. Blank Treaty Forms on the Niger
26. A Lion's Share
27. Rhodes, Raiders and Rebels
28. Calling Hanotaux's Bluff
29. The Race to the Middle of Nowhere
30. The Mahdi's Tomb
31. Milner's War

Part IV: Resistance and Reform
32. The Severed Hands
33. The Kaiser's First War
34. 'Maji-Maji'
35. Redeeming the French Congo
36. Restoring Britain's 'Old Ideals'
37. Leopold's Last Throw

Epilogue: Scrambling Out
Select Bibliography

Subject Headings

Insert T_CxShareButtonsHorizontal.html here