|part of a series on the|
- western imperialism in asia
- "the great game"
- the "scramble for africa"
- historiography of the british empire
- the expansion of england
- gentlemanly capitalism
- the imperialism of free trade
- imperialism: a study
imperialism, the highest stage
- porter–mackenzie debate
areas controlled by european colonial powers on the african continent in 1913, shown along with current national boundaries:
the scramble for africa, also called the partition of africa or the conquest of africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of african territory by european powers during a short period known to historians as the new imperialism (between 1881 and 1914). in 1870, only 10 percent of africa was under formal european control; by 1914 this had increased to almost 90 percent of the continent, with only ethiopia (abyssinia), the dervish state (a portion of present-day somalia) and liberia still being independent. there were multiple motivations for european colonizers, including desire for valuable resources available throughout the continent, the quest for national prestige, tensions between pairs of european powers, religious missionary zeal and internal african native politics.
the berlin conference of 1884, which regulated european colonisation and trade in africa, is usually referred to as the ultimate point of the scramble for africa. consequent to the political and economic rivalries among the european empires in the last quarter of the 19th century, the partitioning, or splitting up of africa was how the europeans avoided warring amongst themselves over africa. the later years of the 19th century saw the transition from "informal imperialism" by military influence and economic dominance, to direct rule, bringing about colonial imperialism.