Africa: European Influence and African Independence Chapt 20, Sect 3

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AFRICA: European Influence and African Independence___________ Chapt 20, Sect 3

  1. What were the effects of European rule in Africa? At first, Africans and Europeans benefited from mutual trade; then Europeans began to enslave Africans; later still Africa was divided into European colonies. In creating colonies, Europeans divided some ethnic groups and forced others together. This caused much conflict, some of which continues today.

  1. How did African nations win independence from European rule? Some gained independence through peaceful strikes and boycotts; others had to fight for their independence.

  1. What challenges did Africa leaders face after independence? Some governments were peacefully separated from their colonial powers; some governments were taken over my military force and became dictatorships. For both, many of the leaders had little experience running a government and the new governments were unstable.

colonize to settle an area and take over its government
nationalism a feeling of pride in one’s homeland
Pan-Africanism a political movement stressing unity and cooperation among all Africans
boycott refusing to buy or use certain products or services

Leopold Sedar Pan-African political leader and first president of Senegal

Kwame Nkrumah boycott leader in Ghana and the nation’s first president



 Portugal begins building trading ports in West Africa; 1492 Columbus discovers the Americas.


 Europeans begin trading slaves across the Atlantic Ocean; Portuguese, Dutch, French, and English set up trading posts all along Africa’s coasts (continues through the 1800s)


 @ 1620 the first slaves brought to North America


 Atlantic Slave trade


 1807 – last African captives brought to the Americas; 1884- Berlin Conference carves up control of Africa among European colonial powers


 1912 – African National Congress (ANC) born in South Africa to protest laws that treated black South Africans unfairly


 Pan-Africanism attempts to unify all Africans, where ever they live


 Non-violent protests and boycotts lead to independence for many colonies; others have to fight for their independence


AFRICA: European Influence and African Independence___________ Chapt 20, Sect 3
Nuggets *continued):

  • Contact between Europeans and Africans began in North Africa with Europeans trading for gold and salt; they brought copper, clothing, and crops to trade.

  • Even before the arrival of the Europeans slavery was common in Africa.

  • Europeans saw slaves as property and began transporting them across the Atlantic Ocean to work on the plantations and mines in the Americas.

  • The effect of slavery on West Africa was disastrous, as families and societies were torn apart. (Last slaves were taken from Africa in 1807.)

  • When the slave trade ended Europeans wanted to colonize (take over) lands in Africa in order to build wealth, increase their land holdings, and to control the natural resources that were there.

  • African countries resisted European colonization; however, European gained power by encouraging Africans to fight each other.

  • In the late 1800s many Africans dreamed of independence, but it was not until 1912 that a political party, called the African National Congress (ANC) was formed in South Africa. Members protested laws that limited the rights of black South Africans.

  • In British West Africa, African lawyers formed the West African national Congress to work to gain Africans the right to vote.

  • Pan-Africanism was a movement in the 1920s to unify and build cooperation among all Africans, whether or not they lived in Africa. Their motto was “Africa for Africans.”

  • Leopold Sedar Senghor, a poet and political leader, became one of the leaders of Pan-Africanism; he later became the first president of Senegal when Senegal became independent in 1960.

  • A major boost for African independence came in the 1930s and 1940s when Africa joined with its colonial powers to fight the armies of Germany, Italy, and Japan. African soldiers fought for the freedom of Europeans, though they were not free themselves. When WWII was over, some European countries let their colonies become independent. Ghana became independent of Britain in a peaceful transition; Algeria had to fight France of its independence.

  • British West Africa of the Gold Coast peacefully protested British rule in the 1950s. Kwame Nkrumah organized protests and boycotts. In 1957, Nkrumah achieved his goal – independence. They named the new country Ghana in recognition of the former trading kingdom; Nkrumah became Ghana’s first president in 1960.

  • Gambia wan its independence from Great Britain through peaceful elections in 1965.

  • Africa’s new leaders had spent many years working for independence, but they had little experience actually running a government. As a result, many of the new governments were not stable.

    • In some countries, military leaders gained control of the government by force. Although not always fair, these governments did hold together countries that otherwise might have been torn apart.

    • Other countries, like Botswana, have a long history of democracy, where citizens help make governmental decisions.

    • Most African nations are less than 50 years old. Many Africans feel that building stable governments will take more time.

______________________________________________________________________________________SUMMARY: For many centuries, Africans suffered the loss of their freedom, their land, and many of their traditions; many African countries have fought and succeeded in regaining their independence, and have faced the challenges of self-government.

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