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European Imperialism in Africa

The effects of European Imperialism on Africa.

European imperialism in Africa started around the beginning of the 1800’s. Much of the African population was affected by the fact that Europeans were taking over the continent. “By 1910, all of Southern Africa was under European control.” (Harrison) Much of the northern part was taken too. The two main European countries that took over Africa were Germany and Great Britain. Many other countries participated in this imperialism in Africa and after a while, Europeans had control of all of Africa. European Imperialism in Africa significantly changed the culture of the continent, set the foundation for main civil wars, and impacted the colonialism in Africa.

            European Imperialism took on a new challenge for Africans. Most of them had to deal with apartheid. Many also had to deal with the slave trade in which they had to go across “The Middle Passage” where many died. “European imperialism in Africa evolved in two major phases.” (Middleton) There two very different phases to the way the Europeans controlled the imperialism. “The first, more aggressive violent, began with the European “scramble” for African territory and ended with the continent’s partition and conquest.” (Middleton) This was the phase where all the European nations went after the control of all the African nations. “The second phase saw the institution of imperialism into a system-colonialism, by which the continent was organized and administered for maximum economic exploitation.” (Middleton) This phase was when all the African nations were controlled already and then the European nations were making the rules for the African continent.

            Much of African culture was changed when the Europeans entered the African life. Imperialism had a powerful effect on the clothing that was worn in African cultures. (Hansen) African began to wear more European clothing because it was influenced by the imperialists that were running the African government. “Across most of Africa, women eagerly appropriated factory-produced cloth, much of it manufactured in Europe incorporating “African” designs.” (Hansen) The Africans did wear the styles of European people, but they also incorporated some of the African clothing into the European clothing.

            There were also many different types of clothing for African kings influenced by Europeans. “In parts of Africa, highly decorated military uniforms were worn by kings and paramount chiefs on special occasions in combination with other styles of dress and accessories such as animal skins.” (Hansen) Even clothing such as uniforms and dresses were incorporated into the African culture. Some of the special occasions they wore the dresses and animal skin was for holidays or special African traditions. Some of the African culture also rubbed off on European imperialists. “The British in India and Africa wore special underwear to guard themselves against sudden weather changes.” (Hansen) They began to wear what the native Africans wore when they had to go work even in terrible weather and that is what the British had to do as well.

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