Write your own article idiot!
error: Content is protected !!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018





Definitions of Imperialism

- Imperialism is a policy of extending a country's power and influence through colonization, use of military force, or other means.

- Imperialism is a system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to get power over them.

- Imperialism is a situation in which one country has a lot of power or influence over others, especially in political and economic matters

- Imperialism is the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas.

- Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending a country's rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas.

- Imperialism is the practice of a larger country or government growing stronger by taking over poorer or weaker countries that have important resources.

- Imperialism is the policy and practice of forming and maintaining an empire in seeking to control raw materials and world markets by the conquest of other countries, the establishment of colonies, etc.

Types of Capitalism
· Commercial capitalism (1500 –1750) or mercantilism
· Competitive / industrial capitalism (1750 – 1875)
· Monopoly / Finance capitalism (1875 - present)


During this stage, Europeans closed their borders in search of precious metals such as gold and silver. The powers were not interested in the social and economic transformation of the societies they met, they were only interested in plundering and raiding. Although this type of capitalism was characterized by primitive accumulation of capital,it also stimulated the industrial revolution in Europe.


This type of capitalism was characterized by the mushrooming of many manufacturing industries that were small in size but competing in the production and maximization of profit. The main objectives of this type of capitalism were to:-
(i) Acquire markets for European manufactured goods.
(ii) Procure raw materials.

During the industrial capitalism, there is a bitter struggle among capitalistic for increasing production levels so as to maximize profits. In the course of these struggles some capitalists are destroyed while others grow rich; therefore to survive the capitalists must increase labor productivity which is done through the introduction of more efficient machines.

Features of competitive industrial capitalism

(i) The role of the state is minimal because of the belief in free trade policy or sometimes called “Laissez faire” policy under free trade, the production and distribution of goods and services is determined by the market forces and not the state.

(ii)Most enterprises are small and competitive, they complete among themselves to increase production and maximize profits.There is nor Monopoly in the markets or investments.

(iii) Tariff policies are still protective in character that is they aim at protecting home industries.

(iv) Banks are not controlling production; they are only agents of payments that are receiving deposits.

(v) Raw materials are important but not crucial, that is the European powers could do without raw materials from Africa.

Effects of competitive capitalism in Africa

(a) Abolition of slave trade.
The European powers abolished slave trade in Africa so as to get markets where they can sell their manufactured goods and raw materials.The European powers wanted the market but slaves would not provide them, hence this necessitated the abolition of slave trade.

(b) Introduction of legitimate trade.
Legitimate trade refers to the type of trade that involved the buying and selling of natural resources; the European powers introduced legitimate trade which would make it possible to get raw materials such as palm oil, rubber and coffee needed by the European powers.

(c) Division of Africa among the European trading companies that shared Africa amongst them. These companies included British South Africa company that controlled South Africa, Zimbabwe + Zambia while the imperial British East Africa company controlled Uganda, Kenya and Zanzibar. These companies were searching for markets and raw materials that were needed by their respective government.

(d) Fall and rise of some states.
Competitive industrial capitalism led to the fall some states in Africa because it involved the abolition of slave trade on which some states like Dahomey depended on, it also contributed to the rise of states because African state accumulation a lot of wealth out of the legitimate trade which was used to build states such as the Kingdom of King Jaja of Opobo.

(e) Influx of foreigners.
It let to the influx of many foreigners, especially Europeans. These groups of Europeans included Explorers, Missionaries and traders, who later on paved way for the colonization of Africa by Europe.


Monopoly capitalism was characterized by the predominance of monopolies. Monopolies were formed to reduce stiff competition in the production process.
It is subdivided into:
(a) 1830 - 1947
This was characterized by colonization of territories by individual countries.
(b) 1947 – present:
This was characterized by colonization of territories by more than one country.

Characteristics of Monopoly Capitalism

Lenin identified five characteristics of monopoly capitalism:-
a. Concentration and centralization of capital.
Under monopoly capitalism, Production becomes more concentrated and centralized under one big company.
Monopoles may also set prices very low with objectives of preventing more industries joining the market, so that they can maintain their monopoly.

b. Merging of bank capital and industrial capital to form finance capital.
In their drive for more profit, monopolistic companies did not confine only on the production of commodities but also invest in the banking sector. Under monopoly capitalism, bank does not only act as agents of payments but also control production boards on monopolistic companies such as British Petroleum (BP) and General Motors’ (GM).

c. Export of capital as opposed to export of commodities.
Under Monopoly capitalism, monopolistic companies dominated the production and market in their countries but they now cross their borders to control market and production in other countries hence they turn into international monopolistic associations. These associations divide the world among themselves; examples are General motors (GM), British Petroleum (BP) and Moil Company.

d. Completion of division of the world among the imperialist powers.
During this stage all countries are drawn in to the orbit of capitalism. The colonial system became part of the capitalist world economy whereby the capitalist sought for colonies to satisfy the needs of capitalism. These needs included market, raw materials, cheap labour and investment areas. When the 19 th which came close world capitalism retained all the basic features of capitalism while it developed new ones.


Nationalism can be defined as the desire to be free from foreign rule or occupation. European nationalism was a manifestation of the political will of the Europeans to free themselves from foreign domination and oppression. Nationalism in various European countries aimed at uniting the nations and liberates them from foreign control; this is what led to the German and Italian unification.

Since 1700, Nationalism became an important force in international relations; the development of European nationalism was closely linked with the development of monopoly capitalism. Due to the demands of monopoly capitalism, three was a need to protect none markets but protecting the markets meant unification which was achieved through nationalism. The rise of nationalism occurred along with the development of a political unit which is called a nation/state.

Factors that Contributed to the Rise of European Nationalism

(a) Development of monopoly capitalism.
Due to the demands of monopoly capitalism, there was a need to protect home markets but this meant unification which had to be achieved by getting rid of colonial rule.

(b) Dislike of foreign rule.
The major goal of nationalism was to unite the nations and free those from foreign rule or dominations, this goal led to the German and Italian unification that were protesting against French occupation.

(c) Education.
Education exposed the evils of colonial rule, hence stimulating nationalistic sentiments (feelings). Education made it possible for people to speak the same language, hence cultivating a strong sense of unity which facilitated the development of a main state.

(d) Improved communication.
The improvement of communication made it possible for people to travel from one place to another which cultivated a sense of unity that contributed to the rise of European nationalism.


The Italian had been subjected to foreign domination's for many years for example, towards the end of the 19 th Century; Napoleon invaded Italy in the famous Italian campaign whereby the Italians were put under French control.

Following Napoleons’ defeat in 1815, the Italians were again subjected to Australian domination until 1870 when they regained. The Italian disliked foreign domination and on the growth of nationalism, different nationalist movements were organized by different leaders.
(i) In 1820, they formed the carbonari movement which was mainly an organization of intellectuals.
(ii) In 1831, Givseppe Mazzini founded the young Italy movement.

There were various stages in the Italian unification in which different territories were liberated from Austrian control. It should be noted that the liberation of Rome completed the Italian unification. The greatest maker of the Italian unification was Count Camillo Cavo.

Italian Unification

Obstacles in the Italian Unification before 1850

(a) The position of pope and the influence of the Catholic Church.
The pope could not fight with Austria because it was a major Catholic stateand consequently feared opposition from all Catholics. Without the support of the pope, the unification of Italy was impossible. The pope enjoyed international sensitivity from all the Catholics of the world thus attacking the pope would force ambitious Catholic state to protect the pope.

(b) Military superiority of the Australian.
The Austrian empire had a well trained organized and equipped army. The Austrians also had a well established spying network on the other hand; the Italian nationalists were not military strong by 1848. The carbonari movement and young Italy movement did not have organized armies.

(c) Metternich and the Metternich system.
Metternich had divided Italy into small and different states, each with its own parliament. The Italians were one nationality but they could not agree on a single plan because of the political meetings, associations and freedom of the press were banned. A strong detective system kept Metternich informed of all those movements that were fighting for independence and they were consequently controlled.

(d) Economic backwardness of Italy.
Economic backwardness of the Italian states partly hindered the struggle for independence. The Italians depended largely on subsistence farming, the level of education were also low. There were also small middle class to champion a serious revolution against the Austrians. The Italian economy lacked a strong industrial sector, thus without a sound economic base, the nationalist movements were frustrated due to financial difficulties.

(e) Lack of a clear and able leadership.
This was a great hindrance in the struggle for independence before 1849. The Italians lacked ready and determined leadership against Austrian domination. King Charles Albert of Piedmont would have united the Italians if he had accepted to lead the revolution in 1848, but he feared Austrian might and he reluctantly accepted the offer.

(f) Lack of mass mobilization.
Most Italians up to 1849 were not nationally conscious of the need for unification and independence. The Carbonari movement was simply on organization of intellectuals, while the young Italian movements tried to use the youth to appeal to all sections of the masses, thus these movements failed to win enough support from the masses.


For a long period, German states were victims of foreign domination, under Napoleon Bonaparte, the German states were grouped together to form the Rhine confederation, which was put under French control. After the downfall of Napoleon, the German states were again grouped together to form the German confederation, which was put under Austrian control. Between 1815 and 1848, the forces of nationalism became very strong and the Germans began demanding for a united and a free Germany, but with little success because of the following obstacles.

Germany Unification

Obstacles in the Germany Unification

(a) Disunity at the Frankfort parliament.
The members of the parliament lacked a common plan; the nationalists wanted a united and free Germany, while the liberals wanted a democratic and a constitutional government. There were also divisions based on religion, whereby the Catholics wanted Austrian leadership to remain and the Protestants (Anglicans) wanted a united Republic.

(b) Austrian Military might.
The Austrians had a well trained, equipped and a large army contrary to the Germans who lacked a strong and an organized army thus without it, they found it difficult to defeat the Austrians, so as to regain their independence.

(c) Lack of a sound economy.
German states depended on agriculture as the basis of their economy. Transport and communication were not yet well developed, hence without a sound economic base; the Germans could not strengthen their military power and mobilize the local population against the Austrians.

(d) Lack of able leadership.
The revolution in PRUSSIA lacked a strong and able leadership against Austria domination. King Fredrick William IV of Prussia would have led the revolution but he was opposed to liberalism, thus without a capable and able leadership, the nationalists movements failed to achieve their objectives by 1849.

(e) Foreign intervention of Russia.
Czar Nicholas I was opposed to liberal movements both in Russia and its neighbours. He had used the militaryto crash liberal movements in Russia.
It was therefore not a surprise that the establishment of a liberal government in Germans would face opposition from Russia, indeed in 1849; Russia sent her troops to crash liberal movements in Germany.

Despite all their problems, German unification was attained in 1871 and the German empire was proclaimed at Versailles.

Impacts/ Effects of European Nationalism in Europe

1. European nationalism led to the emergence of new states such as Greece, Belgium, Italy, Germany, etc. This was because these nations unified themselves in order to be strong and be able to compete with the former strong nations such as France and Britain, in terms of market, raw materials, industrialization, military and areas for investment.

2. Led to intensification of national rivalries and antagonism among European powers. This was because the former big powers which were France and Britain started to be in antagonism with the newly unified nations like Germany and Italy in terms of raw materials, areas for investments and markets.

3. It led to emergence of hostile military alliance which were the triple alliance and the triple entente of Britain, France and Russia.

4. It led to the disturbance of balance of power in Europe. The balance of power which was agreed at the Vienna congress in 1815 was upset by Germany after it had undergo unification because after unification Germany started to be powerful in terms of military, industrialization, monopolization of trade, look for market, areas for investment and therefore the power which was formerly dominated was now disturbed by the newly unified countries.

5.It led to the breakout of the world war i.e. World War I and World War II; this wars affected world socially, economicallyand politically.

6.The Unification led to the rise of the new imperialism in Europe from 1850’s.
This was because European nationalism accelerated the rise and development of nationalism in Europe which brought expansionist tendencies among European powers to go in other parts of the world to expand their boundaries.

Effects of European Nationalism in Africa

1. It led to the influx of agents of colonialism in Africa like explorers, missionaries,and traders who searched the information about the potential strategic and navigable rivers of Africa and they sent information to their countries about the wealth found in African continent.

2. Led to the scramble for African continent; this was because those agents of colonialism started to explore and search the potential information about African continent. Example fertile soil for agriculture, navigable rivers, i.e. Niger delta, Congo basin etc. mining areas and thereafter their mother nations rushed to Africa to look for those areas.

3. Led to the partition of Africa after the scramble which was done by European big powers about the potential of African continent; therefore the partition of Africa was done during the Berlin conference of November 1884 to February 1885.

4. Led to colonization of Africa in the last quarter of the 19 th C where by the big powers after the scramble for Africa were able to control Africa in all aspects in order to protect and satisfy European interests especially for the development of capitalism in Europe.

5. Led to the establishment of colonial state as an extension of metropolitan rule (colonial rule) in Africa, therefore the work of colonial state was to make sure that the interest of colonialism like the establishment of colonial economy such as plantations settlers and peasant economy, mining, establishment of administration etc. was to be achieved for the interests of colonialist.
6. It led to the establishment of colonial economy in African continent which was the work done by colonial state in order to make sure that European colonialists should continue on the expense of Africans.

7. Led to destruction of African culture by introducing European culture. Example African culture practices things such as traditions, customs, norms, dressing styles, eating, marriage, etc. were totally forbidden and destroyed by Europeans.

8.Led to the outbreak of the world wars i.e. WWI of 1914-1918 and WWII of 1939-1945, these world wars affected Africain all aspects of life such as occurrence of deaths, famine, Economic hardship, change of colonial masters etc.


Military alliances and the notion of European balance of power


The defeat of France during Franco – Prussian war of 1871 had a tremendous impact in Europe. Before the war, the European powers were Britain and France but after the war, the new powers were Britain and Germany which meant that there was a shift in the balance of power. After the defeat of France, Bismarck directed his efforts to isolate France in order to maintain her in a weak and defeated position by farming military alliances.

Bismarck forged military alliances with different European countries, this included;

(a) The Dual Alliance of 1879.
In 1879, Germany and Austrian –Hungary signed a treaty which formed a defensive alliance called the “dual Alliance” This alliance was intended to strengthen and protect Germany from France and at the same time protect Austria – Hungary against Russia. By 1870, Austria – Hungary was threatened by Russian Army ships in the Balkan regions and feared that Russia might attack her.

(b) The Triple Alliance of 1882.
In 1882, Bismarck formed the Triple Alliance which was intended to be defensive and to completely isolate and weaken France. The triple alliance came into existence by admitting Italy into the “Dual Alliance”.
France and Italy had both been interested in Tunisia; Italy became frustrated and started looking for alliance against France. The Triple alliance would therefore defend Germany, Austria and Italy.

(c) The Dual Alliance of 1892.
By 1992, both France and Russia felt insecure and they decided to make a defensive agreement called the Dual Alliance against the triple alliance of 1882. In this alliance, the two powers agreed to help each other incase of an attack by Germany.

(d) The Anglo – Japanese Alliance of 1902.
For many years Britain had concentrated on looking after vast empire and had kept out of European affairs, this policy was known as splendid isolation. When her colonial rural such as France and Russia combined to form the dual alliance of 1892; Britain was forced to forge an alliance with Japan with the objective of protecting her economic interests in the Far East.

(e) The Triple Entente of 1907.
In 1907, Russia was admitted into the “Dual alliance”, which led to the formation of the Triple Entente, consulting of Britain, Russia and Japan. These powers agreed to help each other in case of war.
In order to maintain stability in Europe, the European powers adopted the nation of balance of power.

British Infantry saluted by French Infantry 1918

The Causes of Militarism and Arms Race in Europe in the 19 th C

Arms race, refers to the intense competition between nations to accumulate technologically advanced and military strategic weapon system. The most prominent instance of such competition was the rapid developed by the USA and the soviet union of more and better nuclear weapons during the cold war.
The term arms race its original usage describes a competition between two or more parties for military supremacy. Each party. Competes to produce large number of weapons, greater armies or superior military technology.

Factors for the Arms Race
Some of the factors for Arms Race in Europe are;

i. The need to maintain balance of power among nations so that no one nations should military be threat to other.

ii. The cold war that existed between U.S.A and U.S.S.R and their respective camps.

iii. The developed world war was looking for more influence and control in the third world countries and other saw armament as a way of increasing that capacity

iv. Armed race was meant to scare other countries of the world and make them fear the big powers such as U.S.A and U.S.S.R.

Impacts of the Armed Race

The following are some of the impacts of the armed race
i. Many people lost their lives due to the use of nuclear or chemical weapons e.g:- Nagasaki and Hiroshima in Japan during the second world war.

ii. It reduced the level of resources that could have been utilized in the provision of social and economic welfare of the people in the super power states and the world countries

iii. It sharpened the hostility between western block under U.S.A and Eastern Block under U.S.S.R.

iv. The emergence of terrorists. Using various weapons of mass destruction.


This refers to a policy whereby European powers used military alliances as the determining factor in maintaining stability in Europe.

The Factors that Led to the Use of this Policy

(a) Rise of European nationalism.
During this period, colonies were seen as a sign of prestige. They became a test and proof of a nation’s superiority. This belief was bound to force the European powers to look for colonies in Europe, thus disturbing the balance of power.

(b) Development of monopoly capitalism.
The development of capitalism to the monopoly stage had various demands in Europe. Due to monopoly capitalism, there was need for raw materials, markets and cheap labour which could only be satisfied through acquiring colonies. To prevent European countries from searching for colonies in Europe, the European powers adopted the notion of European balance of power so as to maintain stability.

(c) Emergence of Germany and Italy.
After Germany and Italy achieved their unification, they joined the race for colonies to meet the demands of monopoly capitalism. To maintain stability in Europe, The European powers decided to adopt a notion of European balance of power.
Due to monopoly capitalism, there was a need for markets, raw materials and investment areas. Their needs could only be achieved by acquiring colonies but the European countries were not supposed to look for colonies inside Europe, thus an outlet had to be created and this led to the scramble for and partition of Africa.


Colonialism refers to the domination or control of one country by another economically, politically and socially.

Reasons for the Colonization of Africa

The development of capitalism in Europe led to the industrial revolution which started in Britain in 1750 and by the end of 18 th Century Britain was the only industrialized nation in the world. However, in the 19 th Century, other European countries such as France, Belgium, Germany and Italy also industrialized. The industrialization of almost all European countries meant that there was no where to expand within Europe, hence there was need to find colonies.

From 1870, monopoly capitalism demanded for the following:-
- Markets
- Raw materials
- Cheap labor
- Investment areas
- Areas to resettle surplus labour force.

Therefore, it was these demands which made capitalism to change to its monopolistic stage called “imperialism”. Colonialism was therefore linked with the development of capitalism in Europe, in the sense that it was undertaken to meet the demands of monopoly capitalism.



Before the establishment of colonialism, the capitalist nations sent colonial agencies to pave way for colonial rule. These agents included;
- Explorers
- Missionaries
- Traders

How explorers, Missionaries and traders paved way for establishment of colonial rule in Africa.

(a) They reported about the wealth in Africa which would enrich the European capitalist countries. The information given by the Missionaries, Explorers and Traders excited the interests of European countries to come and seek their fortune in Africa. Dr. Living stone reported that East Africa had fertile soil and the environment was suitable for European settlements, given the economic conditions in Europe, such as the need for raw materials, they had to rush to Africa.

(b) They encouraged African chiefs to sign treaties which later became justified claims for the occupation of African territories. Moffat, an Anglican Missionary, encouraged chief Lubengula to sign a treaty with British, which eventually led to the British colonization of Zimbabwe.

(c) Some of the agents for example Christian missionaries’ brain washed the minds of the Africans through their preaching and teachings. They softened the minds of the Africans to be God fearing because of the preaching, devour African Christians believed that Christianity was the greatest gift from Europe and this was reflected in Nigeria and Buganda where the Africans welcomed colonization.

(d) The Christian missionaries paved way for the establishment of the colonies rule because they regarded colonial rule as necessary for both the spread of Christianity and the abolition of slave trade in Africa

(e) They chartered companies laid down the initial infrastructure those later facilitated colonial administration policies. The roads and railways became a source of reinforcement in terms of troops and manpower.

(f) They appealed to European government to come and occupy parts of Africa which they have visited and developed. For example Dr. Livingstone appealed to Britain to come and occupy central Africa and Britain responded by colonizing central Africa.


As capitalism developed stage by stage, it pressed different demands on Africa. During competitive industrial capitalism, the capitalist powers advocated for the abolition of slave trade because it was seen as a necessary for the acquisition of raw materials and markets. When competitive capitalism changed to monopoly capitalism, the capitalist powers were involved in a struggle to acquire colonies, a process called “The scramble for Africa.”

The scramble for Africa refers to the way European powers struggled to acquire colonies in Africa.

Partition of Africa refers to the difference steps taken by the colonial powers to divide Africainto territories and fixing colonial boundaries.
The major powers that were involved in this exercise were Britain, Germany, France and Belgium.

There were two theories that explain the scramble for and partition of Africa namely:

A) AFRO-CENTRIC THEORY (Marxist theory)

This theory claimed that the factors that led to the scramble for and partition of Africa were economic.

(i) The need for monopoly markets.
The need for monopoly markets came due to increase production of industrial products that lacked enough demands in Europe. To make matters worse, between 1823 and 1896, the world passed through a stand still economic depression where by trade came to stand still, prices were law and profits were small hence the capitalists put a lot of pressure on their government to acquire colonies for selling the manufactured commodities.

(ii) The need for tropical raw material.
The tropical treasure theory, put forward by Nobson and Lenin assert that Africa was partitioned because it was highly endowed with a lot of raw materials for industrial development in Europe hence the European powers rushed to Africa to acquire colonies that would act as sources of raw materials.

(iii) The need for cheap labour.
There was a contradiction between the employers and the workers whereby to maximize profits, the employers had to decrease wages and intensify exploitation. The workers, however resisted this through trade unions, they demanded higher wages and good working conditions all of which reduced the profit of the employers. The solution to this problem was to look for colonies in Africa where they can get cheap labour.

(iv) The need for investment areas.
Scholars such as Adam Smith claimed that the availability of excess capital for investments in European countries forced Europe to take part in the scramble for Africa. The capitalists had accumulated a lot of capital that they could not invest in Europe because the markets were saturated, to solve this crisis, they decided to look for colonies where they can invest their capital and obtain high rates of profits.

(v) The need to resettled surplus labour force.
The industrial revolution and the capitalist system produced not only surplus capital but also surplus labour force. As more and more machines came into use, more and more people found themselves out of work, the solution to this problem was found in the acquisition of colonies where surplus labor force could be settled.


This theory claims that political and social factors caused the scramble for Africa.

(i) Before the Franco – Prussian war 1871, the major European powers were Britain and France was defeated by Germany and she lost her territories of Alsace and Lorraine which were rich in coal and iron. The emergence of Germany changed the balance of power and this forced her to rush to Africa to acquire colonies. The defeat of France made her to rush to Africa to acquire colonies as a way of compensating for the loss in Europe.

(ii) Rise of European nationalism.
During the mid 19 th century, a tide of nationalism was seeping across Europe, extreme nationalism let to slogans like, “my country right or wrong” During this period, the possession of an Empire was seen as a test of nations strength , hence European powers rushed to Africa to acquire more and more colonies thus causing scramble.

Social Factors:

(i) Need to stop slave trade.
The European powers asserted that, they came to Africa to acquire colonies because of the need of stopping slave trade. They claimed that colonial rule was a necessity if slave trade was to be abolished completely in Africa.

(ii) Need to introduce Western Civilization.
The European powers argued that their civilization had reached the highest possible standards, thus they had a duty to impose it on those people who were not civilized, the Africans were believed to be uncivilized hence they struggledfor colonies so as to introduce Western civilization.

Strategic Factors:

Strategic factors were also one of the factors that led to the scramble for and partition of Africa. Britain controlled Uganda because she wanted to protect the source of river Nile; She controlled Kenya because of the sea route to India.
Britain and France struggled for Egypt because of the Suez Canal which shortened the route to India.


The Berlin conference gave international recognition to a struggle for colonies that had been going on for a long period of time. By the 1880’s the scramble for colonies in Africa had reached serious proportions and there were dangers that if it was not controlled, a major war may erupt among the European powers. To avoid the war, the chancellor of Germany, Otto Van Bismarck convened an international conference of European powers that had interests in Africa.
The conference took place between November 1884 and February 1885. The main aim of the conference was to ensure that the scramble for and partition of Africa takes place peacefully without resulting to a war.

Various European powers attended the conference, these included Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Belgium. Denmark and the USA attended as observers.

Berlin Conference

Principles of Berlin Conference

During the conference, a number of resolutions were reached by the European powers. These included the following;

(a) The principle of effective occupation.
This principle stated that all European powers that had colonies in Africa had to effectively control their colonies by establishing infrastructures such as roads and railways. The powers also agreed to maintain law and order in their colonies.

(b) Notification principles
This principle stated that in the process of colonial acquisition, the European powers had to notify or inform other powers about their colonial possessions so as to minimize clashes over the same colonies because the aim of the conference was to ensure that the scramble and partition of Africa takes place peacefully.

(c) Fire navigation on the Niger and Congo basins.
The European powers agreed that the Niger and the Congo basins will be free for navigation by all European powers. This was to avoid any European power from monopolizing the two water ways which may cause conflicts.

(d) Abolition of slave trade.
The European powers agreed to stop slave trade in their colonies and introduce legitimate trade. Legitimate trade would enable the capitalist powers to acquire markets and raw materials which were the needs of monopoly capitalism.


The partition of Africa marked the end of Africans political independence and the beginning of subjection to foreign rule. In the process of establishing colonial rule, the Europeans powers used different techniques depending on the nature and attitude of the native population towards colonial intrusion.

These techniques included the following:

(a) Treaty signing.
This was one of the most common techniques used by the Europeans to establish colonial rule in Africa. This method was used in areas that did not oppose the establishment of colonial rule. The colonial powers convinced African local leaders to sign treaties of protection, protecting them against their local and foreign rivals. It should be noted that these treaties were used by the colonial powers to control African territories. In Tanganyika Karl Peters signed treaties with African chiefs which led to German colonization of Tanganyika.

(b) Use of force.
Sometimes, the colonial powers used the military to establish colonial rule in Africa. This method was used in areas that resisted the establishment of colonial rule in East Africa, the Germans used the military against the Hehe in Tanganyika, and the British used the military against the Nandi in Kenya and Kabalega of Uganda. The colonial powers used the military because they were determined to exploit African resources.

(c) Alliances
This method was mainly used in areas where two societies were in conflictsin situation of enmity, the colonial powers allied with one society against the other and finally control all of them together. In Tanganyika the Germans allied with the Sangu and Bena against the Hehe, but after defeating the Hehe the Germans controlled all of them together. In central Africa, the British allied with chief Lewanyika of Lozi Kingdom against Lobengula but when Lobengula was defeated, the British controlled all of them together.

(d) Gun butt diplomacy.
This is the colonial powers used treaties of force rather than force itself to force Africans to submit to colonial rule. This method was used by the German in 1884 to force a Sultan of Zanzibar to submitto Karl Peters treaty. In 1897, the British used this method to force Jaja of Opobo to submit to their control.

(e) Mercenary technique.
This was a method whereby the colonial powers used Africans to fight against other Africans. The Africans, who were used had no blood ties with those being invaded. In Tanganyika the Germans used the Rugaruga to defeat their fellow Africans.



The imposition of colonial rule in Africa did not go unchallenged, the Africans reaction to colonial rule was not homogeneous it varied from one society to another. The techniques which the Africans used against the colonial rules establishment included the following:-

(a) Active resistance.
This was a physical African reaction characterized by the use of arms or violence against the establishment of colonial rule. Sometimes, active resistances was a spontaneous reaction while in some societies, it needed long preparations. Active resistance occurred in societies that were economically strong and capable of staging a strong resistance. This method was used by the Hehe in Tanganyika against the Germans and the Nandi against the British in Kenya.

(b) Passive resistance.
This was a form of African reaction against colonial rule and penetration which did not involve the use of arms or violence but the colonized people simply refused to cooperate or to have any contacts with the colonizers. Thisform of African reaction was due to natural calamities such as diseases that hindered the Africans to stage an active resistance. The Maasai for example are naturally war like people but during the establishment of colonial rule, they reacted passively because they had been weakened by Cholera.

(c) Adaptation technique.
This was used where the African ruling class sought friendship from the colonizers so that they can get arms and new fighting techniques. It should be noted that these arms and the new fighting tactics, were used against the same colonizers who gave them the arms. Adaptation technique was used by King Menelik of Ethiopia who sought friendship from the Italians to obtain guns, but he used the same weapons to defeat the Italians in 1895.


Most of the African societies which decided to oppose colonial rule were defeated by the European powers. There were various factors that contribute to the defeat of African resistances.

1. Military weakness of the Africans.
The African societies had inferior weapons compared to the Europeans; Most of Africans were using spears and arrows and yet the Europeans were using machine guns. The possession of this powerful weapon contributed to the defeat of resistances such as that of the Hehe against the Germans in Tanganyika and the Nandi resistance against the British in Kenya.

2. Lack of national consciousness and unity.
Lack of national consciousness and unity partly contributed to the defeat of Africans resistances for examples; the Germans easily defeated the Hehe in Tanganyika because the Sangu and Bena collaborated with the Germans. The British also defeated Lobengula in Zimbabwe because chief Lewanyika of the Lozi Kingdom collaboration with the British.

3. Natural hazards
Some African societies were defeated because of their material conditions which made them unable to put up a stiff resistance. These conditions were natural hazards such as diseases. The Maasai of East Africa could not put a stiff resistance because they were suffering from cholera and their cattle had been killed by render pest.

4. Influence of the Missionaries.
The Missionaries had a role to play in the defeat of African resistances. The Missionaries brain washed the minds of the Africans by preaching obedience which reduced African resistance to colonial rule. For example; the Buganda in Uganda and the Fante in Nigeria never resisted colonial rule because of the teaching of the Missionaries.

5. Succession disputes.
Succession disputes also contributed to the defeat of African resistances. Succession disputes brought about divisions which made it possible for the colonial powers to side with one group against the other in Buganda, for example, Semei Kakungulu sided with the British to defeat Mwanga.

6. Lack of good fighting techniques.
Lack of good fighting techniques went hand in hand with the absence of strong leadership which was needed to stage a strong resistance. A case in point was the Majimaji resistance which lacked adequate leadership and proper fighting techniques, hence contributing to its defeat by the Germans.

Defeat of Africans


Competitive capitalism refers to the second stage of capitalism that existed after industrial revolution in Europe in 1750, where by European nations were competing themselves in Industrial production. This was done in terms of production of raw materials, monopolizing trade and market. Therefore under industrial capitalism there rose bitter struggle/stiff competition among European capitalists for production, whoever in the course of this stage some capitalist were died while others who were able to compete grow richer and reached to a stage of monopoly capitalism, hence in order to survive the capitalists increased labour productivity which was done through introduction of more efficient machines hence competitive capitalism was always progressive because of time and free trade and accelerated to the rise of monopoly capitalism.

Characteristics of Competitive Capitalism

The following are some of the characteristics of competitive Capitalism.

1. During this period the role of the state was minimal, this was because of the belief of free trade, and this sometimes was called “laissez faire policy”.

2. Most of the enterprises were small and competitive in nature hence there was no monopoly in market, area for investment, getting labor and monopoly of getting raw materials because each enterprise was competing with another to get economic motive.

3. During this period raw materials from Africa were important but not crucial because raw materials were only needed to be used in monopoly companies which had started to monopolize the market, areas for getting labor and raw materials.

4. The tariff policies (trade barriers) were still protective in nature because each nation was still protecting her home market in order to allow merchants to involve in trade at home without any competition from outside merchants.

5. Banks were not controlling production but they were only the agents of payment where by banks provided capitals, loans and credit to the merchants to continue involve themselves in trade for development of capitalism but not these banks but not these bans were involved in production.

6. Competitive capitalism was characterized by the growth of industries where by industries grew specifically for producing manufactured goods which were needed and sold by industrial capitalist in Europe (Britain).

Factors for Transition from Competitive Capitalism to Monopoly Capitalism

1. Emergence of monopoly companies that was able to swallow small companies. Due to emergence of big companies with huge amount of capital, the small companies could not fit in the competition hence monopolization of the major economic activities and the decline of competitive capitalism.

2. Export of capital, during this period there emerged big companies which were exported to industries, banks, and companies. These led companies to get double profit which accelerated the rise of monopoly capitalism.

3. Emergence of cut throat competition among the European countries. The stiff competition led weak companies to be swallowed by the strongest among European nations. Example Britain, Japan, France, Italy, etc. Therefore this competition resulted to the strongest to continue in monopoly stage while the weak died in the competitive capitalism.

4. The division of the world among the big imperialist nations which was done at the Berlin conference; this accelerated the colonization of Africa and big capitalist powers were able to get capitalist demands and be able to maximize profits and establish strong monopolistic companies which led them to transform from competitive capitalism.

5. Concentration of production and centralization of capital was another factor for transition from competitive capitalism to monopoly capitalism. Europeans concentrated in both manufacturing of goods and raw materials which led to acquisition of more capital which was invested and reinvested especially in big industries together with big monopolistic companies which enabled them to acquire more profit for trade circulation and for more investments in economic sectors hence transformed the form of capitalism.

6. The rise of philosophical ideas due to high education and research and this led unit almagation of European companies as a way to maximize profit. E.g. Small industries which were established during monopoly capitalism under one merchant was joined together and even the capital from those companies was joined together form a big finance.

7. The Rise of European nationalism. The unification of European nations example the unification of Germany and Italy and the rise of other European nationalism acted as a transition from competitive to monopoly capitalism because the unification expanded market, labor, easy circulation of trade and the nations started to compete among themselves by establishing big companies which all these led to the transition from competitive capitalism to monopoly capitalism.

8. Relate the subsequent division of the world between capitalist alliances with the development of monopoly capitalism. 

Monopoly Capitalism (London)