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27

In fact during the Age of Discovery, Africa had been the principle objective. It really begins with Prince Henry the Navigator, a son of the King of Portugal who had an intense fascination with Africa. In particular he was taken with the legend of Prester John, said to be a descendant of one of the Three Magi who presided over a magical land with marvels ...


27

Africa was relatively densely populated compared to North and South America. When Europeans landed in the Americas, they were sparsely populated, and the Indians often died from diseases brought by Europeans. The few that didn't were easily conquered by the Europeans, whom "advanced" cultures such as the Aztecs and Incas mistook for gods. The Africans had ...


23

Very poor terrain (harsh deserts, heavy rain forests) and very frightening diseases. Later advances in technology and especially medicine made the process tolerable and possible.


22

For a country to be economically prosperous you need a couple of things: You need the rule of law in the economy. A country where people can steal, cheat or break contracts as they wish makes it very difficult to conduct business. You need ownership rights. If you do not own the land, factory or house that you are using to make money, you will not invest ...


20

An interesting analysis on this question was brought up by Jared Diamond author of "Guns, Germs and Steel" and I believe it is a more accurate answer to the question than that offered by Lennart Regebro (no offense intended to that author!). While Regebro is certainly true in explaining major factors to the continuation of many African nations relative ...


18

Nigeria became independent from the United Kingdom on October 1, 1960, and shortly after the country plunged into a bloody civil war, with estimates for the number of dead being between 1 and 3 million. During the civil war, two secessionist states were created: The Republic of Biafra (30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970) in the south-eastern of the country, ...


15

Ok, first we need to find the destination port. Wikipedia notes that Ada and Prampram were important ports in addition to Accra. Good, can we find logs from any ships that traveled from England to these destinations? I searched but couldn't find anything for either Ada or Prampram (maybe these ports already lost their importance in the 19th century). For ...


14

This isn't really so much about any US allies not wanting it to happen as much as it is about the African Union not wanting it to happen. In January of 2008, the US State Department issued this statement: "While the United States does not recognize Somaliland as an independent state, and we continue to believe that the question of Somaliland's ...


13

As I've understood it, selling entire tribes or large parts of it was already an ancient use. This was useful to the victors for money, as well as power and the guarantee that the particular tribe wouldn't attack them in the near future. Furthermore, slave trade deep into Africa was also in use by the Arabs, who, like the Europeans did at first, bought the ...


11

Although this question probably can't be resolved without years of comparative study, a quick indication of the answer can be done by looking at the current GDP of the countries as a reasonable measure of "stability and success". The cases are also very different between different continents and times, as colonization changed a lot during the period. ...


11

A little background here: there are generally considered to be 5 "races" of man historically native to Africa1: Afro-Asiatic, Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, Pygmy, and Khoisan. Each would have originally had their own native language, and their own native turf: roughly North Africa, Sub-Saharan West Africa, Sub-Saharan Nile Valley, Southern Rainforest, and ...


10

Malaria I'd actually leave it at that, if the posting software let me. But to elaborate, Europeans actually did actively try to colonize Africa continuously during the Age of Discovery. The problem was that Malaria killed them off quicker than more could be sent. The only place it really worked was in South Africa, which was too temparate for Malaria to ...


10

Yes, surprising as it is, I found a credible sources indicating that there was some discussion of offering India East Africa as a mandate. Perhaps it is useful for others who wish to read more about this a full detail of my sources. In "How India Became Territorial: Foreign Policy, Diaspora, Geopolitics (2014)" by Itty Abraham, I found this quote: On ...


9

Algeria was more then a colony, there were French Départements in Algeria, from 1848 on until 1962 it was an integral part of the French motherland. See Wikipedia or the french wikipedia article for the French départements in Algeria This does not mean, that Algerians were full citizens. See also Process of Colonization: Algeria was formally ...


8

There are few direct benefits of Commonwealth membership and some debate about its usefulness, so the question is a fair one. Mozambique gained neither trade nor aid by virtue of membership. I expect that the question would be addressed definitively in The Commonwealth Brand: Global Voice, Local Action by Victoria Te Velde (Ashgate, 2011) and in the SADC's ...


8

Haile Selassie Gugsa (second from right), a military commander and governor of Eastern Tigray, turned coat just a week into the invasion. After the war he was sentenced to death (commuted to life imprisonment and later house arrest.)


8

The other answers pointed out very correctly that Algiers was legally considered a part of France. What must be added is that there was a very large body of French colonists in Algiers, which was not the case with the other French possessions, whatever their legal status.


8

Privateering is a tool of international conflict Read wikipedia; until forbidden by international law, privateering was a tool of international cold war. France encouraged the corsairs against Spain, and later Britain and Holland supported them against France. By the second half of the 17th century the greater European naval powers were able to strike ...


7

From what I have been able to research, numerous sources such as this and this trace back rap to the griots of pre-colonial, western Africa. Griots were essentially poets and bards who communicated history and political messages through song. According to the article "Politics of Diaspora: Sahwari poets and postcolonial transformations of a trans-Saharan ...


7

Liberia is near the Ivory Coast and the Gold Coast (Ghana) that was the center of the slave trade. But it was a piece of relatively uninhabited land near the other two. "Freed" slaves came from two sources. 1) Slaves that were freed in the United States and sent to Liberia, and 2) Slaves that were "intercepted" and freed coming from the Ivory and Gold ...


7

The killings to which they are doubtless referring occurred as part of his ownership of the Congo Free State. They all happened in Africa, and the deaths seem to have been the result of a rather abusive form of slave labor that was employed to keep productivity there high. The wikipedia page says that estimates range from 2 to 14 million deaths, but there's ...


7

As a starting point: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congo_Free_State#Humanitarian_disaster - which is a reason why Leopold was put in the "ranking " you've pasted. There's a simple reason Belgium is still a monarchy: because there was no political reason for changing the state of affairs - this idea did not occur neither to public opinion nor to international ...


7

This answer is for a previous version of the question France did have extensive colonies in West Africa as well as a colony in Lebanon, but some of the linguistic picture you see today is due to especial effort at the end of the colonial period. Most African colonies achieved independence in the 1950's and 1960's. While the French government reconciled ...


6

The New World was much easier. European diseases spread rapidly, wiping out the local population, and 'clearing the land'. In Africa, the locals had the same immunity to the likes of smallpox as the Europeans, so it wasn't 'cleared' as quickly. It also has diseases of it's own (e.g. malaria) that would hinder someone coming in.


6

Read the journals of David Livingstone, Henry Stanley, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Olaudah Equiano, Quobna Ottobah, Ignatius Sancho.... You will learn more about slavery and what the world was like a few hundred years ago from these journals than from second hand historical accounts. Slavery has no color or nation. From early times, small tribes beat up ...


6

There are several reasons for the decolonisation of Africa in the post WW2 world - some of them indicate a decision to withdraw rather than a failure to continue. These reasons are in no particular order and are what I consider to be major contributing factors - for example it's also likely that desire for social reform within the UK itself was another ...


6

Best evidence to date suggests that the Sahara dried up about 5,000 years ago, possibly in as little as 300 years, due to climate changes resulting from the precession and rotation of the Earth's rotation axis. ... around 8,000 years ago, the Earth's orbit was slightly different to how it is today. The tilt changed from around 24.1 degrees to the ...


5

The article in the German Wikipedia (for some perhaps telling reason its title refers to "uprising" vs. "genocide") mentions pressure exerted by protestant missionaries' churches ("Der Druck der Öffentlichkeit, besonderes der evangelischen Missionskirchen, wuchs.") It quotes a German PhD thesis from 2004 that provides further information (e.g. on page p. ...


5

With respect to Britain, there was an understanding between Churchill and Roosevelt that the UK would free it's colonies after the war. Atlantic Charter Specific terms described in this article are 'A key American aim was to force a change of British policy in regard to its Empire. America realized the precarious position of Britain, reliant as she was on ...


5

No. Slavery was banned in the first 1820 constitution and this ban was explicitly re-enforced in the 1847 constitution when Liberia declared independence. If Liberians owned slaves within Liberia they did so without any legal recourse and the strong risk of losing their property.



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