European Rivalry over Africa

Example of rivalry between Britain and France.

One example of rivalry between Britain and France was in Sudan. Britain had retreated from Sudan during a revolution and France and Italy tried to use it as an opportunity to take control. Britain decided to reconquer Sudan and sent a British-Egyptian force to Sudan. Meanwhile, France sent a military expedition to gain control of the Upper River Nile. The British defeated the revolution and went to investigate the French. They met peacefully, however during what is known as the Fashoda Incident, Britain threatened war on France, so the French withdrew. They most likely rivalled due to Britain’s nationalism and eagerness to maintain a close relationship with Egypt, as they wanted to retain control over the area which they had controlled alongside Egypt.

Example of rivalry between Britain and Germany.

Britain and Germany had a rivalry over Zanzibar and East Africa as Britain. While the British were interested in it for cloth, manufactured goods and raw materials, the Germans wanted to suppress the slave trade there. Germany and Britain divided the area of East Africa. Britain was given Zanzibar as they were very interested in it for trade and Germany was allowed an important naval base in the North Sea.

Example of how economic interests played a role in European rivalry.

Britain had acquired the Cape Colony in Southern Africa. A businessman, Cecil Rhodes, wanted a British Empire to stretch from the Cape to Cairo. Upon the discovery of Gold and Diamonds, German began investing more money in the nearby region. British saw this as a threat to their trade and conquered the nearby regions to suppress German investment.

Example of how the role of individuals played a role in European rivalry.

Originally, the King of Belgium, Leopold claimed that he wanted to abolish slavery and increase Africa’s trade. However, he actually wanted to claim parts of Africa as part of the Belgium Empire so he could exploit their rubber resources. However, Portugal, with Britain’s support, had also claimed the region. Therefore, the Berlin conference was held to settle the disagreement.

Example of how role strategic interests played a role in European rivalry.

Britain wanted to conquer Egypt because of the Suez canal. This is because the Suez Canal provided the British with an important trade route to import/export to the UK and other British colonies. Meanwhile, other empires were also interested in this important trading route. Originally, France and Britain shared control over the Egyptian economy, however, during an uprising, Britain established a protectorate over Egypt.