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Showing 1–12 of 13 results

  • Africa after the Berlin Conference 1885

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    At the instigation of Portugal, the Berlin Conference was convened by the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, with 13 European powers and the United States represented. Its purpose was to establish a mutually agreed protocol for the colonization of Africa. The Conference reached agreement regarding some existing conflicts between the... More
  • Africa c. 1830

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    From 1808–34, the abolition movement progressively eliminated the slave trade with North America, but the Islamic Sokoto caliphate did its best to compensate. Founded in 1804 by a Sufist rebellion, this confederation of emirates became one of Africa’s largest polities and second only to the American South in its slave... More
  • Africa in 1600

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    The Saadi dynasty of Morocco, would, in a decade, sound the death knell for two African empires. Their campaign (1590–91) destroyed the Songhay and annexed their lucrative trading networks; earlier the crushing of the ‘crusade’ of King Sebastian (1578) had led quickly to Portugal’s absorption by Spain. Moroccan control of... More
  • Central Africa 1884–94

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    The Berlin Conference (1884–85) fired the starting gun for the ‘Scramble for Africa’. Britain was the most ubiquitous, with Cecil Rhodes (‘I would annex planets if I could’) carrying out a concerted land grab from the south, while a network of British protectorates in the north stretched from Egypt to... More
  • Christian Missions in Africa 1860–1914

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    Until the 1830s, the dominant purpose of European colonization in Africa was the slave trade. Thereafter, the cargo changed but economic exploitation remained the heart of the enterprise, reaching peak intensity during the ‘Scramble for Africa’ initiated by the Treaty of Berlin (1885). The record of Christian missions through this... More
  • Eastern Cape 1878

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    The Boer South African Republic (SAR) came into existence in the 1830s, and was recognized by the British in 1852. At the same time, the British forced independence on Orange Free State (most settlers there preferred to remain a colony). Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg briefly seceded from the SAR, before reincorporation... More
  • Natal and Zululand 1879

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    Britain agreed a border with Portuguese East Africa in 1875, and then accomplished the annexation, apparently painlessly, of Boer Transvaal in 1877. Now, the bullish British High Commissioner, Henry Bartle Frere, felt ready to move on the last major independent native kingdom: Zululand. Fomenting a dispute, British forces invaded in... More
  • Northeast Africa 1840–98

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    In the early 19th century, Northeast Africa largely comprised a motley and shifting hotchpotch of sultanates loosely within the sphere of influence of the decaying Ottoman Empire. The khedives (‘viceroys’) of Egypt were virtually autonomous, and territorially acquisitive, annexing Equatoria and Darfur. The opening of the Suez Canal changed the... More
  • South Africa 1854–1910

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    The South African political landscape from 1854 onwards was characterized by diverse constantly changing borders. European colonial settlement, mainly by the British and Dutch, had created a plethora of small colonies of varying size and degrees of autonomy that existed alongside pre-existing indigenous kingdoms. The largest state in the region... More
  • South Africa 1878

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    In the mid-19th century the British tolerated the independent Boer republics by agreeing to a boundary between the Natal colony and Zululand. However, the discovery of diamonds at Kimberley in 1867 changed their policy. First, they annexed West Griqualand where the diamond mines were located, then proposed the Boer republics... More
  • South Africa c. 1800

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    While the Dutch East India Company repeatedly attempted to set boundaries for the Trekboer expansion, its oppressive bureaucracy and excessive taxation hardened their determination to expand. This brought them into conflict with the Xhosa, who often retaliated fiercely to these Boer incursions. In 1795 Napoleon took the Netherlands, and the... More
  • South Africa: The Great Trek 1836–46

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    The Great Trek is the name given to the exodus of 12,000–14,000 Boers from British Cape Colony. Frustrated by the colony’s Anglicization policies, restrictions on slave labour and population pressures intensified by drought and increasing inward migration, they chose to look for better grazing pastures elsewhere. After crossing the Orange... More