Day 50 – Q.2 Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse.

  • IASbaba
  • January 16, 2023
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GS 1, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing, World History
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Africa was chopped into states artificially created by accident of European competition. Analyse.


Start with basic intro with referring to the scramble of Africa try to analyze how it led to the competition among European powers.


The Scramble for Africa also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa due invasion and annexation the map of Africa looked like a huge jigsaw puzzle, with most of the boundary lines having been drawn in a sort of game of give-and-take played in the foreign offices of the leading European powers.


  • African nations continue to feel the effects of the colonial presence more than 100 years later. African states were the colonies of various colonial powers like Portugal, Belgium, British, Spain and France.
  • No European power wanted to be left out of the race to acquire territories in Africa. The competition was so fierce that there was a fear of war between the European countries.
  • To avoid the war, Bismarck called together representatives of major European countries to deal with rival colonial claims. This was called Berlin Conference. However, this Berlin conference is called the starting point for Scramble for Africa.
  • The Berlin Conference of 1884, which regulated European colonization and trade in Africa, is usually accepted as the beginning.
  • In the last quarter of the 19th century, there were considerable political rivalries among the empires of the European continent, leading to the African continent being partitioned without wars between European nations.
  • All these colonial powers were exploiting African states only in their selfish interest and for this they were involved themselves in ethnic cleansing and system like Apartheid.
  • The 10 per cent of Africa that was under formal European control in 1870 increased to almost 90 per cent by 1914, with only Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and Liberia remaining independent, though Ethiopia would later be invaded and occupied by Italy from 1936 to 1941.
  • The later years of the 19th century saw a transition from “informal imperialism” — military influence and economic dominance — to direct rule.
  • By 1914, 90% of Africa had been divided between seven European countries with only Liberia and Ethiopia remaining independent nations.


The colonial powers were not only exaggerating the problem of African states but also giving new problems. Because of colonial problems, African states are yet to become stable.

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