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The reasons for European imperialism were economic, cultural, religious and political. Econimically they needed resources and nw markets for their surplus products. Bankers sought to invest their profitswanted more land for their growing population.
Culturally europeans wanted to civilize the uneducated and thought it was their responsibility. They believed in Social Darwinism idea of white people being superior to "lesser cultures". Religiously they wanted to bring Christianity to they world with missionaries. Finally. potically they wanted to expand their land because land meant power. They had Nationalistic pride that they wanted to spread across the world. Many countries just acquired Land and colonies so they had something to trade with another country.
Need for natural resources
Desire for new markets
Bankers sought to invest their profits.
Colonies offered an outlet for Europe's population.
Ships needed bases for coal and other supplies.
Leaders claimed colonies were needed for national security.
Belief that empires increased prestige
Desire to spread Western civilization
Western sense of racial superiority
Decline of older civilizations
Superior weapons and transportation
Africans were very self sufficient and Europe wasn't able to take over because of rivers, malaria, and Africa's self-sufficient trade system. Africa after 1800 Britain developed quinine so that they didn't get malaria. They also had machine guns which out dated the african spears. Lastly, they had steam power which allowed land and water routes into Africa.
Germany's annexation in Africa started a wild "scramble for africa" By 1890 almost all of Africa was claimed. The European Takeover of Africa was fueled by the desire for industrial markets, Natural resources of Africa, the competion between european countries to be powerful and by explores and missionaries who came home with stories about Africa.