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What Caused the Scramble for Africa?

The Scramble for Africa (1880-1900) was a period of rapid colonization of the African continent by European powers. But it wouldn't have happened except for the particular economic, social, and military evolution Europe was going through.

African History Spotlight10

African History

Goodbye and Thank You

Monday March 31, 2014

This is my farewell to AfricanHistory.About.com.

I would like to thank all my readers for your enthusiasm and support over the past 13 years. It's been an enjoyable journey during which I have learnt so much and interacted with so many interesting people. My journey continues, and you can reach me on social media such as Twitter (@africanhistory), Facebook, and on Google+ Alistair Boddy-Evans.

My Favorite Pieces
Having written AfricanHistory.About.com from 2001 to 2014, I have lots and lots of favorite articles, but if I were to pick a few they'd be:

What Caused the Scramble for Africa?
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
Steve Biko
Mary Henrietta Kingsley

Also one of the earliest articles I wrote: Adinkra Symbology and its related gallery of images, the Free Adinkra Stencil Collection

What has been the Most Popular?
It is perhaps not surprising that the most popular article on the African History site was The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, or that the third most popular article was Apartheid Legislation in South Africa.

What does surprise me, however, is that the most popular biography on my site was not the Mandela biography, but that of Idi Amin (which comes second in the popular articles list).

New in the African History Glossary

Saturday March 29, 2014

Five new entries in the African History Glossary.

Odendaal Commission
Resolution 435
Tripartite Accord
Turnhalle Conference

New on African History -- New Resources on Namibia

Saturday March 29, 2014

Where is Namibia?The German mandated territory of South West Africa was given to South Africa in 1915 by the League of Nations. In 1950 South Africa refused a UN request to give up the territory. It was renamed Namibia in 1968 (although South Africa continued to call it South West Africa). On 21 March 1990 Namibia became the forty-seventh African colony to gain independence. (Walvis Bay was only given up in 1993.)

Find out more in this five part timeline of Namibia, taking us from pre-history to the present day.

Timeline of Namibia
Part 1: From Pre-history to the End of the Herero and Nama Rebellion (February 1909)
Part 2: From the End of the Herero and Nama Rebellion (February 1909) to the Founding of SWAPO (1960)
Part 3: From the Founding of SWAPO (1960) to US Proposal of 'Linkage' (1981)
Part 4: From the US Proposal of 'Linkage' (1981) to Namibia gains independence (21 March 1990)
Part 5: From Namibia gains independence (21 March 1990) to the Present Day

Abolition of the Slave Trade Act Becomes Law in Britain

Tuesday March 25, 2014
In 1807, as a climax of over 20 years of forceful campaigning, the like of which had never been seen before, a bill abolishing the British slave trade passed both houses of parliament - an event which saw much celebration by the leading campaigners, Thomas Clarkson, William Wilberforce, Olaudau Equiano, etc.

The Abolition of the Slave Trade Act became law on 25 March 1807 and took effect on 1 May, at which time no slave ships would be allowed to trade at British ports, and taking part in the slave trade would be considered a felony (it would eventually be classed as an act of piracy).

It was, however, a shallow success, since the banning of the slave trade did nothing for those already in the British Caribbean (an estimated half-million Africans) and elsewhere who were still under the shackle and yoke of British run slavery.

Whilst the US quickly followed suit and also banned the slave trade, they did little to enforce the ban. Britain, on the other hand, ultimately apportioned over one-third of the Royal Navy to enforce the law.

Full emancipation would not be achieved until 1838 - the Emancipation Act was passed by the British parliament on 1 August 1933, with British slaves achieving a limited freedom under a draconian 'apprenticeship' system the following year. A new campaign brought this to an end, and full freedom in 1838.

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