Imperialism in Africa


Britain takes Control of Cape Colony

Approx. 1800

The British take control of The Cape Colony

The Dutch Establish the East Indies

Approx. 1804

This colony was one of the most valuable European colonies under the Dutch Empire's rule, and contributed to Dutch global prominence in spice and cash crop trade in the 19th to early 20th century.



The discovery of diamonds in the Cape Colony, South Africa, radically modified not only the world’s supply of diamonds but also the conception of them. The once extremely rare material became accessible to Western society with its growing wealth. Today South Africa maintains its position as a major diamond producer.

Henry Stanley Explores Africa

1874 - 1877

Henry Stanley explored central Africa East to West, exploring Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and the Lualaba and Congo rivers. He covered 7,000 miles from Zanzibar in the east to Boma in the mouth of the Congo in the west and resolved a number of open questions concerning the geography of central Africa. This including identifying the source of the Nile, which is the source of the river Congo.

Cetshwayo Leads the Zulus


The battle of Isandhlwana was a decisive victory for the Zulus and caused the defeat of the first British invasion of Zululand. The British Army had suffered its worst defeat against an indigenous foe with vastly inferior military technology. Isandlwana resulted in the British taking a much more aggressive approach in the Anglo–Zulu War, leading to a heavily reinforced second invasion and the destruction of King Cetshwayo's hopes of a negotiated peace.

Berlin Confrence

1884 - 1885

The Berlin Conference: Intense rivalries among Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, and Portugal for additional African territory, and the ill-defined boundaries of their various holdings

Belgium assumes control of Congo

1885 - 1908

Belgium took control by telling the locals that the King was a kind humanitarian and he wouldn't tax trade, then after other diplomats realized how poorly he was treating them, they pressured him to annex Congo.

Menelik II Becomes Emperor


Ethiopians under Emperor Menelik II were successful in resisting European conquest, annihilating Italians at the Battle of Adwa (or Aduwa). By 1 914, only Liberia in the west and Ethiopia in the east remained independent of European colonial control.

Boer War

1899 - 1902

Anglo-Boer War in South Africa: While British "win" the war, they must make concessions to Afrikaner (Boer) political organizations for int ernal control of South Africa, opening path for Afrikaners to free themselves eventually of British domination and, in turn, dominate the black African majority in South Africa

Maji Maji Rebellion

1905 - 1907

The Maji Maji Rebellion, sometimes called the Maji Maji War, was an armed rebellion against German colonial rule in German East Africa (now known as Tanzania). The war was triggered by a German policy designed to force the indigenous population to grow cotton as a cash crop.