The African Colonization Lesson

Hello once again my fellow readers. Every week I have class with one specific 1ero Bachillerato group in which they all align in a circle with me in the middle. It kind of resembles an AA meeting lol. The thing is that during this period the teacher has allowed for the students to have a once a week speaking sessions with their Auxiliar. In this case me. So, they all take really good advantage of the time they have with me. This class is different from any other class I have. They are more mature, they like to speak about deep things and are very fond of history, philosophy, music, politics and trending topics that are currently on the news.

For this specific session, they asked me to speak about the African Colonization process and what was Europe’s role in it. So in this case I prepared some notes to spark up a theme discussion with my students, get the ball running and ask them questions to hear their opinion while I’m speaking.

For my research on the topic I found some YouTube videos which are very interesting and explain the whole African Colonization process as well as some useful articles. I will post the videos and the article links later on my post. Feel free to use them as resources for your classes. Who knows, maybe there will come a time in which you are asked to speak about a topic of your choice and this could come in handy in case you have no idea what to talk about.

Here’s a summary of the notes I took for class:

  • The Colonization of Africa was called “The Scramble for Africa”
  • It began in the 19th century and was conducted mainly by European countries (Empires)
  • It was motivated mainly for 3 reasons:
    • African Resources
    • Spread of Christian belief – I have my reserves for this one specific as my perspective is that this was used as maybe a way to disguise the true purposes of invading Africa and to provide an excuse to enter Africa in the first place. (This has been used many times before my the Europeans (ie: The Crusades)
    • Exploitation of African people
  • Aside from motivation it was fueled by 3 main reasons:
    • The industrialization of Europe due to its Industrial Revolution
    • Europe’s imperialism movement
    • Instead of having presence in Africa for trading purposes, European powers wanted a “Direct Rule Approach” rather than just having or controlling trade routes with the African continent.
  • Europeans saw Africans as inferior and barbarians that needed to be civilized.

How Europe was Divided

  • Great  Brittain (East Africa)
    • Egypt to South Africa
    • Nigeria
  • France
    • (West Africa
    • Madagascar
  • Belgium
    • Rwanda
    • Congo
    • Burundi
  • Portuguese
    • Angola
    • Mozambique
    • Guinea
  • Italy
    • Somalia
    • Libia
  • Germany
    • Cameroon
    • Tanzania
    • Namibia
  • Slave labor took 5 million lives
  • Colonialism’s power and success thrives where there is already an existing division on the colonizing country
  • Europe controlled 90% of Africa

Here is a Map of Africa based on the colonizing powers and how they divided the controlled continent


Here is the video that I used on my research and was also shared with the class during my session:

After the class saw the video and discussed the notes I shared with them, I went ahead and started a questions session to hear their opinions and continuing sparking discussion amongst them. (Remember you have to always emphasize that all of the speaking is done in English. Of course you will have some that try to do it in Spanish, correct them and encourage them to try it in English. The will come around, and say to them if they can’t say in completely in English, that they can also use some Spanish words if they don’t know them in English and that you will help them either way. This lets them be more relaxed and feel more confident when speaking and lets you connect better with them. Well that’s my approach, you use whichever suits you best.)

Here are the questions I used on class, you can use this ones or you can come up with different or additional questions yourself:

  1. Why fighting and civil war started in the African countries after being de-colonized?
    • Answer – When the Europeans divided the African countries frontiers they didn’t took into consideration ethnic groups, religion, beliefs, customs and differences. This sparked civil war within the new frontier of the country.
  2. What did Europe wanted to accomplish with the “Scramble for Africa”?
    • Answer – Europe wanted to control the means of production and secure production of raw material to be used in their Industrialization process.
  3. What made the difference that allowed Europe to colonize Africa?
    • Technology – warfare technology (machine gun) and ships
      • Before, Europe didn’t enter Africa because they needed horses to cross into Africa and there was a disease that killed horses
      • Now with the use of ships that can navigate Africa’s river they could enter the continent in a more effective matter.

Not only I wanted them to see the reality and the history of the African colonization but I also wanted them to think what could be the result or outcome if Africa was never colonized by the Europeans? How will Africa be divided today? What would be the impact that the African continent will have with the world if they were never colonized? Well this sounds very utopic and I also mentioned to them that this was in any case true to the historic standards but I challenged them to think about this for a moment? With that in mind, I found a video on YouTube which discusses a utopic scenario” like the one I’m speaking. Of course I made the clarification that this is not the truth and that we were going to watch this only to get a different perspective of “What if?”

The video is found below:

Well that’s it for today’s topic. Hope you found it useful for any of your classes or for those day’s that your stuck with having no topic to share with your class. As always, if you like what you see here, feel free to use it, subscribe to my blog and contact me for any questions. If you also have some additional lessons you would like to share with me, send me an email.

Take care and God bless,


© Samuel Enrique Martinez Fuster


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