Encouraged by the findings of European explorers Livingstone, Pinto, Burton, and Grant in the early 19th century, hordes of Europeans backed by their armies sailed south of Europe and began the work of colonization. It was to avoid the infighting and conflict that the Berlin Conference was organized.
The colonization efforts were ruthless and resulted in the near-total destruction of African culture. Africa at the time was a land of more than a thousand tribal kingdoms, each with its specific culture and forms of government, and as is common with peoples the world over, likewise engaged in their own intergenerational and inter-tribal wars involving territory and natural resources. Ravaged by diseases and harsh living conditions, the populations of these African kingdoms were expanding slowly, limited only by their ability to tame nature. This was the continent which the Europeans invaded with "guns, germs, and steel" (Diamond 4) and set quickly to work in ravishing.
Another strong influence of the colonists was their belief that Afric ...Show more