Why Europeans Colonised Africa, and the United States Didn’t

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In the “Scramble for Africa” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many European nations colonised Africa. European countries competed to claim land and profit from the continent’s resources and people. However, the US did not colonise.

The US did not join the scramble for Africa for numerous reasons. First, the US still allowed slavery. Instead of exploring and colonising, the nation concentrated on consolidating its territory and resources. The dense population and depleting resources of Africa made colonisation unattractive to the US government and rich companies. The US possessed several resource-rich Latin American and Pacific possessions.

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The US colonised other countries. Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and Guam are U.S. territories. These territories are nominally part of the US, although they don’t have state rights or assistance. European powers utilised colonies for resources and money.

Resources drove the hunt for Africa. European nations sought resource-rich places to conquer as their resources dwindled. The African Association, which a group of wealthy Englishmen started, paid for a trip to Timbuktu, which is in the middle of Africa. This mission charted the Niger River, which previous expeditions used to explore Africa.

Henry Morton Stanley, a naturalised American, colonised Africa. As a journalist and explorer, he was hired by King Leopold II of Belgium to explore the Congo and set up the Congo Free State, which later became the Belgian Congo.

Colonisation greatly impacted Africa, causing suffering under European rule, theft of resources, and suppression of African cultures. Many African nations are still recovering from the effects of colonialism.

Despite not joining the Scramble for Africa, the US has had a major influence on Africa. US military activities have shaped the continent’s political and economic structure. The US’s actions and policies have also had a huge influence on Africa’s economic progress.

The US has been improving its connection with Africa. The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and Millennium Challenge Corporation are US programmes to boost African economic growth. We also address poverty, sickness, and violence.

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The US colonised indigenous peoples and people of colour, even if it did not colonise Africa. American history is marred by Native American slaughter and African slavery. We must comprehend these events and their legacy to solve structural inequity and injustice.

The descendants of enslaved Africans and indigenous Americans have been demanding restitution for years. Reparations mean a country or government should compensate a group for their mistreatment. Financial compensation, land, or other assistance may heal past wrongs.

Although the US did not engage in the Scramble for Africa, it has colonised and oppressed indigenous people and people of colour. These activities still harm underprivileged populations. We must recognise and accept these occurrences to fix systemic inequity and injustice and make amends.

 

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