The Scramble for Africa / Edition 3

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In 1870 barely one tenth of Africa was under European control. By 1914 only about one tenth – Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Liberia – was not. This book offers a clear and concise account of the ‘scramble’ or ‘race’ for Africa, the period of around 20 years during which European powers carved up the continent with little or no consultation of its inhabitants.

In her classic overview, M.E. Chamberlain:

  • Contrasts the Victorian image of Africa with what we now know of African civilisation and history
  • Examines in detail case histories from Egypt to Zimbabwe
  • Argues that the history and background of Africa are as important as European politics and diplomacy in understanding the 'scramble'
  • Considers the historiography of the topic, taking into account Marxist and anti-Marxist, financial, economic, political and strategic theories of European imperialism

This indispensible introduction, now in a fully updated third edition, provides the most accessible survey of the ‘scramble for Africa’ currently available. The new edition includes primary source material unpublished elsewhere, new illustrations and additional pedagogical features. It is the perfect starting point for any study of this period in African history.

M.E. CHAMBERLAIN is Professor Emeritus at Swansea University.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781408220146
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/8/2010
  • Series: Seminar Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 196
  • Sales rank: 653,751
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

M.E. CHAMBERLAIN is Professor Emeritus at Swansea University.

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Table of Contents


Publisher’s acknowledgements


Who’s who



Part One: The problem

1. Introduction

2. The African background

3. The Victorian image of Africa

Part Two: Analysis

4. The British occupation of Egypt, 1882

5. West Africa

6. East Africa

7. South Africa

8. Fashoda and the Anglo-French agreements of 1904

Part Three: Assessment

9. Conclusion


1 David Livingstone: humanitarian

2 Commerce

3 Africa as El Dorado

4 Darkest Africa: fully developed racism

5 Stanley’s antipathy

6 Suez Canal

7 The Egyptian finances: Stephen Cave’s Report

8 Divided opinions

9 Egypt in international diplomacy

10 Death of Gordon At Khartoum

11 The desire to abandon responsibilities

12 The fears of British traders

13 The British government’s reaction

14 The Berlin West Africa conference lays down the ‘rules’ for the scramble

15 The Royal Niger Company

16 The Great Depression

17 The mixture of economic and strategic arguments

18 The ‘little Englanders’’ stand on Uganda

19 Cecil Rhodes

20 The Rudd concession

21 The Colonial Office’s doubts about the legality of the British South Africa Company’s position

22 The Fashoda incident

23 The Anglo-French agreements of April 1904

24 J. A. Hobson

25 V. I. Lenin

26 Lord Cromer

27. A modern rejection of traditional explanations of the partition

28. Was the whole phenomenon economic after all?

Appendix: European colonial background

Guide to further reading



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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2015

    Don't confuse this book with "The Scramble for Africa"

    Don't confuse this book with "The Scramble for Africa" by Thomas Pakenham. That book truly deserves a five-star rating. This one I do not know about but I find it curious that Professor Chamberlain, or the publisher, chose the very same title for this book as the one used by Mr. Pakenham back in 1991. Disregard my star rating; it means nothing because I have not read this book. However, I am forced to choose something and anything above one star will not do. One star, then, for usurping the title of another, excellent book.

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  • Posted October 26, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    If you know nothing regarding the history of the African Continent, this book is a must read. It provides insight into the European cultural arrogance that was propogated against the African peoples and also the Arab influence in North Africa to the Sahara. This should be a part of high school curriculum here in the U.S. but it will never happen.

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