At this point in time Britain is on the throes of the Industrial Revolution. This eliminates the need for slaves and introduces a need for markets for their processed goods and raw materials. It has a very impressive navy and has earned itself the title the Queen of the Sea. This enables it to establish colonies in Africa and Asia from which to source the raw materials needed for industry.
France France too is experiencing changes brought on by the industrial revolution. Her economy is changing from an emphasis on plantation farming to industry. The country is also recovering from the revolution and slowly adapting to a republican form of government. She needs colonies for the same reasons Britain does: raw materials and colonies.
Germany Before 1848 Germany was simply a group of principalities that shared language and traditions and had a form of federal assembly in the Diet that met in Frankfurt annually. In the period from 1848 to 1871, under the guidance of Otto von Bismarck -a Prussian politician, they were united under an emperor (Kaiser). As a new state, Germany wanted colonies as a source of wealth and prestige.
Belgium Up to the 1800s Belgium was part of the Netherlands and was ruled by the Spanish Hapsburgs. As a new state, she wanted economic wealth and prestige. Especially since she was the site of many battles and was called the 'cockpit of Europe.'
Italy Italy too was nothing more than a bunch of principalities until by the actions of Giusseppe Garibaldi, King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia, his chief minister Count Camillo Cavour and strangely enough Emperor Napoleon III of France, it was united to form present day Italy in 1869.
Portugal Portugal had since the 16th being in contact with Africa mainly for the purposes of trade and missionary activity. Portugal did not see her colonies as possessions but as overseas provinces, extensions of Portugal if you will. So it sought colonies as settlement areas, sources of raw materials, prestige and point of trade.The stated goals of the conference were to be the settling of Congo claims between Britain, France, and Portugal, and of Anglo-French rivalries along the Niger River."
IB HL African History Questions from Area Discuss the reasons and motives that were justifiable to the Europeans colonizing Africa during the 1900s. Why was Germany's contact with Africa delayed for so long as compared to other European powers?
How was the growth in European traders and explorers related? Give some examples. How did Leopold manage to establish the CFS, and what was the situation like under his rule. What were among the main purposes of the Berlin West Africa Conference? How did technological advancements aid Europeans in conquering the African continent? How did Europeans use African political disability to their advantage? Describe how the construction of the Suexz Canal led to the occupation of Eygypt?