Examples in Africa

The imperialistic ambitions of large European nations during the first world war are best illustrated by their campaigns in Africa. Realizing the need to gain access to more resources to fuel their individual efforts in the ongoing industrial revolution, these European powers scrambled to divide Africa so they could each seize their resources as that of their own. By analyzing historic texts and news articles this next section will examine the motives, objectives, and public response to European imperial ambitions in Africa and how they fueled the start of World War 1.

The African Standard

The front page of this African newspaper from 1910 is comprised entirely of ads for European owned businesses operating out of Africa. This is a reflection of the extent to which imperial nations wanted to impose themselves on the entirety of Africa and can be seen as a reason for why they were so eager to obtain African land in the build up to WW1.

German War Claims

This next section contains a British article that ponders the question of whether German war claims to South Africa were valid. At the time both Britain and Germany had vast overseas colonies so this questioning regarding validity was likely not due to an issue with the morality of the matter but rather one of balancing economic interests. This dispute likely increased tensions between Germany and England, opposing leaders in the subsequent first World War. Therefore this political dispute over their imperial intentions was likely a significant factor in rising tensions in the build-up to the first World War.

Dominion and Colonies

This article is a British account of how Germany planned to imperialise South Africa along with how it hoped to improve the opinions of its residents towards the empire. Although the article doesn’t go into too much detail, the subject matter provides a clear enough example of what German imperial intentions in South Africa were. If looked at from a broader context in which its evident that Germany needed to expand even further to support its rapid development, it becomes quite clear that imperialism played a role in Germany military objectives that led to them being one of the most eager nations to start a World War.

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