Colonial projects did not
begin with nation-states but as joint-stock company ventures with private stock
sold to private investors (aristocracy).
Using the capital raised from
the joint-stock company, the company would assemble a crew of prospectors.
The prospectors only goal was maximizing profits for the shareholders
in the joint-stock company.
The most common methods are:
convert agriculture to a cash-crop, exploit resources and exploit
A colonial mission nearly always includes all three.
Before colonization, most of these economies were food sovereign,
meaning, they could grow enough food to feed the population.
process of colonization, all the variety of crops and produce are replaced by
the single cash-crop or
a small group of
cash crops that maximizes profit for the colonizing entity.
850 AD Benin's inner wall, a 7 mile earthen rampart girded by
a moat 20 feet deep, is built.
1200 Benin City
and Timbuktu have thriving economies based on trading salt, gold, spices and
As the wealth of Timbuktu grows it becomes a center of learning
attracting Muslim scholars.
1440 36 known Ogiso
are accounted for as rulers of Benin when Oba Ewuare, also known as Ewuare the
Great, takes power.
1485 Portuguese Joao Afonso
de Aveiro visits Benin City.
trading developed between England and Benin based on the export of ivory, palm
oil, pepper, and slaves.
successfully repells an attempt by
Portugal to conquer it at
the Battle of Alcácer Quibir.
With Morocco, on the verge of
bankruptcy, Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi turns his attention to looting the
Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi commands Judar Pasha, a
Spanish eunuch, to take the salt mines at Taghaza and advance on the capital
1591 Judar Pasha sacks and loots Gao but
finding few riches moves on to the richer trading centers of Timbuktu and
The looting of the three cities marked the end of the
1593 Ahmad I al-Mansur citing
"disloyalty" arrests and subsequently kills or exiles many of Timbuktu's
scholars, including Ahmad Baba al Massufi.
Virginia Company begins as a joint-stock company.
1661 Compagnie des aventuriers d'Afrique, a joint-stock
company was given exclusive rights to exploit Africa by the "Sun King", Louis
XIV of France.
The Sun King consolidated a system of absolute
monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution, a direct
result of absolutism.
1691 Great Benin,
where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon. all the streets run straight and
as far as the eye can see. The houses are large, especially that of the king,
which is richly decorated and has fine columns. The city is wealthy and
industrious. It is so well governed that theft is unknown and the people live
in such security that they have no doors to their houses.
1701 Ashanti king Osei Tutu and his adviser Okomfo Anokye
establish the Ashanti Kingdom, with the Golden Stool of Asante, conquer
early 1800s Search for ivory, often
used in the production of luxury goods, led many white traders into the
interior of Africa.
With the exception of trading posts along the
coasts, the continent is essentially ignored.
1876 King Léopold II of Belgium, founds and controls
the International African Association, inviting Henry Morton Stanley to join
him in researching and 'civilizing' the continent.
1878 International Congo Society is formed, with economic
goals but still closely related to the former society.
secretly purchases foreign investor stock in the Congo Society, which turn to
imperialistic goals, with the Society serving as a philanthropic
1884 The Berlin Conference ushers in a
period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, eliminating and
overriding most existing forms of African autonomy and
Before the conference, European diplomacy treated
African natives in the same manner as New World natives: by forming trading
relationships with the indigenous chiefs.
German colonialists and missionaries arrived in Rwanda.
times, Rwanda's rich farmland grows an assortment of fruits, vegetables as well
as cassava and yam as their staple carbohydrate.
first by the Germans and then by the Belgians, the land is converted to a large
industrial coffee farm.
Rwanda, no longer able to feed itself, is
forced to import basic foodstuff from the mother country.
Many of the
vegetables that once grew in Rwanda are now extinct.
Benin City is
captured by Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, who razes and burns the city, stealing
and destroying treasured art.
The "Benin Bronzes" - stolen portrait
figures, busts, and groups created in iron, carved ivory, and especially in
brass - are now displayed in museums around the world.
1899 United Fruit Company (UFCO), the merger of Minor C.
Keith's banana-trading concerns with Andrew W. Preston's Boston Fruit Company.,
Manuel Estrada Cabrera
Spain lacks the wealth
and interest to develop its African colonies during the first half of the 20th
However, through a paternalistic system, particularly on
Bioko Island, Spain develops large
with thousands of imported Nigerian
1931 Following the fall of the
monarchy, the Spanish African colonies including Spanish Guinea and Spanish
Morocco became part of the Second Spanish Republic.
Francisco Franco, a
general of the Army of Africa, rebels against the republican government and
starts the Spanish Civil War
which lasts until 1939.
1956 When French Morocco becomes
independent, Spain surrenders Spanish Morocco, but retains control of Sidi
Ifni, the Tarfaya region and Spanish Sahara.
Spanish territory on the Gulf of Guinea is established with a status similar to
the provinces of metropolitan Spain.
pressure from nationalists and the United Nations, Spain announces it will
grant Equatorial Guinea independence.
international pressure, Spain returned Sidi Ifni to Morocco.
Green March prompts withdrawal from Spanish Sahara under Moroccan military
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