During the 19th and early 20th centuries, European powers set out to develop global empires and their efforts were largely successful. European nations carved up large chunks of Asia and almost all of Africa, separating the land among themselves. The colonies these nations set up persisted until the second half of the 20th century. Imperialism reorganized international politics and had a major impact on the development of the global south.
History timeline of Imperialism and age of imperialism - Scramble for Africa. Imperialist states vie for control over parts of Africa.
Dr. Livingstone, I presume?
The Scramble for Africa
After Dr. David Livingstone disappeared into the Congo for several years, an American reporter, Henry Stanley, went to track him down. The story sparked widespread interest in Africa.
The Belgian Congo
Maxim Machine Gun
King Leopold II hired Stanley to help him acquire lands in the Congo. The colony, the Belgian Congo, brutally exploited locals as labor to collect rubber sap.
Rubber is money! We need more! Your life depends on it!
European imperialists had a number of advantages that allowed them to penetrate into Africa and create colonies.
In order to prevent conflict over African colonies, European leaders met in Berlin to decide where and how colonies should be established. No Africans were invited.
Ethiopia defeated an invading Italian force at the Battle of Adwa. By 1914, only two nations remained independent: Liberia and Ethiopia.
Image Attributions:Harar rain coming (Ethiopia) (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ahron/215806759/) - Ahron de Leeuw - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)Maxim machine gun (https://www.flickr.com/photos/quinet/7477745058/) - quinet - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)Ethiopia Grunge Flag (https://www.flickr.com/photos/80497449@N04/7383433962/) - Free Grunge Textures - www.freestock.ca - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)Image taken from page 30 of 'British Possessions and Colonies. [With maps.]' (https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/11249453394/) - The British Library - License: No known copyright restrictions (http://flickr.com/commons/usage/)Image taken from page 391 of 'The Development of Africa ... Illustrated with a set of ... maps ... designed by E. G. Ravenstein' (https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/11205836475/) - The British Library - License: No known copyright restrictions (http://flickr.com/commons/usage/)Africa: 100 km and 200 km Coastal Zones (https://www.flickr.com/photos/54545503@N04/5485511123/) - SEDACMaps - License: Attribution (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)