Scramble for Africa 18: Germany in the Scramble pt1 – from Karl Peters to the war on Mkwawa and the Wahehe

Germany in East Africa

We begin the story of Germany in the Scramble for Africa with the question: was Germany really as bad as their enemies say they were? (spoiler: worse) We talk about Bismarck’s reluctance to own colonies, about why he started to change his mind as Germany caught a growing colonial fever; we talk about the harrowing career of Karl Peters, and then talk about the Germans in East Africa – the war on Mkwawa and the Hehe; the Maji Maji rebellion; and some short notes on Rwanda and Burundi under German control. The Herero and Nama genocides in Namibia will follow in the next episodes.

Scramble 17: Brazza, Fashoda, and Cesaire’s Discours – France in the Scramble concluded

Brazzaville, the Fashoda Incident, and Aime Cesaire on Colonialism

We start with a quick history of France’s theft of Congo-Brazzaville, centering on Brazza himself and ending with the Toque-Gaud Trial. Then on to the nearly early start of WWI – the Fashoda Crisis between Britain and France. Finally, we give the floor to Aime Cesaire to give us some commentary on what French colonialism in Africa meant and how to understand the specifics of France’s colonial crimes.

Scramble for Africa 16: Female Caligula DESTROYS Madagascar!

The French steal Madagascar 1886

Clickbait title aside, this episode continues to follow the French as they Scramble for Africa. In this case, how France managed to steal the enormous island of Madagascar from its powerful African rulers. We of necessity do tell the story of Queen Ranavalona, but also the outrageous deeds of the French military, the dastardly things they said, and some of the rebellions of the Malagasy that started straight away and continued until independence, including the menelamba movement aka the Rising of the Red Shawls.

Scramble for Africa 15: France Seizes West Africa

France seizes West Africa

In this episode France seizes the territories of the Tukolors (overthrowing Sultan Ahmadu), battles Samori Toure, and fights a long war with King Benanzin of Dahomey. Some observations about the differences between France’s notions of colonialism and those of the British, in whose footsteps the French colonizers hoped to follow.

Scramble for Africa 14: France saves Sadok Bey of Tunis from a nonexistent threat and steals the country 1881

The French steal Tunisia

After a bit of comparing and contrasting French colonialism with the British type, Dave tells us about the French Foreign Legion; Then we’re on to a key piece in France’s Scramble for Africa, the theft of Tunis from the Bey, Muhammad Sadok. In the process, the French colonizers insisted they were saving Sadok Bey from a threat from local tribes. He insisted he didn’t need the help, but in the end, Tunisia became a French protectorate.

Scramble for Africa 13: France in the Scramble – the Algeria Precedent and Abdelkader’s Resistance

The Algeria Precedent

We talked about France’s colonization of Algeria back in Civilizations Episode 15 (in August 2020). We revisit it now, as France’s entry point into the Scramble for Africa. Algeria was France’s template for colonizing Africa and many of the dynamics of France’s African colonial crimes can be seen developing in Algeria. We end up focusing quite a bit on Abd el Kader’s Resistance to colonization. And the depopulation of Algeria under colonialism: between 1830-1872, the country’s population went from 3 milion to 2.125 million, by one estimate. 

Scramble for Africa 12b: The British Sack Benin in 1897

Using Dan Hicks’s 2020 book The Brutish Museums: The Benin Bronzes, Colonial Violence and Cultural Restitution, Justin tells the story of how the British destroyed Benin, stole their stuff, and put it in museums. It’s part of the story of the British Scramble for West Africa, but we give it its own episode to show you Hicks’s research. 

Scramble for Africa 12: The British Scramble for West Africa

The British Scramble for West Africa

We start this episode with a few minutes of reading reviews – from fans and not-fans! Perhaps this will inspire you to review us too. Then we’re on to the British Scrambling for West Africa. Some of the Africans who fought back, of course, notably Bai Bureh and Yaa Asentewaa. Lord Lugard’s ideas of the Dual Mandate and the debate on indirect rule. The trickery and wars that led to the consolidation of Nigeria into a British colony. Some tales near the end of the incredible missing imperial records — too many to be coincidental.

Scramble for Africa 11: Theodore Herzl, the Uganda Plan, and the Zionist Scramble for East Africa

The Zionist Scramble for Africa

At the first Zionist Congress in 1897, delegates agreed to pursue the colonization of Palestine. But at the Sixth Zionist Congress in 1903, Theodor Herzl presented a proposal for a colony in East Africa – he presented it as a mere stepping stone to Zion, but it caused bitter divisions among the delegates. We tell the little-known story of the British negotiations with the Zionist movement for a colony in Africa, centering on the founder himself, Theodore Herzl (not to be confused with a contemporary Viennese colonialist utopian named Theodore Hertzka, whose novel also became the basis for a failed African colonization scheme…). Our last stop in the British Scramble for East Africa (West Africa’s next).

Scramble for Africa 10: Saving souls and stealing cattle – the British take Uganda and Kenya

The British Scramble for East Africa

From the Imperial British East Africa Company to the British East Africa Protectorate, we trace the missionary mischief that led to the British taking Uganda and the many wars (called “expeditions”) that led to the British taking Kenya. In the process you’ll meet Mwanga of Buganda, Kabarega of Bunyoro, and the treacherously assassinated Arap Samoei of the Nandi.