Africa 1871 CE

European explorers have visited the interior of Africa.

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What is happening in Africa in 1871CE

End of the Atlantic Slave Trade

With the abolition of slavery in the USA, in 1865, the Atlantic Slave Trade has been dealt a decisive blow, and is now in steep decline. It will continue, illegally and on  a much smaller scale, until Brazil ends slavery in 1888.


At the same time, however, European nations are beginning to take a more assertive stance towards Africa. They have become more involved in Egypt with the building of the Suez Canal (1869), France has now colonized the coast of North Africa, and both France and Britain have established colonial enclaves on the coasts of West Africa. In South Africa, the original Dutch-speaking settlers (the Boer) have founded homelands in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, away from the British-controlled Cape; however, the discovery of diamonds in the interior (1867) starts a rush of British settlers into the area and increases tensions between the two European communities.

Southern and Central Africa

The Zulu conquests, and the mass-migrations they have caused, have resulted in a huge upheaval over a large part of southern Africa. In this process, many old kingdoms have been destroyed, and new ones formed. Southern and central Africa have experienced huge dislocation. Into this turbulent region have come the first Christian missionaries from Europe, David Livingstone being the most famous. They are appalled at what they see, and their reports home arouse widespread indignation. Agitation in Britain against the Indian Ocean slave trade follows, and a new imperial movement gathers pace, which regards Europeans as agents of a superior civilization, whose duty it is to bring Africans the benefits that their own people enjoy.

Next map, Africa 1914

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The Atlantic Slave Trade

European World Empires

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