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Divide and Rule: The Partition of Africa, 1880-1914 Paperback – 17 Jul 1996
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"Wesseling's style is light, his organization of confusing streams of events is masterful, and his decision to tell the tale through biographical sketches of the prime movers of events is attractive to the general reader."-International Journal of African History Studies
"This most recent effort to synthesize the history of Africa's partition is a lively, accessible account for the interested layperson and the serious scholar."-Publishers Weekly
"Stylistically pleasant and based on a sound knowledge of the period, Wesseling's monograph demonstrates that the political makeup of present-day Africa was created by Europeans during the partition.... All levels."-Choice
?This most recent effort to synthesize the history of Africa's partition is a lively, accessible account for the interested layperson and the serious scholar.?-Publishers Weekly
?Stylistically pleasant and based on a sound knowledge of the period, Wesseling's monograph demonstrates that the political makeup of present-day Africa was created by Europeans during the partition.... All levels.?-Choice
?Wesseling's style is light, his organization of confusing streams of events is masterful, and his decision to tell the tale through biographical sketches of the prime movers of events is attractive to the general reader.?-International Journal of African History Studies
"This book is the most judicious and most evenhanded synthesis of the rich historiography concerning the partition of Africa from the perspective of European imperial historians. Its special merits are its overall clarity and its guidance to the relevant more specialized works so that it becomes an ideal textbook on the subject. Its brilliance lies in its weaving in of the diplomatic records about all the European players involved, rather than relying on an account derived from one or two major powers....It is this ability to refuse to simplify, to resent complexity, to underline the interplay between the unexpected and the expected, which constitutes the main achievement of this remarkable work, and sets it off from others."-Jan Vansina, John D. Mac Arthur and Vilas professor emeritus University of Wisconsin-Madison
The partition of Africa was one of the most spectacular episodes in modern history. For Europeans, Africa was still an unknown continent in 1880. Thirty years later, almost all of it was under European control. This race for colonies went hand in hand with a host of thrilling exploits and dramatic conflicts, of which Stanley's exploration of the Congo and Gordon's death in Khartoum were just two examples. In "Divide and Rule", Wesseling dwells primarily on the historical developments. The many picturesque and problematic events are brought back to life. The leading characters are presented with gusto: the pioneers, the conquerors, the European politicians who tried to run the show no less, and the main African protagonists. For this reason, "Divide and Rule" is above all a story of one of the most dramatic highlights of the centuries-long history of European expansion.See all Product description
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Imperialsim was in high gear during this time frame and the nations of Europe did in Africa what they had done in east Asia (namely China) and central Asia before. They carved out territory and spheres of influence. land that was taken by one nation was contested and fought over, but nations did accept boundaries as there was plenty of land to be conquered. Ironically, the land closest to Europe, Morroco, was among the last African lands to be taken over (likely because it had fewer resources than the rich southern lands).
Divide and Rule does a very good job of explaining what and how Eurpoe took over Africa. This ultimately led to the turbulent 1960s when African nations emerged from colonialsim to rule themselves in a format that their history and culture did not understand. Both this book and "Scramble" should be read, but I believe Divide and Rule is the true definitive account of this fascinating period of history.