What were the motives behind European imperialism in Africa?
In this lesson, students investigate the key questions “Why did Europeans have little interest in colonising Africa before 1850?” and “What were the motives behind the ‘Scramble for Africa’ thereafter?”. Using the information provided, they produce an illustrated flowchart or infographic which highlights the connections between four main groups of factors. As an extention activity, each member of the class isgiven a different name to research from a list of explorers: in a subsequent lesson, groups of students should compare their findings, agree which one is the most important overall and share their choice with the class so that everyone can take additional notes.
There are references within this activity to “If” by Rudyard Kipling. I like to play my students this video of Michael Caine reading the poem, especially since they are usually familiar with him from his starring role in “Zulu”!