- Taschenbuch: 768 Seiten
- Verlag: Abacus; Auflage: New Ed (26. November 1992)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0349104492
- ISBN-13: 978-0349104492
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 20 x 5,2 x 13 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 45.105 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Scramble for Africa (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. November 1992
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'Magnificent, vigorous, comprehensive, compulsive reading' DAILY TELEGRAPH *'Memorable history on a grand scale . . . brilliant . . . thrilling, fast moving, imaginative, coherent' INDEPENDENT *' A phenomenal achievement . . . clear, authoritative and compelling' William Boyd, DAILY TELEGRAPH *'Grim as well as gripping reading . . . Pakenham writes racily and humorously . . . a magnificent, swash buckling, blood-bolstered epic' OBSERVER
*the full-scale story of the nineteenth-century imperial invasion of AfricaAlle Produktbeschreibungen
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It is not the first full scale study of that special episode in history, but one of the few which cover the whole of Africa and all 5 colonial powers who fought and raced for spreading their protecting, absolutely unselfish shield over the peoples of Africa.
It began with the explorers and the claims in the name of Christianity ( I mention the least concerning at first), Colonization and Commerce - I recognize: the three great "C"s - in fact the latter was the most important reason for conquest, at least for Britain, - "it was in Protestant Britain, where God an Mammon seemed made for each other", for Germany the reason was foremost to have reserves in political actions and a field for the America bent emigrants, for Belgium exploitation, for France the ideology of L`empire, for Italy the revival of the Roman Empire, for Portugal the trade. And rivalry for all of them, especially between France and Britain.
In the 19th century 10 million square miles with more than a hundred million people who mostly lived in smallest political units if at all, had to be taken into custody. Great challenge! Great performance to follow!
But how embarrassing in retrospection! Who could say today that the civilized nations had an obligation or even moral right to do what they have done, set a foot on African soil and trample down what stood in the way? The memories of the African people deny that the whole affair was very blessing. They could have gone without it. The funny thing is that the only African people who foster some colonial traditions with positive attitude towards the gone colonial power are the blacks in Tanzania and Namibia, former German colonies. It could be right to assume that the reason for this is that their masters had not so much time to exercise their blessings on them. They had to go after WW I. It is apparent, what followed - British rule - was no betterment.
Livingstone called Africa an open sore. The Arabs had overdrawn the continent with slave trade, not only for the own market, but also in service for the white people who build the glorious United States of America with the tears and blood of western African slaves.
It is safe to say that the activities of the colonial powers after Livingstone did not really heal the wounds. The Belgians in the Congo enslaved and tortured the blacks (the "enigmatic individual and self-styled philanthropic" controller of the heart of the continent: King Leopold II), the British in South Africa founded concentration camps for not cooperating Burs and ignored the rights of the independent Zulu nations, the French ruled with hard fists the proud desert tribes in North Africa, the Germans broke with merciless violence the resistance of self-determinate Herero tribes in the Southwest, not to speak of the Italian atrocities for the Christian nation of Abyssinia.
This all is described in the book. But also heroic enterprises, the brave undertakings of those who came first and went last. Who is not impressed by the struggle of General Gordon with his opponent the Mahdi in Sudan!
At that time "Africa" was in anybodies mind. The negligence of the European powers in the centuries before only enforced a hasty race for supremacy of African territories. In the first half of the explorers century Africa beyond its shores was a unique mystery, but "Suddenly, in half a generation, the scramble gave Europe virtually the whole, continent".
It was the age when Europe was at the peak of power and influence in the world, the modern age was to begin, industrialization, the military underwent a tremendous development which made the Europeans superior to all potential adversaries. The Maxim gun - not trade or the cross - became the symbol of the age in Africa (though in practise the wretched thing jammed).
The Whites could perform whatever they wanted. It was at the same time that the Wild, West of Northern America was "civilized" by wiping out the bison and whipping the Red Indians without remorse.
A great chance, a divine task for somebody like Livingstone! But he was no politician. This book brings to live the memory of many who responded to Livingstone`s call in their own fashion. They were all possessed by some sort of romantic nationalism, sailors, journalists, soldiers, pedagogues, missionaries, gold and diamond tycoons who poured into the inner country. Real men were needed. Many of them were outsiders of one kind or another. All with an imperialistic zeal to serve their country "Not only would they save Africa from itself. Africa would be the saving of their own countries". Then it became more a political playfield. Brutalities were commonplace during the first phase of occupation by the Powers. "Europe had imposed its will on Africa at the point of a gun. It was a lesson that would be remembered, fifty years later, when Africa came to win its independence."
The author decided to embrace the whole final hectic phase of the partition, beginning with the prelude in 1876 with King Leopolds crusade and ending in 1912 with the Italian invasion into Libya at the evening of WW I. In between the chapters contain the opening of the paths into dominating Africa - from Zululand to Tunis, support of the Khedive of Egypt and Sudan, the Belgian "philanthropic" enterprise, the change of mind of Bismarck; the emerging and introduction of the rights to conquer and rule, established, staring with the loss of Gordons head to the end of the Mahdi; the resistance and reforms that foreshadow the acknowledgement of granting self-determination and independence, the final curtain not being Leopolds death.
The Epilogue gives an outlook to the modern times when the conditions in Africa have become worse than ever. Questions arise if the Europeans left too soon. Be that as it may, their advent was ruthless, there stay not much better, so what do you expect of the powers that usurped the vacant chairs? Europe had a chance. They failed.
Rhodesia was the last to get free - and dead, the land which Rhodes and his men had grabbed from Lobengula. "The scramble out of Africa in the eleven years from 1957 to 1968 was pursued at the same undignified pace, taking the world as much by surprise, as the scramble into Africa more than half a century earlier."
"Door-closing-panic" seized the ex-colonial powers, first they hastened to get in and finally they hastened to get out, leaving a disappointing half century in desolate places behind them. The British did not even manage to build a railroad from Cairo to Capetown, although all dominated territory. Gone was the empire building but not blessing alliance of "God and Mammon" that had helped to launch the scramble. "Both the men of God and the men of business had begun to see that formal empire was counter productive". Colonies were becoming unfashionable. Even before the First World war. India became more interesting for Britain, because the Indians were more industrious and more promising consumers for the trading nation.
After all, these haphazard blocks old scrub and desert, peppered with ill-matched tribes, had neither geographical nor political unity. Many had been kept divided, the better to rule them. The British also missed to educate the people to get a capable and efficient elite. They did not want to have intelligence and they got it. This was a grave miscalculation.
In desperation Britain and France launched a crash programme in nation-building. The French war in Algeria had a scale and horror hardly matched by anything the other Powers experienced, although Britain had a hard fight during the rebellions in Kenya.
Meanwhile white business men have continued to make their fortunes in Africa. The new world is neo-colonialism. It is almost as in the beginning centuries ago when the Portuguese sailed along the African coasts to set up trade stations.
Whether Europe succeeded at least to transform an idea of freedom and human dignity, as the author wishes, who believes in the humanitarian ideals of Livingstone (which were rather Christian ideals) to the people of Africa, is something very much to be doubted. Africa is the most violent place in these days.
The narrative starts with the discoveries of the great explorers, Livingstone, Speke and Stanley - the latter ending up in the retinue and services of the shrewd Belgium King Leopold II planning to carve out a colony for himself in the Congo. The scene then switches to South Africa where a British invasion force is defeated by a Zulu army in Rorke's Drift in 1879 and where another British force is dealt a deadly blow by the Boers at Majumba. Back in Europe Bismarck plays his game of coercion and appeasement well enough to make the French invade Tunisia ... and the British crush a revolution in Egypt in 1882 (and stay there).
The scenery of the narrative switches swiftly from the European powers and decision makers (sometimes reduced to mere onlookers by their local representatives) to the respective place in Africa. Any major country or region is covered and most intelligently knit into the storyline by Pakenham (the Mahdi revolt 1885 and Kitchener's crushing of it in 1898, France's and Brazza's struggle for the Congo with King Leopold II, Bismarck taking Cameroon, Angra Pequena and German East Africa, the splitting of East Africa between Prussia and Britain in 1886, the `big deal' of 1891 in which Wilhelm II trades in Zanzibar, Uganga and Equatoria against the island of Helgoland - with France getting the Sahara, the rush for gold into the Zambezia, the invasion of Transvaal by Rhodesian troops, the defeat of the Italian army in Egypt by King Menlik in 1896, the brutal oppression of the Boer revolt in 1902 and Kitchener's concentration camps for women and children, the Fashoda incident, the 1904 Herero rebellion in German South East Africa and the ensuing genocide as well as the 1905 genocide following the revolt in German East Africa and the unification of the South African colonies in 1909).
Many remarkable (not necessarily in a positive context) personalities - aside from the main actors - can be found to play a role in Pakenham's narrative (Dr. Carl Peters, Kabaka Mwanga, Emin Pasha, Cecil Rhodes, cpt. Frederick Lugard of the IBEAC, Edmond Morel etc.).
It is very rare to find a book with so ambitious a topic not ending up in an unreadable scholarly fashion. The very opposite one will find in this book here: a swift narrative but still all encompassing, covering a highly ambitious stretch of time (roughly 40 years) and land mass.
Enthralling, surprising and highly recommendable!
Das Buch ist ausgesprochen groß angelegt, hat mich aber durch die Objektivität des Autors aber dennoch überzeugt und ich habe es an einem Stück gelesen.
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This book helps one understand the forensics that led to the inability to govern that haunts contemporary Africa..
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