- from Africa
Until the late 1800s, the nations of Europe had little contact with Africa. It was mostly through the slave trade along the west coast and some minor exploration of the Niger and Congo Rivers.
All that changed in the 1880s. After slavery was abolished in the United States, the slave trade was no longer profitable for Europeans. But manufacturing was. The Industrial Revolution had already begun in Europe. (The Industrial Revolution was the process of changing from farming to manufacturing on a large scale.) Manufacturers needed raw materials, like rubber and petroleum. They used these materials to build and “feed” the machines that produced products to sell. Where could they get them? In a word, Africa.
The continent was also a place where Europeans could go to start a new life. Many had been hurt by the loss of jobs due to the move from farming to manufacturing. Plus, the more African land a country controlled, the more prestige it had.
The colonization of Africa was about to begin. In later years, this period in time would come to be known as the Scramble for Africa.