Category: Scramble for Africa

In the Scramble for Africa the European powers occupied, colonised and outright annexed African territory. The period spans from 1881 until the start of World War I in 1914. Both Spain and Portugal were bit players in in the Scramble for Africa. Spain fought the Rif Warin Morocco. Portugal had arrived in Africa long before the other European powers. Despite establishing themselves in the late medieval period it took until the late nineteenth century, and general European interest, for the Portuguese to expand their territories inland. Unfortunately British expansion prevent Portugal from realising its ambition to link Angola and Mozambique and form a “Pink Line” across Africa.


Pink Map: Portuguese Scramble for Africa 1881-1914

Portugal was in Africa long before the other European powers but had to struggle to maintain its place during the Scramble for Africa. Portugal’s claimed sovereignty over the land between Angola and Mozambique, now including Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi (Wikipedia: Pink Map). This claim was embodied in the ‘Pink Map’ (Portuguese: Mapa cor-de-rosa). Unfortunately the Pink Map conflicted with the British “Cape to Cairo Red Line”.

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Map of Colonial Africa in 1913

I found this map of Map of Colonial Africa in 1913 (Wikipedia: Colonial Africa 1913 map). Amongst the big players it shows the Spanish possessions in the Rif War and Sahara and the Portuguese possessions in Angola and Mozabique. It also shows how the Portuguese coast-to-coast aspirations embodied in the ‘Pink Map‘ conflicted with the British “Cape to Cairo Red Line”.

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Timeline of Portuguese Medieval Africa

My timeline for Portuguese Medieval Africa. The timeline, at least initially, is largely pieced together from Wikipedia excerpts.

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Kingdoms the Portuguese Encountered in Southwest Africa

Sometime 1482-83 the Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão became the first European to reach the kingdom of Kongo (Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kongo). The Portuguese had an active presence in the region until 1975.

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Portuguese in Medieval Africa

Sometime 1482-83 the Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão became the first European to reach the kingdom of Kongo (Wikipedia: Kingdom of Kongo). The Portuguese had an active presence in the region until 1975. Following Oliver and Atmore (2001) I call the early part of this period, 1250-1800, “Medieval Africa”

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Timeline for the Second Rif War 1909

Although known at the time as the Rif War it was actually the Second Rif War. I have included earlier events to set the context. Also see the separate timelines for the First Rif War and Third Rif War.

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Timeline for the First Rif War 1893-94

This war is known by several names: Rif War, First Rif War, Melilla War and the Margallo War. It was fought in 1893-94 between Spain and 39 of the Rif tribes (kabyles) of northern Morocco, and later the Sultan of Morocco (Wikipedia: First Rif War). Juan García y Magallo, the Spanish governor of Melilla, provoked the local tribes when he began redoubt near a Riffi saint’s tomb (Furneaux, 1967). In quite a spectacular show of discontent 6,000 Rif Warriors began the siege of Melilla on 3 Oct. They were soon reinforced when a Spanish shell accidentally destroyed a local Mosque,

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Timeline of the Portuguese Scramble for Africa

A rough timeline about Portuguese Angola 1884-1917, or how Britain did over Portugal in the Scramble for Africa.

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