Pink Map: Portuguese Scramble for Africa 1881-1914

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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 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, changing the character of the war to a religious Jihad. Spain also sent troops. Governor Magallo died in a sortie on 28 Oct. After the Sultan failed to intervene effectively Spain formally declared war on Morocco on 9 Nov. The war was quickly wound up in Spain’s favour after the army was increased to perhaps 25,000 Spanish regulars and militia under General Martnez de Campos. The Rif themselves peaked at 40,000. Hostilities formally ceased with the Treaty of Fez (25 Apr 1894).

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