Had the US participated in the Scramble for Africa, which parts of Africa could it have acquired?

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,194
SoCal
#1
Had the US participated in the Scramble for Africa, which parts of Africa could it have acquired? Liberia was already independent during this time and thus I would think that it would be off-limits for US expansion, but what about other parts of Africa?

Also, how would the US have managed and developed whatever African colonies it would have managed to acquire in this scenario?
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,571
Portugal
#2
Had the US participated in the Scramble for Africa, which parts of Africa could it have acquired? Liberia was already independent during this time and thus I would think that it would be off-limits for US expansion, but what about other parts of Africa?

Also, how would the US have managed and developed whatever African colonies it would have managed to acquire in this scenario?
Liberia – so here I don’t agree with you. Independent countries and kingdoms were smashed by the Europeans and the USA.

And, speculating a bit, most probably the territories that later would belong to the Free State of Congo.

It was a private initiative. The USA citizen Henry Morton Stanley had influence in the project since the beginning and if properly motivated it could lead all the process to a USA influence taking the king of Belgium out of the picture.

About the management, I think that would be quite similar to the European. Probably closer to the British model than to the French or Portuguese one.
 
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Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,571
Portugal
#4
What were the major differences between the British model and the continental ones?
Fair question in the sequence of my previous post. A full answer would be long and would derail the thread, so I will try to be as short as possible. Probably this would be worth a thread if one still doesn’t exist.

First of all I didn’t state that it was a British vs. continental issue. Don’t think it is. I think that albeit there are common features to all the European countries, there are also national features and even differences among the models developed by the nations (for instance the initial model that Portugal adopted in Angola and in Mozambique were quite different, see the question of the “Prazos” in Mozambique here: Prazo - Wikipedia). So maybe I should have used the plural in "model".

So, even with contradictions inherent to generalizations, the French colonial system was based on colonial rule and direct control over its colonies that led to a program of cultural export and assimilation.

The British in some colonies like Nigeria and Kenya seemed to develop a system of “indirect rule” where unlike the French they didn’t seem to be interested in assimilating the indigenous, but to maintain the status quo.

The Portuguese had the French system as a model by the late of the 19th century and 20th, with assimilation “policies” and (pseudo)paternalistic policies since the “lançados” of the 15th century and the inheritance in the 19th century of a feudal system developed since the beginning of the exploration with vassal kings (in theory) everywhere. But as pointed before in Mozambique in the sequence of the Scramble for Africa and due the scarcity of capital the territories were simply granted to huge European private companies, passing from the Feudal concept of the Prazos to a more capitalist model, probably a bit on the British example in Rhodesia. That didn’t happen in Angola at the same level. Naturally with the emergence of the colonial war the concepts changed. The status of the indigenous was abolished in 1961 and huge investments were made in Africa.

Italian, German, Belgian (post-Free State of Congo) and Spanish colonies and policies had their own characteristics.
 
Likes: Futurist
Dec 2017
293
Regnum Teutonicum
#5
It depends, how early their colonization of Africa would have started.

I am pretty sure for logistical reasons the USA would have concentrated on the western half of Africa.

Liberia would have been one of the first the Americans would have acquired. As Germany was very late in the colonial game, they could have taken Togoland and Cameroon instead of the Germans. In a little war the Congo could have been snatched from the Belgians.
So this already gives them a territorial focus. It brings them in direct confrontation with either the French or the British.
They will either fight in a war/wars with the French for control of West Africa south of Mauritania and Algeria. In this case it will be favourable to get an agreement with British along the lines "you focus on the east of Africa and we on the West".
If hostilities would break out with the UK, they could get an alliance with France. France could expand into Egypt, Sudan, Gambia and Sierra Leone, while the USA would either connect their colonies from Liberia to the Congo or expand into the south - Rhodesia, Betchuanaland, South Africa and Swaziland.

Some islands as stepping stones to Africa might have been on the american menu as well (e.g. the Bermudas and/or Cape Verde).
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,571
Portugal
#6
It depends, how early their colonization of Africa would have started.

I am pretty sure for logistical reasons the USA would have concentrated on the western half of Africa.

Liberia would have been one of the first the Americans would have acquired. As Germany was very late in the colonial game, they could have taken Togoland and Cameroon instead of the Germans. In a little war the Congo could have been snatched from the Belgians.
So this already gives them a territorial focus. It brings them in direct confrontation with either the French or the British.
They will either fight in a war/wars with the French for control of West Africa south of Mauritania and Algeria. In this case it will be favourable to get an agreement with British along the lines "you focus on the east of Africa and we on the West".
If hostilities would break out with the UK, they could get an alliance with France. France could expand into Egypt, Sudan, Gambia and Sierra Leone, while the USA would either connect their colonies from Liberia to the Congo or expand into the south - Rhodesia, Betchuanaland, South Africa and Swaziland.

Some islands as stepping stones to Africa might have been on the american menu as well (e.g. the Bermudas and/or Cape Verde).
So, you are advancing in this speculation to a situation that there were wars between colonial powers in Africa, a thing that never existed. That is a huge step in the realm of speculation. A step into fiction.
 
Likes: Futurist
Dec 2017
293
Regnum Teutonicum
#7
Well, of course it is a step into fiction, as the question is about fiction: what would happen IF the USA would acquire african colonies. I chose one scenario I could imagine, if things would turn bad.
If there was no war between colonial powers in Africa, then how do you explain that during the Seven Years War the UK conquered the french trade posts in Senegal (30.4.1758)?
Or the First World War, where the Entente fought Germany and its allies in Africa?
Or the Second World War, where e.g. the Italians and British fought in their african colonies?
 
Jun 2015
5,723
UK
#8
Most colonies were based on previous areas of trading activity.
Germans were in Namibia before the COngress of Vienna.
And the British were the major slave traders in the Gold Coast (current Ghana) and Nigeria.
Portugal was always the most active in Angola and Mozambique.

The USA could have claimed Liberia, though it wasn't a direct federal government venture.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,571
Portugal
#9
Well, of course it is a step into fiction, as the question is about fiction: what would happen IF the USA would acquire african colonies. I chose one scenario I could imagine, if things would turn bad.

If there was no war between colonial powers in Africa, then how do you explain that during the Seven Years War the UK conquered the french trade posts in Senegal (30.4.1758)?
Or the First World War, where the Entente fought Germany and its allies in Africa?
Or the Second World War, where e.g. the Italians and British fought in their african colonies?
For me speculation in History, or better speculation the the Human and Social Sciences, is always in the realms of the possible. In History that means moments in time that a certain event could had occur. Or possibly could had occur. Moments in time that a nation or a historical figure had a certain option in hands. More than that I prefer not to speculate and instead read fiction. There are good forums to discuss fiction, for instance I am a member, even if not quite active, of Science Fiction & Fantasy forums

As for the chronology the thread title and the OP mentioned the “Scramble for Africa”. It was a phenomenon that occurred in the late 19th century, beginning of the 20th. For the record it occurred post Seven Years War, and pre-WWI. Albeit there were clashes, skirmishes and casualties between the European Powers, an open war never occurred. If I recall correctly the events that were more close to that happened in the Italian-Ottoman war in 1911. But feel free to correct me if my memory failed me.
 

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