Academic journal article Military Review

Wars of Imperial Conquest in Africa, 1830-1914

Academic journal article Military Review

Wars of Imperial Conquest in Africa, 1830-1914

Article excerpt

WARS OF IMPERIAL CONQUEST IN AFRICA, 1830-1914, by Bruce Vandervort. 274 pages. Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN. 1998. $16.95.

Until recently, most of the literature concerning the conquest of Africa has been written from the conquerors' perspective. With Colonial Africa's demise, the "new" countries are retelling their stories from their point of view. Bruce Vandervort weds both viewpoints and presents a clearer picture of Africa's conquest. However, he does not limit himself to just reporting military actions, he puts those events into the social, political and economic setting that prevailed at the time.

There were two distinct periods during the subduing of Africa. The first was from 1876 to 1880 and covered the establishment of outposts along the coasts and the exploration of major African rivers. The second period, beginning about 1880, covered the conquest of the remainder of the interior, which was aided by medical advances. The almost sure death by disease had kept the Europeans on the coast. The recruitment of natives into the army further enhanced local operations and reduced the number of European soldiers required for combat. …

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