Essay Sample on European Colonization of Tropical Africa: Factors of Ease and Hardship

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  563 Words
Date:  2023-04-24


In the third part of the documentary, Guns, Germs, and Steel, the colonization of Africa by Europe is discussed where it is found that there were factors that encouraged the colonization while others discouraged the European colonization. Africa was unique, and along the way, the Europeans found themselves going through experiences that they had not faced in prior conquests.

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Factors that Eased the European Colonization in the Tropical Region of Africa

The first factor was the similarity in latitudes of South Africa and Europe. The Europeans chose to enter Africa through South Africa, which favored their survival since the climate and temperatures were akin to those in Europe. Also, the Africans had poor immunity against the diseases that came from the animals that the Europeans had, unlike the Europeans, who had gained resistance over time.

Another factor that facilitated the European colonization in Africa was their knowledge of using guns. At one time, they were attacked by the Zulu warriors, but they were able to launch and succeed in a counterattack, which they were more prepared for, and won. Moving forward, the Europeans were able to quickly attack other armies like the Matabele warriors as a result of their superior weapons. The Europeans were able to build railroads that facilitated the movement of people and goods from one place to another. The development of a transport system helped the Europeans expand their reach within Africa.

Factors That Hindered the European Colonization in the Tropical Region of Africa

The Europeans were not sure of what they would find when they started exploring Africa. They, however, had a clue from what they had done in the past. Their lack of knowledge about Africa cost them heavily when they came across the Zulu warriors. The Zulu had developed a sophisticated economy and occupied over 3000 square miles of land. In the European's first ambush, about 300 of them were killed. The geography of the area, which had been a European stronghold, failed them in the tropics of Africa. The topography of the land, the soil, and the climate of the African nation were harsh towards the plants and animals introduced by the Europeans. The Europeans had been used to having four seasons, but in Africa, the seasons were only two, rainy and dry. The crops refused to grow, and the animals died. The conditions in the tropics devastated the Europeans.

Lastly, the Europeans were affected by malaria. The temperatures in the tropics facilitated the existence of mosquitoes, which gave the Europeans sleepless nights and killed many of them before repellants were found. The Africans in the tropics, on the other hand, were not lethally affected by some diseases like smallpox, which the Europeans thought would affect them like in other territories they had conquered. Germs did not act on the advantage of the Europeans at that instance but significantly weakened them.


In summary, many countries in Africa eventually gave in to the force of the colonies and had to adopt the language, dressing, religion, and customs of their colonizers. With time, the countries gained independence and were able to free themselves of most of the influence that their colonizers had on them. The story of the colonization is exciting and brings to mind the struggles that all parties involved had to endure as well as the successes they recorded as a result of their unique strengths.

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Essay Sample on European Colonization of Tropical Africa: Factors of Ease and Hardship. (2023, Apr 24). Retrieved from

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