19th Century European Explorers Essay

704 words - 3 pages

Although the Napoleonic Wars distracted the attention of Europe from exploratory work in Africa, those wars nevertheless exercised great influence on the future of the continent, both in Egypt and South Africa. The occupation of Egypt (1798-1803) first by France and then by Great Britain resulted in an effort by Turkey to regain direct control over that country, followed in 1811 by the establishment under Mehemet Ali of an almost independent state, and the extension of Egyptian rule over the eastern Sudan (from 1820 onward). In South Africa the struggle with Napoleon caused the United Kingdom to take possession of the Dutch settlements at the Cape, and in 1814 Cape Colony, which had been continuously occupied by British troops since 1806, was formally ceded to the British crown.Meantime considerable changes had been made in other parts of the continent, the most notable being the occupation of Algiers by France in 1830, an end being thereby put to the piratical proceedings of the Barbary states; the continued expansion southward of Egyptian authority with the consequent additions to the knowledge of the Nile. The city of Zanzibar, on the island of that name, founded in 1832 by Seyyid Said of Muscat, rapidly attained importance. Accounts of a vast inland sea, and the discovery in 1840-1848, by the missionaries Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johann Rebmann, of the snow-clad mountains of Kilimanjaro and Kenya, stimulated in Europe the desire for further knowledge.At this period, the middle of the 19th century, Protestant missions were carrying on active propaganda on the Guinea coast, in South Africa and in the Zanzibar dominions. Their work, largely beneficent, was being conducted in regions and among peoples little known, and in many instances missionaries turned explorers and became pioneers of trade and empire. One of the first to attempt to fill up the remaining blank spaces in the map was David Livingstone, who had been engaged since 1840 in missionary work north of the Orange. In 1849 Livingstone crossed the Kalahari Desert from south to north and reached Lake Ngami, and between 1851 and 1856 he traversed the continent...

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