Paired Texts > The Scramble for Africa
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a German philosopher whose work has greatly influenced Western modern philosophy. This passage discusses Nietzsche's concept of the "will to power" (German: der Wille zur Macht), the main desire and driving force in humans.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “On the Doctrine of Feeling the Power” and ask students to discuss power as a motivator for hurting others. Ask students to discuss why the Belgians under King Leopold II may have engaged in such a brutal campaign against the Congolese workers, according to Nietzsche.
In this article from the Monitor on Psychology, researcher Melissa Dittmann explores the circumstances that drive people to commit immoral acts.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “What Makes Good People Do Bad Things” and ask students to discuss the morality of colonialism, as well as greed as a motivator.
In "French and Indian War," this informational text recounts the history of the French and Indian War and how it played out between its three combatants: France, Great Britain, and the native people of North America.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “French and Indian War” and ask students to discuss the themes of imperialism in both texts. How does the scramble for Africa compare to the colonization of the New World? Who benefited the most from this scramble? Who benefited least? How did the imperialist powers justify their actions and their fight for foreign land?
Linda Pastan's "Egg" requires students to examine how a simple egg can symbolize more complex ideas in our world.Pair "Egg" with "The Scramble for Africa" and ask students to analyze how lines 1-2 of "Egg" connect to the actions of the British during the 19th and 20th centuries.
In "The Niger Expedition of 1841," Mike Kubic discusses Britain's attempt to eradicate slavery by forming treaties with African chieftains along the Niger River.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “The Niger Expedition of 1841” and ask students to discuss how the West’s attitude towards Africa moved from the moral crusade of the abolition movement to the colonization of its territories. What other motives did Western countries, particularly European countries, have for colonization?
The news article "Most Ivory for Sale Comes From Recently Killed Elephants — Suggesting Poaching Is Taking Its Toll" discusses how a new technology could impact the sale of illegal ivory.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “Most Ivory for Sale Comes From Recently Killed Elephants — Suggesting Poaching Is Taking Its Toll” and ask students to discuss why people do bad things. How did people profit from the events described in the two texts? In what ways did their actions negatively impact others or their surrounding environment?
The Royal Museum of Central Africa still contains artifacts that celebrate, rather than condemn, the history of colonization and planners are trying to figure out how to renovate the museum.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “Forget King Leopold’s Ghost. There are Still Skeletons in His Closet” and ask students to explain the history of European imperialism and colonization. How is King Leopold II just one example of this period in history? How might King Leopold II have justified his actions?
In this excerpt from Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, a sailor imagines what it must have been like for the Romans to come to England for the first time.Pair “The Scramble for Africa” with “Excerpt from 'Heart of Darkness'” to provide students with information about the time in history that inspired “Heart of Darkness.” In the informational text, the author discusses European and American colonization of Africa. How does this compare to Marlow’s description of the Romans’ arrival in England?