Imperialism in Sudan
How it works
In the 1800s, many European countries raced to claim parts of Africa in what is now known as the “Scramble for Africa”. Countries strategically took parts of Africa for their abundance of resources. Also, they wanted to have control over parts of rivers for trading purposes. Some tribal chiefs even signed treaties with these countries, which gave them the right to trade along major rivers (crf-usa 1). One of these countries is Sudan. Sudan, like all the other countries, had its own story that made it unique from all the other countries in Africa during the Imperialism.
Northern Sudan existed as the Egyptian city-state, Nubia. In the sixth century CE, the Nubian city-state was doing well – they had an abundance of natural resources, they were able to trade because of the Nile river, and they even had a sense of power because of their revolt in the eighth century BCE. Following this came the invasion of Sudan by the Christians in the sixth century CE. The Christians were able to easily establish there. Around the year 1500, Muslim Funj Tribes were able to gain control over Southern Sudan. Later, they were able to gain control over the Nubians and were able to convert them to followers of Islam. According to the article, The Imperialization of Sudan, “At around 1820, the Egyptian Ottoman forces entered Nubia and were able to establish a Turkish- Egyptian administrative system within the next two years while under the leadership of Governor Charles George Gordon”. Once Gordon resigned as the colonial governor of Sudan in 1880, the power of Ottoman Egyptian forces began to decline within Sudan with the rise of Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi, an Islamic leader believed to be the figure that was said to get rid of all evil, the Mahdi. The Mahdist Regime, a religious and political movement started by Muhammad Ahmad al-Mahdi against the Khedivate of Egypt, was able to establish a successful regime after driving their enemies out. According to the article, “Mahdist caliphs who sought to extend their power and further conquer territory in southern Sudan. Within the Mahdist caliphate, existed a severe bout of political and economic chaos that led to the oppression of the people and tensions between the civilians and the administration. From here, Anglo-Egyptian forces dispatched in 1896 and were able to gain full control over Mahdist Sudan in 1899”. (The Imperialization of Sudan 3)
How it works
The Conquest of Sudan
As a result of the growing economic, political, and social corruption under the reign of the caliphs, Anglo-Egyptians teamed up with Great Britain in 1898. They were able to gain complete control over Sudan and remove the Mahdist, which led to the Anglo-Egyptian forces being able to establish and influence within the colony of Sudan. With this, they were able to establish the Anglo-Egyptian power over Sudan under the leadership of both the British and Egyptian Khedive. Although Sudan was under a condominium, the British was dominant over Egypt. This only furthered their instability throughout time. (The Imperialization of Sudan 4)
Egyptian Motives for Conquering Sudan
Egypt and Great Britain had different reasons for conquering Sudan and colonizing it. The Egyptians,wanted to have a sense of power even though it was under British control. Egypt wanted to maintain the stability of their economic trading systems and gaining control of Sudan allowed them to continue trade markets, resources, and trade routes along the Blue and White Nile. Under Mahdi rule, Egyptian economic trading along the Nile in the Sudan were strained and heavily removed because of accessibility to resources and markets in Sudan. Egypt’s taking over Sudan allowed for Egypt to re-establish its economic prosperity in gaining profit, increasing activity, and demanding products in the economy as a result of control over the Sudanese Nile. (The Imperialization of Sudan 4)
British Motives for Conquering Sudan
Similar to the Egyptians, the British wanted to gain more access to the Nile River, its trade routes, and the trading markets. This access to the Nile and its trade markets allowed for the British to gain a significant amount of profit from selling and trading British manufactured goods for example- textiles, alcohol, and guns. The British were also interested in the resources that were there, especially in cotton. Cotton was beneficial for the textile industry. The increase of cotton allowed for the textile industry to produce an abundance of textiles that allowed for the industry and Great Britain to gain more wealth and profits from the constant supply and demand for textiles. (The Imperialization of Sudan 4)
Sudan Gains Its Independence
According to Mary Galanis, “in 1919, there was a nationalist revolt in Egypt that made the British question the stability of their co-partner. The British decided to replace all the Egyptians with Sudanese workers to keep Sudan strong and avoid any violence that could break out between Egyptians. Egypt wasn’t ready to give up their share of Sudan. Their influence came in the form of poetry, songs and movies in the northern parts of Sudan where the more learned people of the country were living”. After World War II, the Anglo-Egyptian Agreement pressed for election of Sudan which allowed them to get closer to their independence. On January 1, 1956, six months after the start of a civil war, Sudan gained its independence. (Mary Galanis 1)
Many Africans that lived during the period of colonization suffered deeply. During this time the Egyptians and the British conquered Sudan for various reasons including its resources and its trade routes and markets. Although the Africans were not thought of, they did advance in medicine, technology, and education. Today they are still and independent country.