Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1841-1904), the Welsh explorer, who came to be well-known because that his expedition of main Africa, is believed to have coined the hatchet “Dark Continent” once he created of his explorations in his book Through the Dark Continent.
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Was over there an Undercurrent that Racism?
Over the numerous decades the the hatchet “Dark Continent” has actually been provided to describe Africa, it cannot be denied the there is part association through skin color and also racism. Provided the great struggles the the continent has faced versus slavery and apartheid, this is quite understandable. However, that is additionally possibly the narrowest interpretation of this term.
Did it describe Unexplored Land?
To know the origin and also the mysticism of the ax “Dark Continent”, let united state take a look at the expedition of Africa by Europeans. When the presence of the continent chin was recognized to the Europeans due to the fact that the 8 hours to 6th centuries BC, expedition of Africa by the europe did not start until the 15th century.
Bartolomeu Dias, a nobleman of the Portuguese imperial household, to be a Portuguese explorer. The sailed approximately the southernmost pointer of Africa in 1488. Subsequently, he became the an initial European to discover a sea path to the Cape of good Hope. Despite such an awareness the the place of the continent itself, the maps were painfully poor in details.
Moreover, main Africa remained greatly unexplored. The maps that 15th come 18th century only outlined the geography of the coasts. Later, the advent of new cartographic gadgets made few of the old maps redundant. Till the 19th century, as soon as explorers such as Sir Richard Burton, David Livingstone, and Sir Henry Morton Stanley began their explorations, the heart of the continent remained mainly “dark” or unknown.
Was that the Unfamiliar culture and Faith?
Another reason for referring to Africa together the “Dark Continent” could perhaps it is in the reality that nothing much was known about the continent, that people, and also its culture. The could additionally be the geography – its substantial and special jungles, deserts, mountains, the unfamiliar flora and fauna, that gave rise come a an excellent deal that curiosity about Africa. This was harnessed through the creative thinking of writers and also the an excellent accounts the explorers that imagined a savage, untamed society. This would definitely explain the moniker.
By the 19th-century, Christian missionaries had also centred top top Africa together a much-favoured destination to spread out the native of God. They had expected come be received with much adoration and also reverence. However, they discovered it a fairly uphill task to draw world away from their traditional faiths. The missionaries blamed this top top the ‘savage’ means that Africans had actually been living, and also the rampant enslavement that had existed because that centuries. This also led them to deem Africa together the “Dark Continent”.
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Lack the ‘Light’ in The age of Enlightenment
One the the most important ideological motions that changed Europe to be the age of Enlightenment. The 18th-century witnessed the arrival of famous philosophers such together Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, and also Spinoza. Lock emphasized on the ‘light’ that reason and also explored empirical study, as opposed to the accept of spiritual dictates. Apart from having actually a profound impact on europe social and political thought, it additionally led to the explanation of this ‘light’ deprived Africa together a Dark Continent.