Reasons behind the explorations of the 19th century:

Many European countries experienced the industrial revolution and Britain was one of them. Consequent to this, the European market was filled with manufactured goods that were in dire need of an overseas market.

The British had already traded on the coast of West Africa in the past but did not have enough knowledge of the interior. This was because they had an easy and steady supply of slaves and so there was no need for them to go beyond the coast.

But when the slave trade no longer prevailed, the British felt the urgent need to go beyond to market their goods.

They also knew that they could get a lot of raw material from West Africa for further production of their goods.

Europeans also perceived that the River Niger was an appropriate medium through which the interior of West Africa could be reached but they had no idea of neither routes of the river nor its direction.

Thus, all these stimulated the Europeans to explore the West African interior.

Other motives for the exploration include:

  • The British longed to abolish the slave trade.
  • They wanted to expand their trade overseas.
  • They desired to spread the gospel of Christianity.

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