In order to explore the nature of British expansion in Africa Porter's The Lion's Share and T.O. Lloyds The British Empire 1558-1995 are indispensable texts. Using their information on British expansion throughout Africa as a foundation it becomes possible to break down the period of greatest growth between 1880 and 1900 by analyzing British role in Africa prior to 1880, the external roles that competitors such as Germany and France had in forcing England's imperial hand coupled with the internal economic drives for procuring areas of Africa, and the special case and significance of the Cape Colony and British Afrikaner relations.
Britain's early presence in Africa was exclusive to Sierra Leone, Gambia, The Gold Coast and The Cape Colony. They gained control of these areas in the late 18th or early 19th centuries. It is not until the 1860's that Britain and other European powers began to assert themselves in terms of gaining African territory making treaties. The scramble for Africa really has its beginnings in the late 1860's but does not began to fully take off until the 1880's when Britain, Germany, France, and t