Since the beginning of time there have been various empires ruling and fighting their neighbors for power and dominance. As the years went by so did their ambition and the search for new sources of wealth. On August 3, 1492 the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus made his landmark voyage with intentions to find a direct route to the East (Asia). Instead of landing in Asia, on October 12, 1492 Columbus and his crew land in The Bahamas (Caribbean). He finds a lush forest filled island with a population of a probably 40,000 indigenous people. Spanish military and traders then come to these islands looking for gold. Finding none, they enslaved nearly all the people and transported them to other islands. Because of this many know Columbus for starting the exploration and exploitation of the Americas and Caribbean region through European colonialism. This era becomes the Age of Discovery.
Colonialism In Africa
In the 19th Century the second phase of European colonialism came to fruition with the Scramble for Africa. In the 1800’s Africa is mostly controlled by Africans with most Europeans only being in coastal regions. Once European explorers started travelling inwards they started seeing the rich natural resources of these countries. As trains started to become more prevalent the technology eventually made its way to Africa. Trains turn into an instrument to travel farther inland, defeat, exploit and control regions. By the early 1900’s the majority of Africa was controlled by the major player such as France, Britain, Portugal, Spain and so on. The new way of life implemented by Europeans would change the outlook for the continent in good and bad ways. Some which they still feel to this day.
Colonial Era Banknotes
The Age of Empire: Five European Colonial Banknotes collection includes five banknotes from various European colonies. The notes are in different colors, themes, sizes, and also feature subjects. The Hong Kong 1 cent features Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the Qing Empire ceded Hong Kong Island at the end of the First Opium War in 1842. The territory returns to Chinese control in 1997 after extending the 99-year lease of the New Territories.
1 Rupie from German East Africa which does not have the traditional design of a banknote. Instead, it looks like a coupon or legal document. Parts of modern day Rwanda, Tanzania, Burundi and also Mozambique were claimed by the former Imperial Germany.
1 Piastre from French Indochina French Indochinas 1 Piastre note depicts a local young man with baskets. Modern day Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam were officially established under French control in 1887. It eventually fell under Japanese control in WW2 and eventually gained independence.
The 50 and 100 Escudos from Portuguese Guinea. The Escudo banknotes bear a portrait of 15th century Portuguese explorer Nuno Tristao. Portuguese Guinea existed as a colony from 1588-1974 after it gained its independence it changed its name to Guinea Bissau.