Livingstone explored places of Africa that no European had been before

Livingstone explored places of Africa that no European had been before. He was born on March 19th, 1813, in Blantyre, South Lanarkshire, Scotland, and he died on May 1st, 1873, in Chief Chitambo’s Village, near Lake Bangweulu, North Rhodesia (now Zambia) (David Livingstone, 2014). In 1836, he began studying medicine and theology in Glasgow, until he set forth to Africa, arriving in Cape Town, South Africa in March of 1841, in the official role of a “medical missionary” (David Livingstone, 2014). He crossed Africa from east to west and he came across many water sources that were previously uncharted by Europeans, including the Zambezi River and Victoria Falls (History – Historic Figures: David Livingstone (1813 – 1873), n.d.). In 1849 and 1851, he travelled across the Kalahari, on the second trip sighting the upper Zambezi River. In 1852, he began a four-year expedition to find a route from the upper Zambezi to the coast (History – Historic Figures: David Livingstone (1813 – 1873), n.d.). Over the years, Livingstone continued his explorations, reaching the western coastal region of Luanda in 1853. In 1855, he came across another famous body of water, the Zambezi falls, called by native populations “Smoke That Thunders” and which Livingstone named Victoria Falls, after Queen Victoria (David Livingstone, 2014). By 1856, He reached the mouth of the Zambezi on the Indian Ocean in May 1856, becoming the first European to cross the width of southern Africa (History – Historic Figures: David Livingstone (1813 – 1873), n.d.). This contributed tremendously in the knowledge that Europeans had of central and southern Africa at the time.
The reason that Livingstone tried to accomplish such a difficult task was because of his views about Africa. He had been positioned as an abolitionist who believed in the dignity of Africans, the viability of commercial enterprises for the continent and the imposition of Christianity, despite indigenous spiritual beliefs (David Livingstone, 2014). In the 1860s, Livingstone wrote “My desire is to open a path to this district Africa that civilization, commerce, and Christianity might find their way there” (Barrett, 2013). This, he hoped, was the surest way to defeat slavery. It was a narrative that appealed to both the charitable and the materialistic sides of the Victorian psyche (Barrett, 2013). Unfortunately, His findings contained important unknown details about the continent that led to European nations seizing African land, which some speculate Livingstone would have opposed (David Livingstone, 2014).

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