Tomas Pueyo in Uncharted Territories:
Europe is geographically much closer to Africa than America. Northern Africa has been part of the Eurasian culture since Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, over two millennia ago.
But the colonization of America by Europeans began just before the 1500s1, while they colonized Africa mostly after 1870, during a period of about 40 years called the Scramble for Africa that saw Europe’s colonization of Africa go from about 10% of its territory to about 90%. For 350 years, Europeans didn’t conquer the continent next door, crossing the Atlantic instead. Why?