Curious students want to know: why was Latin America so thoroughly colonized before Africa was, given that there was European penetration in Africa even before America was discovered? I am stumped.
One layperson’s hypothesis (invented by me, but I am really just guessing and I have no serious knowledge to base this on): the Treaty of Tordesillas and the nature of the colonial enterprise of Spain. They developed major institutions, they did not just have outposts. But the Treaty of Tordesillas gave Africa to Portugal, which had a different colonial policy (see how comparatively little Brazil was developed compared to, say, Mexico). So Africa didn’t become a big-time colony until the French and British, and a few others, got in in the 19th century.
What say you? I am fascinated and stumped. This is far out of my field, but I ought to have some inkling of what an informed person would say on this matter.