The period of colonial rule in Africa came late and did not last very long. Africa was conquered by European imperial powers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. By the 1960s, it was mostly over. ‘Colonialism in Africa’ considers how this period shaped African history. For some Africans, colonial rule was threatening; for others, an opportunity. Reconstructing the complicated patterns of this time is a massive challenge for historians of Africa. Interest in Africa' colonial past has waxed and waned, and resurged recently. Colonialism was not just about the actions of the Europeans, it was also about the actions of the Africans and what they thought.