HOME

TheInfoList




The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, also known as the Congo Conference (german: Kongokonferenz) or West Africa Conference (), regulated
European colonization The historical phenomenon of colonization is one that stretches around the globe and across time. Ancient and medieval colonialism was practiced by the Phoenicians, the Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ...

European colonization
and trade in
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
during the
New Imperialism In historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study of the past. Events occurring before the History of writing#Inventions of writing, invention of writing sy ...
period and coincided with
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
's sudden emergence as an imperial power. The conference was organized by
Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (german: Otto Fürst von Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, Herzog zu Lauenburg ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a c ...

Otto von Bismarck
, the first
chancellor of Germany The chancellor of Germany, officially the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Bundeskanzler(in) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is the head of the federal government of Germany The Federal Cabinet or Federal Govern ...
. Its outcome, the General Act of the Berlin Conference, can be seen as the formalisation of the
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
, but some scholars of history warn against an overemphasis of its role in the colonial partitioning of Africa and draw attention to
bilateral Bilateral may refer to any concept including two sides, in particular: *Bilateria, bilateral animals *Bilateralism, the political and cultural relations between two states *Bilateral, occurring on both sides of an organism (Anatomical terms of loc ...
agreements concluded before and after the conference. The conference contributed to ushering in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, which eliminated or overrode most existing forms of African
autonomy In developmental psychology Developmental psychology is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and organizes knowledge in the form of Testability, testable explanations and predictions ...

autonomy
and
self-governance __NOTOC__ Self-governance, self-government, or self-rule is the ability of a person or group to exercise all necessary functions of regulation Regulation is the management of complex systems A complex system is a system composed of many c ...
.


Background

Prior to the conference, European diplomats approached governments in Africa in the same manner as they did in the Western Hemisphere by establishing a connection to local trade networks. In the early 1800s, the European demand for
ivory Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusk Tusks are elongated, continuously growing front teeth A tooth (plural teeth) is a hard, calcification, calcified structure found in the jaws (or mouths) of many vertebrates and used to Mastica ...
, which was then often used in the production of
luxury goods In economics Economics () is a social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant ...
, led many European merchants into the interior markets of Africa. European spheres of power and influence were limited to coastal Africa at this time as Europeans had only established trading posts up to this point. In 1876, King
Leopold II of Belgium Leopold II (french: Léopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor; 9 April 1835 – 17 December 1909) was the second King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909 and, through his own efforts, the owner and absolute ruler of the Congo Free State from 1885 to 1908. ...

Leopold II of Belgium
, who had founded and controlled the
International African Association The International African Association (in full, "International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa"; in French ''Association Internationale Africaine,'' and in full ''Association Internationale pour l'Exploration et l ...
the same year, invited
Henry Morton Stanley Sir Henry Morton Stanley (born John Rowlands; 28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904) was a Welsh-American journalist, explorer, soldier, colonial administrator, author and politician who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and his sea ...

Henry Morton Stanley
to join him in researching and 'civilizing' the continent. In 1878, the
International Congo Society The International Association of the Congo (french: Association internationale du Congo), also known as the International Congo Society, was an association founded on 17 November 1879 by Leopold II of Belgium * german: Leopold Ludwig Philipp M ...
was also formed, with more economic goals but still closely related to the former society.
Léopold
Léopold
secretly bought off the foreign investors in the Congo Society, which was turned to
imperialistic
imperialistic
goals, with the 'African Society' serving primarily as a philanthropic front. From 1878 to 1885, Stanley returned to the Congo not as a reporter but as Leopold's agent, with the secret mission to organise what would become known as the
Congo Free State The Congo Free State, also known as the Independent State of the Congo (french: État indépendant du Congo), was a large state and absolute monarchy in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was privately owned by and in a personal union with Leopo ...
soon after the closure of the Berlin Conference in August 1885. French agents discovered Leopold's plans, and in response France sent its own explorers to Africa. In 1881, French naval officer was dispatched to central Africa, travelled into the western Congo basin, and raised the French flag over the newly founded
Brazzaville Brazzaville (, kg, Kintamo, Nkuna, Kintambo, Mavula; Teke: ''Mfwa'', ''Mfoa'', ''M'fa'') is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in ...
in what is now the
Republic of Congo The Republic of the Congo ( french: République du Congo, mkw, Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa. To the ...
. Finally, Portugal, which had essentially abandoned a colonial empire in the area, long held through the mostly defunct proxy
Kongo Empire The Kingdom of Kongo ( Kikongo: ''Kongo dia Ntotila'' or ''Wene wa Kongo;'' Portuguese: ''Reino do Congo'') was a kingdom located in central Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in bo ...
, also claimed the area, based on old treaties with Restoration-era Spain and the
Roman Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Baptism (from the Greek language, Greek noun βάπτισμα ''báptisma'') is a Christians, Christian ...

Roman Catholic Church
. It quickly made a treaty on 26 February 1884 with its former ally, Great Britain, to block off the Congo Society's access to the . By the early 1880s many factors including diplomatic successes, greater European local knowledge, and the demand of resources such as gold, timber, and rubber, triggered dramatically increased European involvement in the continent of Africa. Stanley's charting of the
Congo River The Congo River ( kg, Nzâdi Kôngo, french: Fleuve Congo, pt, Rio Congo), formerly also known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both case ...
Basin (1874–1877) removed the last ''
terra incognita Terra incognita is a Latin phrase meaning 'unknown land', describing regions that have not been mapped or documented. Terra incognita may also refer to: * ''Terra Incognita'' (Gojira album) * ''Terra Incognita'' (Juliette Lewis album), 2009 * ...

terra incognita
'' from European maps of the continent, delineating the areas of British, Portuguese, French and Belgian control. These European nations raced to annex territory that might be claimed by rivals. France moved to take over
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...
, one of the last of the
Barbary states The terms Barbary Coast, Barbary, Berbery or Berber Coast were used in English-language sources (similarly to equivalent terms in other languages) from the 16th century to the early 19th to refer to the coastal regions of North Africa or Maghreb ...
, using a claim of another
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery Robbery is the crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publi ...

piracy
incident. French claims by Pierre de Brazza were quickly acted on by the French military which took control of what is now the
Republic of the Congo The Republic of the Congo ( french: République du Congo, mkw, Repubilika ya Kôngo), also known as Congo-Brazzaville, the Congo Republic or simply either Congo or the Congo, is a country located in the western coast of Central Africa ...
in 1881 and
Guinea Guinea (), officially the Republic of Guinea (french: link=no, République de Guinée), is a coastal country in West Africa. Guinea borders the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Guinea-Bissau to the northwest, Senegal to the north, Mali to the no ...
in 1884. Italy became part of the Triple Alliance, an event which upset Bismarck's carefully laid plans and led Germany to join the European invasion of Africa. In 1882, realizing the geopolitical extent of Portuguese control on the coasts, but seeing penetration by France eastward across Central Africa toward Ethiopia, the Nile, and the
Suez Canal The Suez Canal ( ar, قَنَاةُ ٱلسُّوَيْسِ, ') is an artificial sea-level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an mean, average level of the surface of one or more of Earth's bodies of water from which hei ...
, Britain saw its vital trade route through Egypt to India threatened. Under the pretext of the collapsed Egyptian financing and a subsequent mutiny in which hundreds of British subjects were murdered or injured, Britain intervened in the nominally
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...
, which it controlled for decades.


Conference

The European race for colonies made Germany start launching expeditions of its own, which frightened both British and French statesmen. Hoping to quickly soothe the brewing conflict, Belgian King Leopold II convinced France and Germany that common trade in Africa was in the best interests of all three countries. Under support from the British and the initiative of Portugal,
Otto von Bismarck Otto, Prince of Bismarck, Count of Bismarck-Schönhausen, Duke of Lauenburg (german: Otto Fürst von Bismarck, Graf von Bismarck-Schönhausen, Herzog zu Lauenburg ; 1 April 1815 – 30 July 1898), born Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, was a c ...

Otto von Bismarck
, the
chancellor of Germany The chancellor of Germany, officially the Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany (german: Bundeskanzler(in) der Bundesrepublik Deutschland), is the head of the federal government of Germany The Federal Cabinet or Federal Govern ...
, called on representatives of 13 nations in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
as well as the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
to take part in the Berlin Conference in 1884 to work out a joint policy on the African continent. The conference was opened on November 15, 1884, and continued until it closed on 26 February 1885. The number of
plenipotentiaries A ''plenipotentiary'' (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
varied per nation, Also availabl
here
origina
here
but these 14 countries sent representatives to attend the Berlin Conference and sign the subsequent Berlin Act: /a> 26 February 1885. Uniquely, the United States reserved the right to decline or to accept the conclusions of the conference.


General Act

The General Act fixed the following points: * To gain public acceptance, the conference resolved to end slavery by African and Islamic powers. Thus, an international prohibition of the slave trade throughout their respected spheres was signed by the European members. In his novella ''
Heart of Darkness ''Heart of Darkness'' (1899) is a novella A novella is a narrative prose fiction whose length is shorter than that of most novel A novel is a relatively long work of narrative fiction, typically written in prose and published as a book ...

Heart of Darkness
'',
Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, ; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently ...

Joseph Conrad
sarcastically referred to one of the participants at the conference, the
International Association of the Congo The International Association of the Congo (french: Association internationale du Congo), also known as the International Congo Society, was an association founded on 17 November 1879 by Leopold II of Belgium * german: Leopold Ludwig Philipp M ...
(also called "
International Congo Society The International Association of the Congo (french: Association internationale du Congo), also known as the International Congo Society, was an association founded on 17 November 1879 by Leopold II of Belgium * german: Leopold Ludwig Philipp M ...
"), as "the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs"."Historical Context: ''Heart of Darkness''." EXPLORING Novels, Online Edition. Gale, 2003
Discovering Collection
The first name of this Society had been the " International Association for the Exploration and Civilization of Central Africa". * The properties occupied by Belgian King Leopold's
International Congo Society The International Association of the Congo (french: Association internationale du Congo), also known as the International Congo Society, was an association founded on 17 November 1879 by Leopold II of Belgium * german: Leopold Ludwig Philipp M ...
, the name used in the General Act, were confirmed as the Society's and hence Leopold's private property. On August 1, 1885, a few months after the closure of the Berlin Conference, Leopold's Vice-Administrator General in the Congo, Francis de Winton, announced that the territory was henceforth called "the
Congo Free State The Congo Free State, also known as the Independent State of the Congo (french: État indépendant du Congo), was a large state and absolute monarchy in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was privately owned by and in a personal union with Leopo ...
", a name that in fact was not in use at the time of the conference and does not appear in the General Act. * The 14 signatory powers would have
free trade Free trade is a trade policy A commercial policy (also referred to as a trade policy or international trade policy) is a government's policy governing international trade International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and servic ...
throughout the
Congo Basin The Congo Basin (french: Bassin du Congo) is the sedimentary basin Sedimentary basins are regions of the Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface ...
as well as
Lake Malawi Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an African Great Lakes, African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. It is th ...

Lake Malawi
and east of it in an area south of 5° N. * The
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
and
Congo Congo may refer to either of two countries that border the Congo River The Congo River ( kg, Nzâdi Kôngo, french: Fleuve Congo, pt, Rio Congo), formerly also known as the Zaire River, is the second longest river in Africa Africa ...
rivers were made free for ship traffic. * The Principle of Effective (based on "effective occupation", see below) was introduced to prevent powers from setting up colonies in name only. * Any fresh act of taking possession of any portion of the African coast would have to be notified by the power taking possession, or assuming a
protectorate A protectorate is a state that is controlled and protected by another sovereign state. It is a dependent territory A dependent territory, dependent area, or dependency (sometimes referred as an external territory) is a territory that does not ...
, to the other signatory powers. * Definition of regions in which each European power had an exclusive right to pursue the legal ownership of land The first reference in an international act to the obligations attaching to "
spheres of influence In the field of international relations, a sphere of influence (SOI) is a spatial region or concept division over which a state or organization has a level of cultural, economic, military, or political exclusivity. While there may be a formal al ...

spheres of influence
" is contained in the Berlin Act.


Principle of effective occupation

The principle of effective occupation stated that powers could acquire rights over colonial lands only if they possessed them or had "effective occupation": if they had treaties with local leaders, flew their flag there and established an administration in the territory to govern it with a police force to keep order. The colonial power could also make use of the colony economically. That principle became important not only as a basis for the European powers to acquire territorial
sovereignty Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate a ...
in Africa but also for determining the limits of their respective overseas possessions, as effective occupation served in some instances as a criterion for settling disputes over the boundaries between colonies. However, as the Berlin Act was limited in its scope to the lands that fronted on the African coast, European powers in numerous instances later claimed rights over lands in the interior without demonstrating the requirement of effective occupation, as articulated in Article 35 of the Final Act. At the Berlin
Conference A conference is a meeting A meeting is when two or more people A people is a plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or sel ...

Conference
, the scope of the Principle of Effective Occupation was heavily contested between
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
and France. The Germans, who were new to the continent, essentially believed that as far as the extension of power in Africa was concerned, no colonial power should have any legal right to a territory unless the state exercised strong and effective political control and, if so, only for a limited period of time, essentially an occupational force only. However, Britain's view was that Germany was a latecomer to the continent and was assumptively unlikely to gain any new possessions, apart from territories that were already occupied, which were swiftly proving to be more valuable than those occupied by Britain. That logic caused it to be generally assumed by Britain and France that Germany had an interest in embarrassing the other European powers on the continent and forcing them to give up their possessions if they could not muster a strong political presence. On the other side,
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
had large territorial holdings there and wanted to keep them while it minimised its responsibilities and administrative costs. In the end, the British view prevailed. The disinclination to rule what the Europeans had conquered is apparent throughout the protocols of the Berlin Conference but especially in the Principle of Effective Occupation. In line with Germany and Britain's opposing views, the powers finally agreed that it could be established by a European power establishing some kind of base on the coast from which it was free to expand into the interior. The Europeans did not believe that the rules of occupation demanded European hegemony on the ground. The Belgians originally wanted to include that "effective occupation" required provisions that "cause peace to be administered", but Britain and France were the powers that had that amendment struck out of the final document. That principle, along with others that were written at the conference, allowed the Europeans to conquer Africa but to do as little as possible to administer or control it. The principle did not apply so much to the hinterlands of Africa at the time of the conference. This gave rise to "
hinterland Hinterland is a German word meaning "the land behind" (a city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclope ...

hinterland
theory", which basically gave any colonial power with coastal territory the right to claim political influence over an indefinite amount of inland territory. Since Africa was irregularly shaped, that theory caused problems and was later rejected.


Agenda

* Portugal–Britain: The Portuguese government presented a project, known as the "
Pink Map The Pink Map (, "rose-coloured map"), also known in English as the Rose-Coloured Map, was a map prepared in 1885 to represent kingdom of Portugal, Portugal's claim of sovereignty over a land corridor connecting their colonies of Portuguese Angol ...
", or the "
Rose A rose is a woody perennial plant, perennial flowering plant of the genus ''Rosa'', in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred Rose species, species and Garden roses, tens of thousands of cultivars. They form ...
-Coloured Map", in which the colonies of Angola and Mozambique were united by co-option of the intervening territory (the land later became
Zambia Zambia (), officially the Republic of Zambia ( Bemba:'' Icalo ca Zambia''; Tonga Tonga (, ), officially named the Kingdom of Tonga ( to, Puleʻanga Fakatuʻi ʻo Tonga), is a Polynesia Polynesia (, ; from grc, πολύς "many" ...

Zambia
,
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (), officially the Republic of Zimbabwe, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individ ...

Zimbabwe
, and
Malawi Malawi (; or aláwi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of ...

Malawi
). All of the countries attending the conference, except for Britain, endorsed Portugal's ambitions, and just over five years later, in 1890, the British government issued an
ultimatum An ultimatum (; ) is a demand whose fulfillment is requested in a specified period of time and which is backed up by a coercion, threat to be followed through in case of noncompliance (open loop). An ultimatum is generally the final demand in a ...
that demanded for the Portuguese to withdraw from the disputed area. * France–Britain: A line running from Say in
Niger ) , official_languages = French , languages_type = National language A national language is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed languag ...

Niger
to
Maroua Maroua is the capital of the Far North Region (Cameroon), Far North Region of Cameroon, stretching along the banks of the Ferngo River, Ferngo and Kaliao Rivers, in the foothills of the Mandara Mountains. The city had 301,371 inhabitants at the 20 ...

Maroua
, on the northeastern coast of
Lake Chad Lake Chad (french: links=no, Lac Tchad) is a historically large, shallow, endorheic lake Image:LakeBadwater crop.jpg, 230px, Death Valley, Spring 2005: ephemeral Lake Badwater in the flooded Badwater Basin An endorheic lake (also called a sink ...

Lake Chad
, determined which part belonged to whom. France would own territory to the north of the line, and Britain would own territory to the south of it. The basin of the
Nile The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin Nobiin, or Mahas, is a Northern Nubian languages, Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan languages, Nilo-Saharan language family. "Nobiin" is the genitive case, genitive form of ''Nòòbíí'' ("Nub ...

Nile
would be British, with the French taking the basin of
Lake Chad Lake Chad (french: links=no, Lac Tchad) is a historically large, shallow, endorheic lake Image:LakeBadwater crop.jpg, 230px, Death Valley, Spring 2005: ephemeral Lake Badwater in the flooded Badwater Basin An endorheic lake (also called a sink ...

Lake Chad
. Furthermore, between the 11th and 15th degrees north in
latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the ...

latitude
, the border would pass between Ouaddaï, which would be French, and
Darfur Darfur ( ; ar, دار فور, Dār Fūr, lit=Realm of the Fur Fur is a thick growth of hair Hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. The hu ...

Darfur
in
Sudan Sudan ( or ; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودان, link=no, Jumhūriyyat as-Sūdān), is a country in Northeast Africa. It borders the countries of Central African Republ ...

Sudan
, which would be British. In reality, a
no man's land No man's land is waste or unowned land or an uninhabited or desolate area that may be under dispute between parties who leave it unoccupied out of fear or uncertainty. The term was originally used to define a contested territory or a dumpi ...
200 km wide was put in place between the 21st and 23rd meridians east. * France–Germany: The area to the north of a line, formed by the intersection of the 14th meridian east and Miltou, was designated to be French, and the area to the south would be German, later called
German Cameroon Kamerun was an African German colonial empire, colony of the German Empire from 1884 to 1916 in the region of today's Cameroon, Republic of Cameroon. Kamerun also included northern parts of Gabon and the Republic of the Congo, Congo with western ...
. * Britain–Germany: The separation came in the form of a line passing through Yola, on the Benoué, Dikoa, going up to the extremity of
Lake Chad Lake Chad (french: links=no, Lac Tchad) is a historically large, shallow, endorheic lake Image:LakeBadwater crop.jpg, 230px, Death Valley, Spring 2005: ephemeral Lake Badwater in the flooded Badwater Basin An endorheic lake (also called a sink ...

Lake Chad
. * France–Italy: Italy was to own what lies north of a line from the intersection of the
Tropic of Cancer The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted ...

Tropic of Cancer
and the 17th meridian east to the intersection of the 15th parallel north and the 21st meridian east.


Aftermath

The conference provided an opportunity to channel latent European hostilities towards one another outward; provide new areas for helping the European powers expand in the face of rising American, Russian and Japanese interests; and form constructive dialogue to limit future hostilities. In Africa, colonialism was introduced across nearly all the continent. When African independence was regained after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, it was in the form of fragmented states. The
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
sped up after the Conference since even within areas designated as their sphere of influence, the European powers had to take effective possession by the principle of effectivity. In central Africa in particular, expeditions were dispatched to coerce traditional rulers into signing treaties, using force if necessary, such as was the case for
Msiri Msiri (c. 1830 – December 20, 1891) founded and ruled the Yeke Kingdom (also called the Garanganze or Garenganze kingdom) in south-east Katanga Province, Katanga (now in DR Congo) from about 1856 to 1891. His name is sometimes spelled 'M'Siri' i ...
, King of Katanga, in 1891. Bedouin- and Berber-ruled states in the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
and the
Sub-Sahara Sub-Saharan Africa is, geographically and ethnoculturally, the area of the continent of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million s ...
were overrun by the French in several wars by the beginning of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. The British moved up from South Africa and down from Egypt and conquered states such as the
Mahdist State The Mahdist State, also known as Mahdist Sudan or the Sudanese Mahdiyya, was a state based on a religious and political movement launched in 1881 by Muhammad Ahmad bin Abdullah (later Muhammad al-Mahdi) against the Khedivate of Egypt The Khedi ...
and the
Sultanate of Zanzibar The Sultanate of Zanzibar ( sw, Usultani wa Zanzibar, ar, سلطنة زنجبار , translit=Sulṭanat Zanjībār), also known as the Zanzibar Sultanate, was a state controlled by the Sultan of Zanzibar, in place between 1856 and 1964. The Sul ...
and, having already defeated the
Zulu Kingdom The Zulu Kingdom (, ), sometimes referred to as the Zulu Empire or the Kingdom of Zululand, was a monarchy in Southern Africa Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent A continent is one of several larg ...
in South Africa in 1879, moved on to subdue and dismantle the independent
Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonist A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation ...

Boer
republics of
TransvaalTransvaal is a historical geographic term associated with land north of (''i.e.'', beyond) the Vaal River in South Africa. A number of states and administrative divisions have carried the name Transvaal. * South African Republic (1856–1902; af, Z ...
and the
Orange Free State The Orange Free State ( nl, Oranje Vrijstaat, af, Oranje-Vrystaat, abbreviated as OVS) was an independent Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonist A settler is a person who ha ...
. Within a few years, Africa was at least nominally divided up south of the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
. By 1895, the only independent states were: * , involved in colonial conflicts with Spain and France, which conquered the nation in the 20th century. * , founded with the support of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
for freed slaves to return to Africa. * , the only free native state, which fended off Italian invasion from
Eritrea Eritrea ( ), officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa The Horn of Africa (HoA), also known as the Somali Peninsula, is a large peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a ...

Eritrea
in the
First Italo-Ethiopian War The First Italo-Ethiopian War, lit. ''Abyssinian War'' was fought between Kingdom of Italy, Italy and Ethiopian Empire, Ethiopia from 1895 to 1896. It originated from the disputed Treaty of Wuchale, which the Italians claimed turned Ethiopia in ...
of 1889–1896 but was defeated in 1936 during the
Second Italo-Ethiopian War The Second Italo-Ethiopian War, also referred to as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War, was a war of aggression A war of aggression, sometimes also war of conquest, is a military conflict waged without the justification of self-defense, usual ...

Second Italo-Ethiopian War
*
Majeerteen Sultanate The Majeerteen Sultanate ( so, Suldanadda Majeerteen, lit=Boqortooyada Majerteen, ar, سلطنة مجرتين), also known as Majeerteenia and Migiurtinia, was a Somalis, Somali kingdom centered in the Horn of Africa. Ruled by Boqor Osman Maham ...
, founded in the early 18th century, it was annexed by
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...
in the 20th century. *
Sultanate of Hobyo This article includes a list of successive Muslim state , caption = , active = {{Collapsible list , title = 1999–present , 1 = 1999: Established under the name of Jama'at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad , 2 = October 2004: Joined al ...
, carved out of the former Majeerteen Sultanate, which ruled northern
Somalia Somalia,, Osmanya script: 𐒈𐒝𐒑𐒛𐒐𐒘𐒕𐒖; ar, الصومال, aṣ-Ṣūmāl officially the Federal Republic of SomaliaThe ''Federal Republic of Somalia'' is the country's name per Article 1 of thProvisional Constitutio ...

Somalia
until the 20th century, when it was conquered by Italy. The following states lost their independence to the British Empire roughly a decade after (see below for more information): * , a
Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonist A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation ...

Boer
republic founded by Dutch settlers * (Transvaal), also a Boer republic By 1902, 90% of all the land that makes up Africa was under European control. Most of the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
was French, but after the quelling of the and the ending of the Fashoda crisis, the Sudan remained firmly under joint British–Egyptian rulership, with
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...
being under British occupation before becoming a British protectorate in 1914. The Boer republics were conquered by British in the
Second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
from 1899 to 1902.
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
was divided between the French and Spanish in 1911, and
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
was conquered by Italy in 1912.


Analysis by historians

Historians have long marked the Berlin Conference as the formalisation of the
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
but recently, scholars have questioned the legal and economic impact of the conference. Some have argued the conference central to imperialism.
African-American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being t ...
historian
W. E. B. Du Bois William Edward Burghardt Du Bois ( ; February 23, 1868 – August 27, 1963) was an American sociologist, socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Boi ...
wrote in 1948 that alongside the
Atlantic slave trade The Atlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, or Euro-American slave trade involved the transportation by slave traders of various enslaved African African(s) may refer to: * Anything from or pertaining to the continent of Africa: ** ...
in Africans a great world movement of modern times is "the partitioning of Africa after the Franco-Prussian War which, with the Berlin Conference of 1884, brought colonial imperialism to flower" and that " e primary reality of imperialism in Africa today is economic," going on to expound on the extraction of wealth from the continent. Other historians debate the historical legal implications in international law. Focus on the principles of effectivity and spheres of influence have led some to note the Berlin Conference as a major development in international law and imperialism. Some have argued the conference was more a failure and used to blame Germany for
Scramble for Africa The Scramble for Africa, also called the Partition of Africa, or the Conquest of Africa, was the invasion, occupation, division, and colonisation of Africa, colonization of most of Africa by seven Western Europe, Western European powers during a ...
.


See also

*
Brussels Conference Act of 1890The Brussels Conference Act of 1890 (full title: Convention Relative to the Slave Trade and Importation into Africa of Firearms, Ammunition, and Spiritous Liquors) was a collection of anti-slavery measures signed in Brussels Brussels (french: B ...
* Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisation


References


Sources

* Chamberlain, Muriel E. (2014). ''The Scramble for Africa''. London: Longman, 1974, 4th ed. . *Craven, M. 2015. "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 and the logic of free trade." ''London Review of International Law'' 3, 31–59. * Crowe, Sybil E. (1942). ''The Berlin West African Conference, 1884–1885''. New York: Longmans, Green. (1981, New ed. edition). * Förster, Stig, Wolfgang Justin Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson, eds. ''Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa conference 1884–1885 and the onset of partition'' (Oxford UP, 1988
online
* Adam Hochschild, Hochschild, Adam (1999). ''King Leopold's Ghost''. . *Katzenellenbogen, S. 1996. It didn't happen at Berlin: Politics, economics and ignorance in the setting of Africa's colonial boundaries. In Nugent, P. and Asiwaju, A. I. (Eds.), ''African boundaries: Barriers, conduits and opportunities. .'' pp. 21–34. London: Pinter. * Petringa, Maria (2006). ''Brazza, A Life for Africa''. . * Lorin, Amaury, and de Gemeaux, Christine, eds., ''L'Europe coloniale et le grand tournant de la Conférence de Berlin (1884-1885)'', Paris, Le Manuscrit, coll. "Carrefours d'empires", 2013, 380 p.


Further reading

* Nuzzo, Luigi (2012)
Colonial LawEGO - European History Online
Mainz
Institute of European History
retrieved: March 25, 2021
pdf
. * How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972) – Walter Rodney


External links


Geography.about.com - Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 to Divide Africa

"The Berlin Conference"
BBC ''In Our Time''
General Act of the Berlin Conference
South African History Online. {{Authority control European colonisation in Africa 1884 in Germany 1885 in Germany Diplomatic conferences in Germany 19th-century diplomatic conferences 1884 in international relations 1885 in international relations 1884 conferences 1885 conferences 1885 in Africa 1884 in Africa 19th century in Berlin 1880s in Prussia