Berlin Conference Essay

Berlin Conference Essay-62
Within forty years, by 1914 and the end of the scramble for Africa, Great Britain dominated the breadth of the African continent from Egypt to South Africa, as well as Nigeria and the Gold Coast; the French occupied vast expanses of west Africa; the Germans boasted control over modern-day Tanzania and Namibia; the Portuguese exerted full control over Angola and Mozambique.

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However, by the early 1890s, Menelik's plans began to unravel as war seemed imminent.

In 1889, Italy claimed Ethiopia as an Italian protectorate.

Historians generally agree that the Scramble for Africa, the rushed imperial conquest of the Africa by the major powers of Europe, began with King Leopold II of Belgium.

After reading a report in early 1876 that the rich mineral resources of the Congo Basin (the modern-day Republic of the Congo) could return an entrepreneurial capitalist a substantial profit, the Belgian king ordered the creation of the International African Association, under his personal direction, to assume control over the Congo Basin region.

Kipling bemoans that the African people will come “slowly to the light” and would lament their release from “bondage.” In essence, Kipling believed that these non-white racial groups were so backward that they would be unable to comprehend the benefits of Europeanization.

It was Kipling’s belief that Africans must be pulled toward the “light” in order to see the error of their, in his view, savage nature.

The conference further decreed that for future imperialist claims to garner international recognition, "effective occupation" would be required.

In other words, no longer did plunging a flag into the ground mean that land was occupied.

The only notable exception to this was Ethiopia, a strategically (especially after the opening of the Suez Canal) placed state at the horn of Africa.

By the early 1870s, Ethiopia was in danger of invasion from the British, French, and Italians.


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