Berlin Conference of 1884 Essay

Pages: 2 (728 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 2  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Literature - African

Berlin Conference of 1884 is one of those historical events that seem to defy explanation. Africa, a vast continent, had been colonized by a large number of European countries, and there was a tremendous amount of contention over the ownership of these various African nations. This led to fighting between some of the imperial countries, and also to economic uncertainty, which may have led some investors away from investing in Africa because of fears that the governments authorizing or supporting particular projects would not retain control over the area in question. "Otto von Bismark called together the major western powers of the world to negotiate questions and end confusion over the control of Africa. Bismark appreciated the opportunity to expand Germany's sphere of influence over Africa and desired to force Germany's rivals to struggle with one another for territory" (Rosenberg, 2012). This point of this conference was to parcel out control of Africa among the European nations.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Essay on Berlin Conference of 1884 Assignment

The Berlin Conference established rules for imperialism, which had not previously been stated outright. They helped determine which country had possession of an area, the steps a country had to take in order to get officially recognized possession, and the boundaries of an area that was possessed. For example, "Article 34 of the Berlin Act states that any European nation that took possession of an African coast, or named themselves as 'protectorate' of one, had to inform the signatory powers of the Berlin Act of this action. If this was not done then their claim would not be recognized. This article introduced the "spheres of influence" doctrine, the control of a coast also meant that they would control the hinterland to an almost unlimited distance" (Aronson, 1999). However, merely stating one had possession was not sufficient to establish such possession; "Article 35 determined that in order to occupy a coastal possession, the nation also had to prove that they controlled sufficient authority there to protect existing rights such as freedom of trade and transit. This was called the doctrine of 'effective occupation' and it made the conquest of Africa a less bloody process" (Aronson, 1999).

The Berlin Conference and its resulting laws changed the face of international… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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