Home FEATURES On This Day On This Day: The Berlin Conference Ended.

On This Day: The Berlin Conference Ended.

It was on this day in history (1885), that the Berlin Conference ended. The conference took about three and a half months, from November 15, 1884, to February 26, 1885. The Berlin Conference marked the climax of the European scramble for Africa and the partitioning of territories in Africa.

The conference regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period. It was organized by Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of Germany, to provide an opportunity for the European powers to expand in the face of rising American, Russian and Japanese interests; and form constructive dialogue to limit future hostilities.
During the 1870s and early 1880s, European nations such as Great Britain, France, and Germany began looking to Africa for natural resources for their growing industrial sectors as well as a potential market for the goods these factories produced. As a result, these governments sought to safeguard their commercial interests in Africa and began sending scouts to the continent to secure treaties from indigenous peoples or their supposed representatives.

Inevitably, the scramble for territory led to conflict among European powers, particularly between the British and French in West Africa; Egypt, the Portuguese, and British in East Africa; and the French and King Leopold II in central Africa. Rivalry between Great Britain and France led Bismarck to intervene, and in late 1884 he called a meeting of European powers in Berlin. In the subsequent meetings, Great Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, and King Leopold II negotiated their claims to African territory, which were then formalized and mapped. During the conference the leaders also agreed to allow free trade among the colonies and established a framework for negotiating future European claims in Africa. Neither the Berlin Conference itself nor the framework for future negotiations provided any say for the peoples of Africa over the partitioning of their homelands.
The Berlin Conference did not initiate European colonization of Africa, but it did legitimate and formalize the process. #myhistorydiary

Created by Okey Obiabunmo

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