Berlin Conference

The Berlin Conference of 1884–85, also known as the Congo Conference (German: Kongokonferenz) or West Africa Conference (Westafrika-Konferenz),[1] regulated European colonization and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period and coincided with Germany's sudden emergence as an imperial power. The conference was organized by Otto von Bismarck, first Chancellor of Germany; its outcome, the General Act of the Berlin Conference, can be seen as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa. The conference ushered in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, which eliminated or overrode most existing forms of African autonomy and self-governance.[2]

Afrikakonferenz
The conference of Berlin, as illustrated in "Die Gartenlaube"
Kongokonferenz
The conference of Berlin, as illustrated in "Illustrierte Zeitung"

Early history of the “Berlin Conference”

Before the conference, European diplomacy treated African indigenous people in the same manner as the New World natives, forming trading relationships with the indigenous chiefs. In the early 1800s the search for ivory, which was then often used in the production of luxurious products, led many white traders further into the interior of Africa.[3] With the exception of trading posts along the coasts, the continent was essentially ignored during this period.[4]

In 1876, King Leopold II of Belgium, who had previously founded and controlled the International African Society that same year, invited Henry Morton Stanley to join him in researching and 'civilizing' the continent. In 1878, the International Congo Society was also formed, with more economic goals, but still closely related to the former society. Léopold secretly bought off the foreign investors in the Congo Society, which was turned to imperialistic goals, with the African Society serving primarily as a philanthropic front.[5]

From 1878 to 1885, Stanley returned to the Congo, not as a reporter but as an envoy from Léopold with the secret mission to organize what would become known as the Congo Free State. French intelligence had discovered Leopold's plans, and France quickly engaged in its own colonial exploration. In 1881, French naval officer Pierre de Brazza was dispatched to central Africa, traveled into the western Congo basin, and raised the French flag over the newly founded Brazzaville, in what is currently the Republic of Congo. Finally, Portugal, which already had a long, but essentially abandoned colonial Empire in the area through the mostly defunct proxy state Kongo Empire, also claimed the area. Its claims were based on old treaties with Spain and the Roman Catholic Church. It quickly made a treaty on 26 February 1884 with its former ally, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to block off the Congo Society's access to the Atlantic.

By the early 1880s, due to many factors including diplomatic maneuvers, subsequent colonial exploration, and recognition of Africa's abundance of valuable resources such as gold, timber, rubber, land, and markets, European interest in the continent had increased dramatically. Stanley's charting of the Congo River Basin (1874–77) removed the last terra incognita from European maps of the continent, delineating the areas of British, Portuguese, French, and Belgian control. The powers raced to push these rough boundaries to their furthest limits and eliminate any potential local minor powers which might prove troublesome to European competitive diplomacy.[6]

France moved to take over Tunisia, one of the last of the Barbary Pirate states, under the pretext of another piracy incident. French claims by Pierre de Brazza were quickly solidified with French taking control of today's Republic of the Congo in 1881 and Guinea in 1884. Italy became part of the Triple Alliance, upsetting Bismarck's carefully laid plans with the state and forcing Germany to become involved in Africa.[7]

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, Britain saw its vital trade route through Egypt and its Indian Empire threatened. Under the pretext of the collapsed Egyptian financing and a subsequent riot, in which hundreds of Europeans and British subjects were murdered or injured, Britain intervened in nominally Ottoman Egypt and kept control for decades.[8]

Conference

Owing to the European race for colonies, Germany started launching expeditions of its own, which frightened both British and French statesmen. Hoping to quickly soothe this brewing conflict, 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, German Chancellor, called on representatives of 13 nations in Europe as well as the United States to take part in the Berlin Conference in 1884 to work out joint policy on the African continent.

The conference was opened on November 15, 1884 and continued till its closure on 26 February 1885.[9] Whilst the number of plenipotentiaries varied per nation,[10] the following 14 countries did send representatives to attend the Berlin Conference and sign the subsequent Berlin Act:

The conference was convened on Saturday, November 15, 1884, at Bismarck's official residence on Wilhelmstrasse (site of the Congress of Berlin six years earlier).[12] Bismarck accepted the chairmanship. The British representative was Sir Edward Malet (Ambassador to the German Empire). Henry Morton Stanley attended as a U.S. delegate.[12]

The participants were:[13]

State Colonial empire Plenipoteniaries
 Germany German colonial empire Otto von Bismarck
Paul von Hatzfeldt
Clemens Busch
Heinrich von Kusserow
 Austria-Hungary Austrian colonial empire Emerich Széchényi von Sárvári Felsö-Vidék
 Belgium Belgian colonial empire Gabriel August van der Straten-Ponthoz
Auguste Lambermont
 Denmark Danish colonial empire Emil Vind
 Spain Spanish colonial empire Francisco Merry y Colom
 United States Territories of the United States John A. Kasson
Henry S. Sanford
 France French colonial empire Alphonse de Courcel
 United Kingdom British empire Edward Baldwin Malet
 Italy Italian colonial empire Eduardo de Launay
 Netherlands Dutch empire Philipp van der Hoeven
 Portugal Portuguese colonial empire Antônio José da Serra Gomes
António de Serpa Pimentel
 Russia Russian Colonialism Pyotr Kapnist
 Sweden–Norway Swedish colonial empire Gillis Bildt
 Ottoman Empire Vassal and tributary states of the Ottoman Empire Mehmed Said Pasha

General Act

The General Act fixed the following points:

  • To gain public acceptance,[14][15] 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. Because of this point the writer Joseph Conrad sarcastically referred to the conference as "the International Society for the Suppression of Savage Customs" in his novella Heart of Darkness.[16]
  • The Congo Free State was confirmed as the private property of the Congo Society, which supported Leopold's promises to keep the country open to all European investment. The territory of today's Democratic Republic of the Congo, some two million square kilometers, was confirmed by the European powers as essentially the property of Léopold II (but later it was organized as a Belgian colony under state administration).
  • The 14 signatory powers would have free trade throughout the Congo Basin as well as Lake Malawi, and east of this in an area south of 5° N.
  • The Niger and Congo rivers were made free for ship traffic.
  • A Principle of Effectivity (based on "effective occupation", see below) was introduced to stop powers 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, 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" 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": in other words, if they had treaties with local leaders, if they flew their flag there, and if they 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. This principle became important not only as a basis for the European powers to acquire territorial sovereignty 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. But, 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 of 1885, the scope of the Principle of Effective Occupation was heavily contested between Germany and France. The Germans, who were new to the continent of Africa, 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 already occupied territories, which were swiftly proving to be more valuable than British-occupied territories. Given that logic, it was 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, the United Kingdom (UK) had large territorial control on the continent and wanted to keep them while minimising 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 this 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 other powers, specifically Britain and France, had that amendment struck out of the final document.

This principle, along with others that were written at the Conference allowed the Europeans to conquer Africa while doing as little as possible to administer or control it. The Principle of Effective Occupation did not apply so much to the hinterlands of Africa at the time of the conference. This gave rise to "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, this theory caused problems and was later rejected.[17]

Agenda

  • Portugal–Britain: The Portuguese government presented a project, known as the "Pink Map" (also called the "Rose-Colored Map"), in which the colonies of Angola and Mozambique were united by co-option of the intervening territory (land that later became Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.) All of the countries attending the conference, except for the United Kingdom, endorsed Portugal's ambitions. A little more than five years later, in 1890, the British government, in breach of the Treaty of Windsor (and of the Treaty of Berlin itself), issued an ultimatum demanding that the Portuguese withdraw from the disputed area.
  • France–Britain: A line running from Say in Niger to Maroua, on the north-east coast of Lake Chad determined what part belonged to whom. France would own territory to the north of this line, and the United Kingdom would own territory to the south of it. The Nile Basin would be British, with the French taking the basin of Lake Chad. Furthermore, between the 11th and 15th degrees latitude, the border would pass between Ouaddaï, which would be French, and Darfur in Sudan, to be British. In reality, a no man's land 200 kilometres wide was put in place between the 21st and 23rd meridians.
  • France–Germany: The area to the north of a line formed by the intersection of the 14th meridian and Miltou was designated French, that to the south being German.
  • 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.
  • France–Italy: Italy was to own what lies north of a line from the intersection of the Tropic of Cancer and the 17th meridian to the intersection of the 15th parallel and 21st meridian.

Consequences

Colonial Africa 1913 map
European claims in Africa, 1913. Modern-day boundaries, largely a legacy of the colonial era, are shown.
  Belgium   Germany   Spain   France
  Britain   Italy   Portugal   Independent

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 for limiting future hostilities. For Africans, colonialism was introduced across nearly all the continent. When African independence was regained after World War II, it was in the form of fragmented states.[18]

The Scramble for Africa sped up after the Conference, since even within areas designated as their sphere of influence, the European powers still had to take possession under the Principle of Effectivity. In central Africa in particular, expeditions were dispatched to coerce traditional rulers into signing treaties, using force if necessary, as for example in the case of Msiri, King of Katanga, in 1891. Bedouin- and Berber-ruled states in the Sahara and Sub-Sahara were overrun by the French in several wars by the beginning of World War I. The British moved up from South Africa and down from Egypt conquering states such as the Mahdist State and the Sultanate of Zanzibar and, having already defeated the Zulu Kingdom in South Africa, in 1879, moving on to subdue and dismantle the independent Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State.

Within a few years, Africa was at least nominally divided up south of the Sahara. By 1895, the only independent states were:

The following states lost their independence to the British Empire roughly a decade after (see below for more information):

By 1902, 90% of all the land that makes up Africa was under European control. The large part of the Sahara was French, while after the quelling of the Mahdi rebellion and the ending of the Fashoda crisis, the Sudan remained firmly under joint British–Egyptian rulership with Egypt being under British occupation before becoming a British protectorate in 1914.

The Boer republics were conquered by the United Kingdom in the Boer war from 1899 to 1902. Morocco was divided between the French and Spanish in 1911, and Libya was conquered by Italy in 1912. The official British annexation of Egypt in 1914 ended the colonial division of Africa.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Berlin West Africa Conference", Encyclopædia Britannica.
  2. ^ Ajala, Adekunle (1983). "The Nature of African Boundaries". Africa Spectrum. Institute of African Affairs at GIGA, Hamburg. 18 (2): 177–189. JSTOR 40174114. Kwame Nkrumah once made the point that the Berlin Conference of 1884–85 was responsible for, "the old carve-up of Africa". Other writers have also laid the blame for "the partition of Africa" on the doors of the Berlin Conference. But William Roger Louis holds a contrary view, although he conceded that "the Berlin Act did have a relevance to the course of the partition" of Africa.
  3. ^ "Student Resources in Context - Document". ic.galegroup.com. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  4. ^ Muriel E. Chamberlain, The Scramble for Africa (1999).
  5. ^ Neal Ascherson, The King Incorporated: Leopold the Second and the Congo (1999).
  6. ^ Stig Förster, Wolfgang Justin Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson, eds. Bismarck, Europe and Africa: The Berlin Africa conference 1884-1885 and the onset of partition (1988).
  7. ^ William L. Langer, European alliances and alignments: 1871-1890 (1950) pp 217-20.
  8. ^ Langer, European alliances and alignments: 1871-1890 (1950) pp 251-80.
  9. ^ Rosenberg, Matt. "The Berlin Conference: Where a Continent Was Colonized". ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  10. ^ 140.112.142.79/publish/pdfs/22/22_08.pdf
  11. ^ "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 and the logic of free trade | London Review of International Law | Oxford Academic". Lril.oxfordjournals.org. 2015-03-10. Retrieved 2018-09-24.
  12. ^ a b Louis, Wm. Roger. Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization. I.B. Tauris, May, 2007
  13. ^ General-Akte der Berliner Konferenz, de:s:General-Akte der Berliner Konferenz (Kongokonferenz)
  14. ^ David, Saul. "BBC - History - British History in depth: Slavery and the 'Scramble for Africa'". www.bbc.co.uk/history. BBC. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  15. ^ Craven, M. (1 March 2015). "Between law and history: the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 and the logic of free trade". London Review of International Law. Oxford University Press. pp. 31–59. doi:10.1093/lril/lrv002. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Historical Context: Heart of Darkness." EXPLORING Novels, Online Edition. Gale, 2003. Discovering Collection. (subscription required)
  17. ^ Herbst, Jeffrey. States and Power in Africa. Ch. 3 p71-72
  18. ^ de Blij, H.J.; Muller, Peter O. (1997). Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 340.

Sources

  • Tapiwa Michael Njitimana, Erald Yomisi (2013). The Demise Of Germany
  • Chamberlain, Muriel E. (1999). The Scramble for Africa. London: Longman, 1974, 2nd ed. ISBN 0-582-36881-2.
  • Crowe, Sybil E. (1942). The Berlin West African Conference, 1884–1885. New York: Longmans, Green. ISBN 0-8371-3287-8 (1981, New ed. edition).
  • Förster, Stig, Wolfgang J. Mommsen, and Ronald Edward Robinson (1989). Bismarck, Europe, and Africa: The Berlin Africa Conference 1884–1885 and the Onset of Partition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-920500-0.
  • Hochschild, Adam (1999). King Leopold's Ghost. ISBN 0-395-75924-2.
  • Nuzzo, Luigi. "Colonial Law," in: European History Online (EGO), published by the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz 2012-04-16. URL: http://www.ieg-ego.eu/nuzzol-2011-en URN: urn:nbn:de:0159-2012041215 [2012-04-16].
  • Petringa, Maria (2006). Brazza, A Life for Africa. ISBN 978-1-4259-1198-0.

Further reading

External links

1976 Conference of Communist and Workers Parties of Europe

The Conference of Communist and Workers Parties of Europe was an international meeting of communist parties, held in the city of East Berlin, capital of the communist-governed East Germany, on 29–30 June 1976. In all, 29 parties from all Europe (except Albania, Iceland and some microstates) participated in the conference.The conference highlighted several important changes in the European communist movement. It exhibited the declining influence of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and a widening gap between the independent and orthodox camps amongst European communist parties, with the ascent of a new political trend, Eurocommunism.

Africa

Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent (behind Asia in both categories). At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With

1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. The continent includes Madagascar and various archipelagos. It contains 54 fully recognised sovereign states (countries), nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition. The majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere.

Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents; the median age in 2012 was 19.7, when the worldwide median age was 30.4. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, and Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa, particularly central Eastern Africa, is widely accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade (great apes), as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as later ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens (modern human), found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago. Africa straddles the equator and encompasses numerous climate areas; it is the only continent to stretch from the northern temperate to southern temperate zones.Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised almost all of Africa; most present states in Africa originated from a process of decolonisation in the 20th century. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, which is headquartered in Addis Ababa.

Austrian Colonial History

From the 17th century through to the 19th century, the Habsburg Monarchy, Austrian Empire, and Austro-Hungarian Empire attempted to profit from colonial trade through the acquisition of colonies and trade routes. All attempts were ended due to international pressure, or lack of interest and support from the Imperial government.

Technically, however, the Austrians had the largest colonial empire at the time Emperor Charles V was the crown of both the Spanish Empire and Holy Roman Empire. Austria, being one of the Holy Roman Empire states, received funds from the spoils of the Spanish colonization of the Americas.

Berlin Conference (1954)

The Berlin Conference of 1954 was a meeting of the "Big Four" foreign ministers of the United States (John Foster Dulles), Britain (Anthony Eden), France (Georges Bidault), and the Soviet Union (Vyacheslav Molotov), on January 25-February 18, 1954.

The ministers agreed to call a wider international conference to discuss a settlement to the recent Korean War and the ongoing Indochina War between France and the Viet Minh, but failed to reach agreement on issues of European security and the international status of Germany and Austria, then under four-power occupation following World War II.

The Berlin meeting was an early fruit of the first period of U.S.-Soviet détente or "thaw" following the first Cold War. Little progress was made, except with Austria, from which the Soviets agreed to withdraw if it were made neutral. The subsequent Geneva Conference was to produce a temporary peace in Indochina and France's withdrawal from Vietnam, though formal peace in Korea remained elusive.

Some effects of the Berlin Conference was that the leaders were unable to reach an agreement. There was a "fear of freedom", this was between the east and the west on matters such as free elections in Germany and Austria. The USSR was not willing to place any trust whatsoever in either country. Eight weeks from the concluding of this conference they planned the Geneva Conference

Colonisation of Africa

The history of external colonisation of Africa can be divided into two stages: Classical antiquity and European colonialism. In popular parlance, discussions of colonialism in Africa usually focus on the European conquests that resulted in the Scramble for Africa after the Berlin Conference in the 19th century. Settlements established by Europeans while incorporated abjection of natives, also brought with it governing and academic institutions as well as agricultural and technological innovations that offset the extractive institutions commonly attributed to colonialism by Western powers.In nearly all African countries today, the language used in government and media is a relic inherited from one of these waves of colonization.

Congo Basin

The Congo Basin is the sedimentary basin of the Congo River. The Congo Basin is located in Central Africa, in a region known as west equatorial Africa. The Congo Basin region is sometimes known simply as the Congo.

The basin begins in the highlands of the East African Rift system with input from the Chambeshi River, the Uele and Ubangi Rivers in the upper reaches and the Lualaba River draining wetlands in the middle reaches. Due to the young age and active uplift of the East African Rift at the headlands, the river's yearly sediment load is very large but the drainage basin occupies large areas of low relief throughout much of its area. The basin is a total of 3.7 million square kilometers and is home to some of the largest undisturbed stands of tropical rainforest on the planet, in addition to large wetlands. The basin ends where the river empties its load in the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is equatorial tropical, with two rainy seasons including very high rainfalls, and high temperature year round. The basin is home to the endangered western lowland gorilla.

The basin was the watershed of the Congo River populated by pygmy peoples, and eventually Bantu peoples migrated there and founded the Kingdom of Kongo. Belgium, France, and Portugal later established colonial control over the entire region by the late 19th century. The General Act of the Berlin Conference of 1885 gave a precise definition to the "conventional basin" of the Congo, which included the entire actual basin plus some other areas. The General Act bound its signatories to neutrality within the conventional basin, but this was not respected during the First World War.

Congo Free State

The Congo Free State also known as the Independent State of the Congo (French: État indépendant du Congo, Dutch: Kongo-Vrijstaat) was a large state in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908. It was ruled personally by Leopold II and not by the government of Belgium, of which he was the constitutional monarch. Leopold II was able to procure the region by convincing other Eurasian states at the Berlin Conference that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work and would not tax trade. Via the Association internationale africaine, he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo basin. On 29 May 1885, the king announced that he planned to rename his new colony "the Congo Free State", a name which officially replaced "Association Internationale Africaine" on 1 August 1885. The Congo Free State operated as a corporate state privately controlled by Leopold II through a non-governmental organization, the International Association of the Congo. The state included the entire area of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo and existed from 1885 to 1908, when the government of Belgium reluctantly annexed the area.Leopold's reign in the Congo eventually earned infamy on account of the atrocities perpetrated on the locals. Leopold II's Free State extracted ivory, rubber and minerals in the upper Congo basin for sale on the world market through a series of international concessionary companies, even though its ostensible purpose in the region was to uplift the local people and develop the area. Under Leopold II's administration, the Congo Free State became one of the greatest international scandals of the early 20th century. The Casement Report of the British Consul Roger Casement led to the arrest and punishment of officials who had been responsible for killings during a rubber-collecting expedition in 1903.The loss of life and atrocities inspired literature such as Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness and raised an international outcry. Debate has been ongoing about the high death rate in this period. The boldest estimates state that the forced labour system led directly and indirectly to the deaths of 50 percent of the population. The lack of accurate records makes it difficult to quantify the number of deaths caused by the ruthless exploitation and the lack of immunity to new diseases introduced by contact with European colonists. During the Congo Free State propaganda war, European and US reformers exposed atrocities in the Congo Free State to the public through the Congo Reform Association, founded by Roger Casement and the journalist, author, and politician E. D. Morel. Also active in exposing the activities of the Congo Free State was the author Arthur Conan Doyle, whose book The Crime of the Congo was widely read in the early 1900s. By 1908, public pressure and diplomatic manoeuvres led to the end of Leopold II's rule and to the annexation of the Congo Free State as a colony of Belgium. It became known thereafter as the Belgian Congo. In addition, a number of major Belgian investment companies pushed the Belgian government to take over the Congo and develop the mining sector, as it was virtually untapped.

German Bishops' Conference

The German Bishops' Conference (German: Deutsche Bischofskonferenz) is the episcopal conference of the bishops of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Germany. Members include diocesan bishops, coadjutors, auxiliary bishops, and diocesan administrators.

German colonization of Africa

The German colonization of Africa took place during two distinct periods. In the 1680s, the Margraviate of Brandenburg, then leading the broader realm of Brandenburg-Prussia, pursued limited imperial efforts in West Africa. The Brandenburg African Company was chartered in 1682, and established two small settlements on the Gold Coast of what is today Ghana. Five years later, a treaty with the king of Arguin in Mauritania established a protectorate over that island, and Brandenburg occupied an abandoned fort originally constructed there by Portugal. Brandenburg — after 1701, the Kingdom of Prussia — pursued these colonial efforts until 1721, when Arguin was captured by the French and the Gold Coast settlements were sold to the Dutch Republic.

Over a century and a half later, the unified German Empire had emerged as a major world power. In 1884, pursuant to the Berlin Conference, colonies were officially established on the African west coast, often in areas already inhabited by German missionaries and merchants. The following year gunboats were dispatched to East Africa to contest the Sultan of Zanzibar's claims of sovereignty over the mainland in what is today Tanzania. Settlements in modern Guinea and Nigeria's Ondo State failed within a year; those in Cameroon, Namibia, Tanzania and Togo quickly grew into successful colonies. Together these four territories constituted Germany's African presence in the age of New Imperialism. They were invaded and largely occupied by the colonial forces of the Allied Powers during World War I, and in 1919 were transferred from German control by the League of Nations and divided between Belgium, France, Portugal, South Africa and the United Kingdom.

The six principal colonies of German Africa, along with native kingdoms and polities, were the legal precedents for the modern states of Burundi, Cameroon, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo. Parts of contemporary Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo were also under the control of German Africa at various points during its existence.

History of Guinea

The modern state of Guinea did not come into existence until 1958, but the history of the area stretches back well before European colonization. Its current boundaries were determined during the colonial period by the Berlin Conference (1884-1885) and the French, who ruled Guinea until 1958.

Hut Tax War of 1898

The Hut Tax War of 1898 was a resistance in the newly annexed Protectorate of Sierra Leone to a new, severe tax imposed by the colonial military governor. The British had established the Protectorate to demonstrate their dominion over the territory to other European powers following the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885. The imposed tax constituted a major burden on residents of the Protectorate; 24 indigenous chiefs had signed a petition against it, explaining its adverse effects on their societies, to no avail. The immediate catalyst for hostilities was the use of force by British officials to arrest the Temne chief Bai Bureh, a general and war strategist, because of ill-founded rumours. He is typically identified as the chief who initiated an armed resistance in the North in 1898, but the British forces shot first. Late 20th-century sources suggest he has been unfairly identified by the colonial government as a primary instigator and that the colonial government had provoked the war by its hostile actions. Later that year, resistance arose in the south by the leading Mende.

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 to further his interests in the Congo. It replaced the Belgian Comité d'Études du Haut-Congo ("Committee for the Study of the Upper Congo"), which was part of the International African Association front organisation created for the exploration of the Congo. The goals of the International Congo Society was to establish control of the Congo Basin and to exploit its economic resources. The Berlin Conference recognised the society as sovereign over the territories it controlled and in 1885 its structures were acquired by the Congo Free State.

Iran After the Elections conference

The "Iran After the Elections" Conference was a three-day social and cultural conference on reform in Iran organized by the Heinrich Böll Foundation and held in Berlin on April 7 and 8, 2000. The name refers to the Iranian legislative election, 2000. conference was notable less for its proceedings than for the disruption of them by anti-regime Iranian exiles, and for the long prison sentences given to several participants upon their return to Iran.

James Clement Dunn

James Clement Dunn (December 27, 1890 – April 10, 1979) was an American diplomat and a career employee of the United States Department of State. He served as the Ambassador of the United States to Italy, France, Spain, and Brazil. He had lived in Rome since his retirement in 1956.

Born in Newark, on December 27 of 1890, and privately educated, Dunn at first wanted to become an architect, an interest that remained with him all his life.

In 1917 he became assistant naval attaché to Haiti. In 1920, he was made a third secretary at the embassy in Spain, a post he held for two years. He was chargé d'affaires in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1922-24. After other assignments, he became a first secretary at the American embassy in London. From 1928-1930 he served as the first person to hold the office of Chief of Protocol of the United States. In 1930-35, served as counsel to the Commission for the Study of Haiti. Dunn was chief political adviser to the Berlin Conference in 1945; deputy at the American meetings of the Council of Foreign Ministers in London, Paris and New York in 1945-46.

When representatives from 50 nations convened in San Francisco in April to June 1945 to form the United Nations Dunn 'worked hard behind the scenes to create a pro-French consensus' and to protect France's colonial interests in French Indochina. He was once called a 'fascist' by Eleanor Roosevelt for his views on colonial matters.In 1946 he was a member of the delegation at the Paris Peace Conference.

Dunn was a governor of the Metropolitan Club and a member of the Knickerbocker Club, the River Club, the Regency Club and the Whist Club in New York, and of the Alibi Club in Chevy Chase, Md. Ambassador Dunn retired from the Service in 1956 with the rank of Career Ambassador.He died in Florida in 1974.Dunn was survived by his wife, the former Mary Augusta Armour; two daughters Marianna Dunn of Manhattan and Cynthia Esterlechner of West Germany; three grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Niger Coast Protectorate

The Niger Coast Protectorate was a British protectorate in the Oil Rivers area of present-day Nigeria, originally established as the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1884 and confirmed at the Berlin Conference the following year. It was renamed on 12 May 1893, and merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company on 1 January 1900 to form the Southern Nigeria Protectorate.

Postage stamps and postal history of the Niger Coast Protectorate

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of the Niger Coast Protectorate.

The Niger Coast Protectorate was a British protectorate in the Oil Rivers area of present-day Nigeria, originally established as the Oil Rivers Protectorate in 1891 and confirmed at the Berlin Conference the following year, renamed on 12 May 1893, and merged with the chartered territories of the Royal Niger Company on 1 January 1900 to form the Southern Nigeria Protectorate.

Potsdam Conference

The Potsdam Conference (German: Potsdamer Konferenz) was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 17 July to 2 August 1945. (In some older documents, it is also referred to as the Berlin Conference of the Three Heads of Government of the USSR, USA, and UK.) The participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, represented by Communist Party General Secretary Joseph Stalin, Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee, and President Harry S. Truman.

Stalin, Churchill, and Truman gathered to decide how to administer Germany, which had agreed to unconditional surrender nine weeks earlier on 8 May (Victory in Europe Day). The goals of the conference also included the establishment of postwar order, peace treaty issues, and countering the effects of the war.

Scramble for Africa

The Scramble for Africa was the occupation, division, and colonization of African territory by European powers during the period of New Imperialism, between 1881 and 1914. It is also called the Partition of Africa and by some the Conquest of Africa. In 1870, only 10 percent of Africa was under formal European control; by 1914 it had increased to almost 90 percent of the continent, with only Ethiopia (Abyssinia) and Liberia still being independent. With the Italian occupation of Ethiopia in 1936, only Liberia remained independent. There were multiple motivations including the quest for national prestige, tensions between pairs of European powers, religious missionary zeal and internal African native politics.

The Berlin Conference of 1884, which regulated European colonisation and trade in Africa, is usually referred to as the ultimate point of the scramble for Africa. Consequent to the political and economic rivalries among the European empires in the last quarter of the 19th century, the partitioning, or splitting up of Africa was how the Europeans avoided warring amongst themselves over Africa. The later years of the 19th century saw the transition from "informal imperialism" by military influence and economic dominance, to direct rule, bringing about colonial imperialism.

Sultanate of Zanzibar

The Sultanate of Zanzibar (Swahili: Usultani wa Zanzibar, Arabic: سلطنة زنجبار‎, translit. Sulṭanat Zanjībār), also known as the Zanzibar Sultanate, comprised the territories over which the Sultan of Zanzibar was the sovereign. Those territories varied over time, and at one point included all of what is now Kenya as well as the Zanzibar Archipelago of the Swahili Coast. Later, the kingdom's realm included only a ten mile wide coastal strip of Kenya and Zanzibar. Under an agreement concluded on 8 October 1963, the Sultan relinquished sovereignty over his remaining territory in Kenya. On 12 January 1964, Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah was deposed and lost sovereignty over the last of his dominions, Zanzibar.

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