The Effects of the Berlin Conference on Africa Essay

The Effects of the Berlin Conference on Africa Essay

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The Berlin Conference of 1884 peacefully divided Africa between world leaders. The conference, also known as the Congo Conference, looked at Africa as a great source of wealth in many areas to be shared among the participating countries. The division that took place at no time had at interest the people of Africa. By the time Africa regained its freedom in the 1950’s most areas had developed severe political and racial division. The result of this turbulence and division is the occurrence of such violent civil wars and genocides in African countries such as Rwanda.
The Berlin Conference was started in 1884 by German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck and lasted through February of 1885. It was designed to assist the European countries in developing themselves as a stronger force among world powers to allow them to overtake more unknown territories. “The motives for what became known as the ‘scramble for Africa’ in which Europeans began slicing up that cake, were political, economic, and cultural” (Nardo). King Leopold II, from Belgium, showed the strongest interest in the conference as he was strategically planning the capture of a colony to finally expand his empire. He felt that without the possession of other territories that Belgium held a lower status politically and economically than the countries that had already captured new lands.
The Europeans saw Africa as being a great place to obtain all types of resources from labor to natural materials. Items such as cotton, coal, rubber, copper, tin, gold, and other metals were considered very valuable and readily available in Africa (Nardo). The industrial revolution had already become a strong influence on the countries that attended the Conference. They had spent the past...

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...nference Act. Proc. of Berlin Conference Act of 1885. Print.
De, Blij Harm J., and Peter O. Muller. Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts. New York: J. Wiley, 1997. 340. Print.
Hymowitz, Sarah, and Amelia Parker. "Lessons - The Genocide Teaching Project - Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law." American University Washington College of Law. American UniversityWashington College of Law Center for Human Rights and Humanitaian Law, 2011. Web. 9 Mar. 2011. .
Middleton, John. "Rwanda." Africa: an Encyclopedia for Students. Vol. 3. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. Print.
Nardo, Don. The European Colonization of Africa. Greensboro, NC: Morgan Reynolds Pub., 2011. Print.
"The Spoils of Berlin." New African Feb. 2010: 18-33. New African. Web. 9 Mar. 2011. .

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