Africa is home to countless cultures that all have their own unique ideas and customs. During the past couple of centuries, these cultures were threatened to the point where they almost ceased to exist. The Berlin Conference was a very important occurrence in Africa and Europe's history. It legitimized what the European powers, mainly France and Britain, had been doing for the past hundred years, without the approval of any African country. During the late nineteenth century, France and Britain began imperialistic ventures into Africa, which eventually led Leopold II to conquer the Congo. It was Leopold's II presence in Africa that to led the Berlin Conference.
The Berlin Conference took place first and foremost to legitimize what was already taking place in Africa (Berlin). Africa had recently experienced the European countries' greed. The British and the French, along with a few other European nations, had started to carve up Africa however they pleased. By 1880, about half of the coastal countries saw some type of European presence (Wessling cover). The French began to take control of Algeria and parts of Gabon and Senegal. The British occupied much of Southern Africa and parts of the western coast. Until 1884, no one could encroach upon inner Africa. Before this, the imposing countries had mainly concentrated on the coasts. By 1884 there was road connecting the Congo River to the coast, and the remaining European powers wanted in a piece of the action. The disagreements that resulted from this sudden urge to conquer Africa were what made the Berlin Conference so important (Part IV).
Many reasons beyond the obvious also existed. The Berlin Conference was ...
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... to an African nation.
Bennett, Norman. Africa and Europe: From Roman Times to National Independence. New York: Africana Publishing Co, 1984.
"Berlin, Conference of." Vers. 3. 1994. The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 5 Mar. 2000 <http://www.encyclopeida.com>.
"Bismarck, Otto Von." Vers. 3. 1994. The Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia. 5 Mar. 2000 <http://www.encyclopeida.com/>.
Hugon, Anne. The Exploration of Africa: from Cairo to the Cape. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc, 1991.
"Part IV Anti-Colonialism & Reconstruction." 5 Mar. 2000 <http://www.cocc.edu/cagatucci/classes/hum211/timelines/htimeline4.htm>.
Sempell, Charlotte. Otto Von Bismarck.New York: Twayne Publishers, Inc, 1972.
Wessling, H. H., Divide and Rule: The Partition of Africa, 1880-1914. Westport: Praeger, 1991.
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