Examine the Economic Arguments Used to Explain the Partition of West Africa

2209 Words Feb 23rd, 2011 9 Pages
Examine the economic arguments used to explain the partition of West Africa.

In the late 1880s, only limited areas of Africa were subjected to the direct rule of Europeans. However, the next 20 years saw an increase in the confiscation of African colonies by the Europeans and by 1914 the partition of Africa had been consolidated. By 1914, with the exception of Ethiopia and Liberia, the whole of Africa had been partitioned and occupied by the imperial powers of France, Britain, Germany, Portugal, Belgium, Spain and Italy, and colonialism was implemented. However, by 1918 Germany lost its African colonies and they were distributed among the other European powers. Lenin and Hobson both argue that the partition of west Africa was
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In 1884 Bismarck dispatched warships to declare German sovereignty over the coasts of German Togoland, Cameron, South Wets Africa and Tanganyika. These were the areas of British influence where their missionaries and traders worked. This strategy was designed to make the French feel that Germany was on their side in Africa. Furthermore, King Leopold created an International Association, this was supposed to promote scientific knowledge of Africa but it was actually designed to carry out his secret territorial ambitions in the Congo (Boahen &Webster, 169). Additionally, the British occupation of Egypt was vital in starring the scramble elsewhere on the African continent. Prior to British occupation of Egypt, there were many signs in West Africa that a new imperial advance could be expected. This was demonstrated by the British defeat of the Asante in 1874, renewed French activity on the Senegal in the late 1870s, British and French maneuvering on the Niger and French and Belgian activity on the Congo. The rivalry on the Niger-Congo impelled the Berlin Conference (Boahen &Webster, 170). In 1884, the European powers convened at the Berlin West Africa Conference when it became apparent that the carving up of Africa was to begin. The Berlin Conference determined that the Niger and Congo would be open to the trade of all nations along
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