When was the berlin conference held


The Berlin Conference took about three and a half months, from November 15, 1884 to February 26, 1885. It resulted in an act that did three things. The first was to recognize the territory that King Leopold claimed as his private property.

What is the Berlin Conference and why is it important?

The Berlin Conference of 1884-85 was held to ease tensions in Europe over colonial claims in Africa. The conference opened the door for the full-scale colonization of Africa by European countries. A major issue between European countries, the navigation of the Niger and Congo Rivers, was resolved by the meeting.

What was the Berlin Conference and what was its purpose?

What was the Berlin conference and what was its purpose? The Berlin conference took place in 1884-1885 and was also known as the Congo conference and the West Africa conference. The purpose was to regulate European colonization and trade in Africa during the New Imperialism period.

What were the 14 countries in the Berlin Conference?

The Colonization of Africa & the Berlin Conference: Definition & Purpose

  • Africa Prior to Conference. In order to grasp the impact of this conference, we need to understand that prior to the conference a large majority of Africa was still under …
  • Decisions of Conference. To make trade easier for everyone, the conference decided the Congo and Niger Rivers would remain neutral and open.
  • Land Division. …

What was decided at the Berlin Conference?

What were the major causes of the new imperialism?

  • Cause 1. industrial revolution strengthens.
  • Cause 2. newly industrialized nations seek new markets.
  • Cause 3. western nations compete for power.
  • Cause 4. westerners feel duty to spread their culture.
  • Effect 1. europeans claim and conquer large empires in africa and asia.
  • Effect 2.
  • Effect 3.
  • Effect 4.

Why was the Berlin Conference held?

The immediate reason for the Berlin Conference was the jealousy of the king of a small country, Belgium, towards his cousin, Queen Victoria of Great Britain. King Leopold II of Belgium considered himself to be an important man. Yet in the 1870s, Leopold had no territory other than the small state of Belgium itself.

WHO convened or called the Berlin Conference?

Otto von BismarckThe conference was organized by Otto von Bismarck, the first chancellor of Germany.

What happened as a result of the Berlin Conference of 1884 to 1885?

What happened as a result of the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885? Europeans divided Africa into colonies without consulting African leaders.

What led to the Berlin Conference of 1884?

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.

Who divided Africa?

The Berlin Conference spanned almost four months of deliberations, from 15 November 1884 to 26 February 1885. By the end of the Conference the European powers had neatly divided Africa up amongst themselves, drawing the boundaries of Africa much as we know them today.

What countries were in the Berlin Conference?

When the conference opened in Berlin on 15 November 1884, 14 countries – Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden-Norway (unified from 1814-1905), Turkey and the USA – were represented by a plethora of ambassadors and envoys.

Did the Berlin Conference end slavery?

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.

What are 3 agreements that came out of the Berlin Conference?

The general act of the Conference of Berlin declared the Congo River basin to be neutral (a fact that in no way deterred the Allies from extending the war into that area in World War I); guaranteed freedom for trade and shipping for all states in the basin; forbade slave trading; and rejected Portugal’s claims to the …

What was the main goal of the Berlin Conference of 1885?

The Berlin Conference of 1884 – 1885 – Background Essay Known as The Berlin Conference, they sought to discuss the partitioning of Africa, establishing rules to amicably divide resources among the Western countries at the expense of the African people.

Why did the Berlin Conference fail at its mission?

The new powers had no experience, and many had no idea how to properly govern, so they learned from trial and error. As a result, the new leaders made grievous mistakes that put Africa in debt, causing poverty and starvation that has remained until today.

How was Africa divided after the Berlin Conference?

At the time of the conference, 80 percent of Africa remained under traditional and local control. What ultimately resulted was a hodgepodge of geometric boundaries that divided Africa into 50 irregular countries. This new map of the continent was superimposed over 1,000 indigenous cultures and regions of Africa.

Why was Africa divided?

This conference was called by German Chancellor Bismarck to settle how European countries would claim colonial land in Africa and to avoid a war among European nations over African territory.

What was the Berlin Conference?

The Berlin Conference was a series of meetings held in 1884 and 1885 with the goal of dividing the continent of Africa between the European powers.

Why did the Berlin Conference happen?

The Berlin Conference occurred primarily due to Germany’s entry into the colonial sphere. Previously, Britain, France, Belgium, Spain and Portugal had largely occupied the continent without conflict, but Germany’s rise to power made the other European leaders nervous and eager to establish ground rules.

What was the Berlin Conference?

The Berlin Conference. The Berlin Conference can be best understood as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa. This British coined the term sometime in 1884, and it has since been used to describe the twenty-plus years when the various European powers explored, divided, conquered and began to exploit virtually the entire African continent.

How long did the Berlin Conference last?

The Berlin Conference spanned almost four months of deliberations, from 15 November 1884 to 26 February 1885. By the end of the Conference the European powers had neatly divided Africa up amongst themselves, drawing the boundaries of Africa much as we know them today.

When did the Scramble for Africa begin?

European powers were slow to realise the benefits of claiming land in Africa and had mainly kept to coastal colonies. However in 1884–5 the Scramble for Africa had truly began in earnest when thirteen European countries and the United States met in Berlin to agree to the rules dividing Africa.

What country did France join in 1876?

In the same year, the French began building a railway east from Dakar, hoping to tap potentially huge Sahelian markets. That year France also joined Great Britain in taking financial control of Egypt.

What was the purpose of the Berlin Conference?

In 1884, at the request of Portugal, German chancellor Otto von Bismark called together the major western powers of the world to negotiate questions and end confusion over the control of Africa. Bismark appreciated the opportunity to expand Germany’s sphere of influence over Africa and hoped to force Germany’s …

How many countries were represented at the Berlin Conference?

Countries Represented at the Berlin Conference. Fourteen countries were represented by a plethora of ambassadors when the conference opened in Berlin on November 15, 1884. The countries represented at the time included Austria-Hungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, …

Who was the king of Belgium during the Berlin Conference?

Despite its neutrality, part of the Congo Basin became a personal kingdom for Belgium’s King Leopold II. Under his rule, over half of the region’s population died. At the time of the conference, only the coastal areas of Africa were colonized by the European powers. At the Berlin Conference, the European colonial powers scrambled …

Who was the artist who painted the Berlin Conference?

For similar international conferences in Berlin, see Berlin Conference (disambiguation). Anton von Werner ‘s painting, Congress of Berlin (1881), depicting the final meeting at the Reich Chancellery on 13 July 1878. Bismarck (representing Germany) is shown in the centre, between Gyula Andrássy (Austria-Hungary) and Pyotr Shuvalov (Russia).

Why was the Congress of Berlin called?

German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck thus called the Congress of Berlin to discuss the partition of the Ottoman Balkans among the European powers and to preserve the League of Three Emperors in the face of the spread of European liberalism. The Congress was attended by Britain, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

Why did Bismarck mediate the tensions at the Congress of Berlin?

One reason that Bismarck was able to mediate the various tensions at the Congress of Berlin was his diplomatic persona. He sought peace and stability when international affairs did not pertain to Germany directly. Since he viewed the current situation in Europe as favourable for Germany, any conflicts between the major European powers that threatened the status quo was against German interests. Also, at the Congress of Berlin, “Germany could not look for any advantage from the crisis” that had occurred in the Balkans in 1875. Therefore, Bismarck claimed impartiality on behalf of Germany at the Congress, which enabled him to preside over the negotiations with a keen eye for foul play.

What was the purpose of the Congress of Berlin?

The Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13 July 1878) was a diplomatic conference to reorganise the states in the Balkan Peninsula after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, which had been won by Russia against the Ottoman Empire.

Why did the Ottomans recognize the Bulgarian Exarchate?

The recognition of the Bulgarian Exarchate by the Ottomans in 1870 had been intended to separate the Bulgarians, religiously from the Greek patriarch, and politically from Serbia. Pan-Slavism required the end of Ottoman rule in the Balkans. How and whether that goal would be realised was the major question to be answered at the Congress of Berlin.

What was the Berlin Conference?

Berlin Conference of 1884–1885. Meeting at which the major European powers negotiated and formalized claims to territory in Africa; also called the Berlin West Africa Conference. The Berlin Conference of 1884–1885 marked the climax of the European competition for territory in Africa, a process commonly known as the Scramble for Africa.

Did the Berlin Conference initiate European colonization of Africa?

The Berlin Conference did not initiate European colonization of Africa, but it did legitimate and formalize the process. In addition, it sparked new interest in Africa. Following the close of the conference, European powers expanded their claims in Africa such that by 1900, European states had claimed nearly 90 percent of African territory.

The Berlin Conference

The Berlin Conference gathered a bunch of Europeans to plot ways to divide up Africa. It may not have been the “start” of colonialism, but it sure accelerated the process.

The Conference

The Berlin Conference took about three and a half months, from November 15, 1884 to February 26, 1885. It resulted in an act that did three things. The first was to recognize the territory that King Leopold claimed as his private property. The second was to recognize some existing territorial claims in different parts of Africa.

Menelik in the middle

One African leader who figured this out early was Menelik II, future Emperor of Ethiopia. In 1884, Menelik was not yet emperor but was an important leader of this state. He knew about the conference, although neither he nor any other African leader had been invited.

Continuity and change

How important was the Berlin Conference? To what degree did it lead to change, including the colonization of Africa? Historians and legal scholars who study this question don’t all agree on an answer. Look at the two maps below and you can see different ways to answer the question.

What was the main point of the colonial conference?

It was one of the main points established in this conference, by banning the creation of new settlements in the territory without a government, or what is the same, creating colonies by planting a flag and by which a territory claimed by law uti possidetis. Also, by this principle, the colonial power was also to make use of the colony economically. If the colonial power did these things, one could could do and therefore could have rights over the land.

Why did the competition for Africa start?

So this “competition”for Africa started,because of the desire to control those huge lands and reso

Was Germany a neutral or credible facilitator?

Also Germany was powerful at the time. So they could act as a credible, neutral facilitator of negotiations between the parties involved.



The Congress of Berlin (13 June – 13 July 1878) was a diplomatic conference to reorganise the states in the Balkan Peninsula after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78, which had been won by Russia against the Ottoman Empire. Represented at the meeting were Europe’s then six great powers: Russia, Great Britain, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy and Germany; the Ottomans; and four Bal…


In the decades leading up to the congress, Russia and the Balkans had been gripped by Pan-Slavism, a movement to unite all the Balkan Slavs under one rule. The Treaty of San Stefano, which had created a “Greater Bulgaria”, was opposed as a display of Pan-Slavic hegemonic ambition in southeastern Europe. In Imperial Russia, Pan-Slavism meant the creation of a unified Slavic state, unde…

Great powers in Balkans

The Balkans were a major stage for competition between the European great powers in the second half of the 19th century. Britain and Russia had interests in the fate of the Balkans. Russia was interested in the region, both ideologically, as a pan-Slavist unifier, and practically, to secure greater control of the Mediterranean. Britain was interested in preventing Russia from accomplishing its goals. Furthermore, the Unifications of Italy and of Germany had stymied the ab…

Treaty of San Stefano

After the Bulgarian April Uprising in 1876 and the Russian victory in the Russo-Turkish War in 1877–1878, Russia had liberated almost all of the Ottoman European possessions. The Ottomans recognised Montenegro, Romania and Serbia as independent, and the territories of all three of them were expanded. Russia created a large Principality of Bulgaria as an autonomous vassal of the …

Other powers’ fear of Russian influence

The principal mission of the participants at the Congress was to deal a fatal blow to the burgeoning movement of pan-Slavism. The movement caused serious concern in Berlin and even more so in Vienna, which was afraid that the repressed Slavic nationalities would revolt against the Habsburgs. The British and the French governments were nervous about both the diminishing influence of t…

Bismarck as host

The Congress of Berlin is frequently viewed as the culmination of the battle between Chancellors Alexander Gorchakov of Russia and Otto von Bismarck of Germany. Both were able to persuade other European leaders that a free and independent Bulgaria would greatly improve the security risks posed by a disintegrating Ottoman Empire. According to historian Erich Eyck, Bismarck su…


Bowing to Russia’s pressure, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro were all declared independent principalities. Russia kept Southern Bessarabia, which it had annexed in the Russo-Turkish War, but the Bulgarian state that it had created was first bisected and then divided again into the Principality of Bulgaria and Eastern Rumelia, both of which were given nominal autonomy, under the contr…

Internal opposition to Andrássy’s objectives

Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Gyula Andrássy and the occupation and administration of Bosnia-Herzegovina also obtained the right to station garrisons in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar, which remained under Ottoman administration. The Sanjak preserved the separation of Serbia and Montenegro, and the Austro-Hungarian garrisons there would open the way for a dash to Salonika that “would bring the western half of the Balkans under permanent Austrian influence”. “High [Au…

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