Why was the berlin conference held


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. Of these fourteen nations at the Berlin Conference, France, Germany, Great Britain, and Portugal were the major players.Apr 13, 2017


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 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.

Why did Bismarck call the Berlin Conference?

why did otto von bismarck call open the berlin conference he opened it because portugal requested it but really he wanted to expand germany’s realms what was africa before the conference

What were the long term effects of the Berlin Conference?

The long-run effects of the Scramble for Africa

  • Identifying partitioned ethnicities. Quantifying the effects of the Scramble for Africa requires identifying the partitioned groups. …
  • The violent repercussions of the random border design. …
  • Spillovers. …
  • Conclusion. …
  • References. …

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

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 …

Which countries did the British control?

Great Britain desired a Cape-to-Cairo collection of colonies and almost succeeded through their control of Egypt, Sudan (Anglo-Egyptian Sudan ), Uganda, Kenya (British East Africa), South Africa , and Zambia, Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), and Botswana . The British also controlled Nigeria and Ghana (Gold Coast).

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 was the purpose of the Berlin Conference?

During the colonial expansion, there were territorial claims of the colonists that overlapped. To resolve these claims and to establish control over the trade in African continent, a conference was called by Portugal and it was arranged by Germany. This conference was held at Berlin residence …

What countries attended the Berlin Conference?

This conference, known as the Berlin Conference, was attended by the diplomats of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Belgium, Denmark, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey, and the United States of America. Of all the nations, France, Germany, Great Britain, …

What was Otto von Bismarck’s plan?

Otto von Bismarck would come up with a backup plan, in case his original plans did not work out. Such a backup plan was known as ‘The Bismarck Plan’ and which later became famous as the ‘Plan B’. During the 19 th century, Africa was being seen as a source of untapped natural resources by the colonial powers of Europe.

What was the outcome of the Congo conference?

As an outcome of this conference, Congo would not only become a Belgian colony, it would come under the private domain of the Belgian King. It was also decided upon to maintain the neutrality of the African continent in case of a war.

Which country was under the control of the Belgian king?

The Democratic Republic of Congo, that was under the domain of the Belgian king, saw nearly half of its population perishing under the King’s rule. The European powers had failed to maintain the neutral status of Africa and it had been a theater to quite a few wars during the two World Wars.

Which colony was under German control?

Whereas, Mozambique and Angola became a part of the Portuguese colonies. Italy had Somalia and some parts of Ethiopia under its control. Namibia and Tanzania were under German control. The Spanish colony in Equatorial Guinea was one of the smallest.

Who was the first Chancellor of Germany?

This conference was organized by the first Chancellor of unified Germany, Otto von Bismarck. Here is a look at the significance of the Berlin Conference of 1884-85. This conference was organized by the first Chancellor of unified Germany, Otto von Bismarck.




Prior to the conference, European diplomats approached governments in Africa in the same manner as they did in the Western Hemisphere by establishing a connection to local trade networks. In the early 1800s, the European demand for ivory, which was then often used in the production of luxury goods, led many European merchants into the interior markets of Africa. European spheres of p…


The European race for colonialism made Germany start launching expeditions of its own, which frightened both British and French statesmen. Hoping to quickly soothe the brewing conflict, Belgian 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, the chancellor of Germany, called on representatives of 13 nations in Europe a…

General Act

The General Act fixed the following points:
• Partly to gain public acceptance, 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. In his novella Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad sarcastically referred to one of the participants at the conference, the International Association o…


• Portugal–Britain: The Portuguese government presented a project, known as the “Pink Map”, or the “Rose-Coloured Map”, in which the colonies of Angola and Mozambique were united by co-option of the intervening territory (the land later became Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi). All of the countries attending the conference, except for Britain, endorsed Portugal’s ambitions, and just over five years later, in 1890, the British government issued an ultimatum that demanded for the …


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 to limit future hostilities. In Africa, colonialism was introduced across nearly all the continent. When African independence w…

Analysis by historians

Historians have long marked the Berlin Conference as the formalisation of the Scramble for Africa but recently, scholars have questioned the legal and economic impact of the conference.
Some have argued the conference central to imperialism. African-American historian W. E. B. Du Bois wrote in 1948 that alongside the Atlantic slave trade in Africans a great world movement of modern times is “the partitioning of Africa after the Franco-Prussian War which, with the Berlin C…

See also

• Brussels Conference Act of 1890
• Impact of Western European colonialism and colonisation

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