Berlin Conference

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Africa Pages: 3 (639 words) Published: April 27, 2014
Zoe Weaver
Mr. Fusaro
World History
4/9/14
Berlin Conference
The Berlin Conference is a conference that was held in Berlin in an effort to reach and agreement among European nations regarding the distribution of goods and free trade in Central African Territories. The Berlin Conference had the greatest political imperial impact during the 19th centuries because the conference was where all of the European countries decide which pieces of Africa each European nation would get and this resulted in many new changes for Africa both positive and negative.

The Berlin Conference had a political impact on the division of Africa by the European nations. “One of the main goals of the Berlin Conference was to secure free trade in the Congo Region.”(Finkelman, 1998). During the conference no African representatives were invited. Africans were considered to be uncivilized, so they were not included. “Thinking that Belgium would be easier to influence than the more powerful Great Britain, France, or Portugal, Bismarck backed up IAC’s (International Association of the Congo)”. (Stock, 2013) other countries eventually came to an understanding and the IAC got control of many miles of land of the Congo River Basin. The General Act, which was signed at the Berlin Conference, which secured access to the Niger and Congo rivers for all nations. “The basis of the General Act had the intentions to abolish the slave trade and insure Africa’s native population kept their morals” (Leopold II, 1890) and comfort along with health, which was an extremely positive intention.

Other consequences from the Berlin Conference were the economic impact over the division of Africa. Even though the “Berlin Act was greatly concerned with free trade, mainly in liquor between the European Nations, it is generally recognized as the first time the European nations formally recognized any sort of duty to Africans.” (Finkelman, 1998). Even though Atlantic slave trade was essentially...
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