The Misrepresentation of Africa in Treaty of Versailles

Topics: Africa, Colonialism, Europe Pages: 3 (893 words) Published: January 6, 2011
The Misrepresentation of Africa
The 19th century was one of the most important time periods that helped shape the world into what it is today. Western European powers, such as Great Britain, Germany, and France, strongly believed in the notion that in order to gain more dominant global power, they would have to conquer new lands across the globe and exploit the territories’ resources. Throughout the early and mid 1800s, the nations of Western Europe upheld imperialism, conquering and exploiting foreign lands in Asia and South America. Unfortunately, one major problem remained in the way of global imperialism; Africa, a continent rich in resources, could not be infiltrated because of strong resistance by the natives, foreign disease, and difficult terrain. Nevertheless, in the 1880s, Western Europe became more advanced and had the capability of conquering Africa; the scramble for Africa was on. In 1884-85, the Berlin Conference was held in Germany; this was a diplomatic meeting where the nations of Western Europe divided Africa among themselves. Each nation was given separate holdings in Africa, and the issue of land in Africa was solved. However, a major problem overlooked by the Europeans was that Africa had no say in the Berlin Conference. This resulted in many problems that would terrorize Africa for years to come; because Africans had no say in the dividing of their land, religious and political strife arose, and places such as the Congo faced detrimental and uninvited changes.

The nations attending the Berlin Conference divided Africa for reasons of their own, not taking into account the concerns of the native Africans. Africa was split into about 50 different geographical regions. By this time, the tribes of Africa had already established their own borders. Imposing new boundaries on over one thousand different cultures was bound to cause major problems. The new countries formed lacked harmony because the boundaries divided tribes that got along and...
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