In 1884 fourteen European nations along with a representative from the United States gathered at a conference in Berlin to divide up the continent of Africa. No representatives of the hundreds of African societies which they discussed were present at these meetings. in fact, the people of Africa themselves were barely considered.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Europe dominated less than 10% of the African continent. By the end of that century, Europe controlled nearly 90% of Africa. Much of that expansion began at the Berlin Conference in 1884. A bizarre racist ideology, known as the Hamitic Theory, merged obscure Biblical references to naturalist biology, eugenics philosophy, and political propaganda to serve as the smokescreen for these endeavors.
Topics covered in this podcast episode on the Scramble for Africa:
- The Berlin Conference
- The Hamitic Theory and the White Man’s Burden
- The white line of control
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Find more of our episodes on the History of Africa podcast series here.
Learn more about this period of the history of Africa through these books and links: