Explore BrainMass

Berlin Conference: Negative Impact on Africa

Berlin Conference (1884-85) was held by the European nations to scramble Africa among themselves with the aid of diplomacy or by weapons. The conference had positive as well as negative effects.
Africans had lost their lands. Almost 90% of the African continent came under the control of Europeans. Only Liberia and Ethiopia remained free. Africans lost their independence. They were treated as inferiors and were forced to work as slaves for long hours.
Economically, the imperialists had exploited the mineral resources of Africa. The Europeans understood that Africa was rich in natural resources and they exploited the resources. Some of the rich minerals were tin, copper, gold and diamonds. The Africans were in famine when the Europeans began to plant cash crops like peanuts, palm, cocoa and rubber. Large number of Africans died of European diseases.
In the social sphere, the European domination took the traditional African values and customs. They had also tarnished the existing social relationships, when they provided Africans with the education. Some of them valued it, while others refused to adopt the European culture. The spread of Christianity by the European missionaries also affected their society. In short, the European domination divided the Africans among themselves.
Culturally, the Africans tried to adopt the system of democratic government pursued by the Europeans and ended in failure. Europeans did not understand their habits and culture properly and tried to civilize them. The European intervention created rivalry and division among the Africans. Various issues confused the Africans and they longer stayed united.
The division of African lands by the Europeans without considering the tribal, ethnic and cultural boundaries led to series of tribal conflicts and it is still continuing.
The British were the most successful imperialistic power in Africa. The imperialist policies of British created wars with the Africans. For example, Boers hated the British repressive policies and clashed with them. Zulus also clashed with British. In both wars, Britain won and the Africans were defeated.

Solution Summary

This solution explain about the negative effects of Berlin conference on the continent of Africa