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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Drawing of Boundaries in the Nineteenth Century: Treaties with African Chiefs Versus Effective Occupation
Author:Gershoni, Yekutiel
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:Liberia
scramble for Africa
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/219844
Abstract:Following the resolutions of the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885, the principle of effective control became one of the major criteria in proving possession of African territory by European powers. The present article examines the principle of effective control in the context of relationships between the independent black republic of Liberia and her colonial neighbours, the British and the French, and how the application of that principle affected the delimitation of Liberia's boundaries in the coastal area in the last decades of the nineteenth century. As long as the criterion for sovereignty was presentation of deeds of cession and agreements signed with local rulers, Liberia could defend its interests on equal terms with the European powers, but with the application of the principle of effective control the republic could not win against the European powers encroaching upon their territory. Notes, ref.