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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:On the causes of the partition of Central Africa, 1875-85
Author:Foeken, DickISNI
Periodical:Political Geography (ISSN 0962-6298)
Geographic terms:Central Africa
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
scramble for Africa
External link:http://hdl.handle.net/1887/4663
Abstract:This article deals with the partitioning of Central Africa between 1875 and 1885. The first part presents a brief summary of the process and the rivalries between the actors involved, the ensuing territorial conflicts and the diplomacy which led to the treaties between the European powers. The second part discusses thirteen theories, all dealing with the causes of the partition of Africa (or late 19th-century European imperialism in general). The theories are grouped under four headings - economic explanations, political explanations, Úlitist explanations, and explanations rooted in local African circumstances. The author concludes that none of these theories is able to explain why, at the end of the 1870s, a process of European territorial expansion started in Central Africa. However, the theories are useful in explaining the outcome of this imperialistic process. By analysing the processes of European territorial expansion, moreover, political geographers can make a useful contribution to the understanding of late 19th-century imperialism, in particular in those cases where territorial rivalries were involved.