рефераты бесплатно



obstruct its course where it breaks over the western edge of the central

continental plateau. Above the rapids he established a station on Stanley

Pool and named it Leopoldville, founding other stations on the main stream

in the direction of the falls that bear his name.

Meanwhile de Brazza was far from idle. He had returned to Africa at the

beginning of 1880, and while the agents of King Leopold were making

treaties and founding stations along the southern bank of the river, de

Brazza and other French agents were equally busy on the northern bank. De

Brazza was sent out to Africa by the French committee of the International

African Association, which provided him with the funds for the expedition.

His avowed object was to explore the region between the Gabun and Lake

Chad. But his real object was to anticipate Stanley on the Congo. The

international character of the association founded by King Leopold was

never more than a polite fiction, and the rivalry between the French and

the Belgians on the Congo was soon open, if not avowed. In October 1880 de

Brazza made a solemn treaty with a chief on the north bank of the Congo,

who claimed that his authority extended over a large area, including

territory on the southern bank of the river. As soon as this chief had

accepted French protection, de Brazza crossed over to the south of the

river, and founded a station close to the present site of Leopoldville. The

discovery by Stanley of the French station annoyed King Leopold's agent,

and he promptly challenged the rights of the chief who purported to have

placed the country under French protection, and himself founded a Belgian

station close to the site selected by de Brazza. In the result, the French

station was withdrawn to the northern side of Stanley Pool, where it is now

known as Brazzaville.

The activity of French and Belgian agents on the Congo had not passed

unnoticed in Lisbon, and the Portuguese government saw that no time was to

be lost if the claims it had never ceased to put forward on the west coast

were not to go by default. At varying periods during the 19th century

Portugal had put forward claims to the whole of the West African coast,

between 5 deg. 12' and 8 deg. south. North of the Congo mouth she claimed

the territories of Kabinda and Molemba, alleging that they had been in her

possession since 1484. Great Britain had never, however, admitted this

claim, and south of the Congo had declined to recognize Portuguese

possessions as extending north of Ambriz. In 1856 orders were given to

British cruisers to prevent by force any attempt to extend Portuguese

dominion north of that place. But the Portuguese had been persistent in

urging their claims, and in 1882 negotiations were again opened with the

British government for recognition of Portuguese rights over both banks of

the Congo on the coast, and for some distance inland. Into the details of

the negotiations, which were conducted for Great Britain by the 2nd Earl

Granville, who was then secretary for foreign affairs, it is unnecessary to

enter; they resulted in the signing on the 26th of February 1884 of a

treaty, by which Great Britain recognized the sovereignty of the king of

Portugal ``over that part of the west coast of Africa, situated between 8

deg. and 5 deg. 12' south latitude,'' and inland as far as Noki, on the

south bank of the Congo, below Vivi. The navigation of the Congo was to be

controlled by an Anglo-Portuguese commission. The publication of this

treaty evoked immediate protests, not only on the continent but in Great

Britain. In face of the disapproval aroused by the treaty, Lord Granville

found himself unable to ratify it. The protests had not been confined to

France and the king of the Belgians. Germany had not yet acquired formal

footing in Africa, but she was crouching for the spring prior to taking her

part in the scramble, and Prince Bismarck had expressed, in vigorous

language, the objections entertained by Germany to the Anglo-Portuguese


For some time before 1884 there had been growing up a general conviction

that it would be desirable for the powers who were interesting themselves

in Africa to come to some agreement as to ``the rules of the game,'' and to

define their respective interests so far as that was practicable. Lord

Granville's ill-fated treaty brought this sentiment to a head, and it was

agreed to hold an international conference on African affairs. But before

discussing the Berlin conference of 1884-1885, it will be well to see what

was the position, on the eve of the conference, in other parts of the

African continent. In the southern section of Africa, south of the Zambezi,

important events had been happening. In 1876 Great Britain had concluded an


British influence consolidated in South Africa.

with the Orange Free State for an adjustment of frontiers, the result of

which was to leave the Kimberley diamond fields in British territory, in

exchange for a payment of L. 90,000 to the Orange Free State. On the 12th

of April 1877 Sir Theophilus Shepstone had issued a proclamation declaring

the Transvaal— the South African Republic, as it was officially

designated—to be British territory (see TRANSVAAL.) In December 1880 war

broke out and lasted until March 1881, when a treaty of peace was signed.

This treaty of peace was followed by a convention, signed in August of the

same year, under which complete self-government was guaranteed to the

inhabitants of the Transvaal, subject to the suzerainty of Great Britain,

upon certain terms and conditions and subject to certain reservations and

limitations. No sooner was the convention signed than it became the object

of the Boers to obtain a modification of the conditions and limitations

imposed, and in February 1884 a fresh convention was signed, amending the

convention of 1881. Article IV. of the new convention provided that ``The

South African Republic will conclude no treaty or engagement with any state

or nation other than the Orange Free State, nor with any native tribe to

the eastward or westward of the Republic, until the same has been approved

by Her Majesty the Queen.'' The precise effect of the two conventions has

been the occasion for interminable discussions, but as the subject is now

one of merely academic interest, it is sufficient to say that when the

Berlin conference held its first meeting in 1884 the Transvaal was

practically independent, so far as its internal administration was

concerned, while its foreign relations were subject to the control just


But although the Transvaal had thus, between the years 1875 and 1884,

become and ceased to be British territory, British influence in other parts

of Africa south of the Zambezi had been steadily extended. To the west of

the Orange Free State, Griqualand West was annexed to the Cape in 1880,

while to the east the territories beyond the Kei river were included in

Cape Colony between 1877 and 1884, so that in the latter year, with the

exception of Pondoland, the whole of South-East Africa was in one form or

another under British control. North of Natal, Zululand was not actually

annexed until 1887, although since 1879, when the military power of the

Zulus was broken up, British influence had been admittedly supreme. In

December 1884 St Lucia Bay—upon which Germany was casting covetous eyes—had

been taken possession of in virtue of its cession to Great Britain by the

Zulu king in 1843, and three years later an agreement of non-cession to

foreign powers made by Great Britain with the regent and paramount chief of

Tongaland completed the chain of British possessions on the coast of South

Africa, from the mouth of the Orange river on the west to Kosi Bay and the

Portuguese frontier on the east. In the interior of South Africa the year

1884 witnessed the beginning of that final stage of the British advance

towards the north which was to extend British influence from the Cape to

the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika. The activity of the Germans on the

west, and of the Boer republic on the east, had brought home to both the

imperial and colonial authorities the impossibility of relying on vague

traditional claims. In May 1884 treaties were made with native chiefs by

which the whole of the country north of Cape Colony, west of the Transvaal,

south of 22 deg. S. and east of 20 deg. E., was placed under British

protection, though a protectorate was not formally declared until the

following January.

Meanwhile some very interesting events had been taking place or: the west

coast, north of the Orange river and south of the Portuguese province of

Mossamaede. It must be sufficient here to touch very briefly on the events

that preceded the foundation of the colony of German South-West Africa. For

many years before 1884 German missionaries had settled among the Damaras

(Herero) and Namaquas, often combining small trading operations with their

missionary work. From time to time trouble arose between the missionaries

and the native chiefs, and appeals

Germany enters the field.

were made to the German government for protection. The German government in

its turn begged the British government to say whether it assumed

responsibility for the protection of Europeans in Damaraland and

Namaqualand. The position of the British government was intelligible, if

not very intelligent. It did not desire to see any other European power in

these countries, and it did not want to assume the responsibility and incur

the expense of protecting the few Europeans settled there. Sir Bartle

Frere, when governor of the Cape (1877-1880), had foreseen that this

attitude portended trouble, and had urged that the whole of the unoccupied

coastline, up to the Portuguese frontier, should be declared under British

protection. But he preached to deaf ears, and it was as something of a

concession to him that in March 1878 the British flag was hoisted at

Walfish Bay, and a small part of the adjacent land declared to be British.

The fact appears to be that British statesmen failed to understand the

change that had come over Germany. They believed that Prince Bismarck would

never give his sanction to the creation of a colonial empire, and, to the

German inquiries as to what rights Great Britain claimed in Damaraland and

Namaqualand, procrastinating replies were sent. Meanwhile the various

colonial societies established in Germany had effected a revolution in

public opinion, and, more important still, they had convinced the great

chancellor. Accordingly when, in November 1882, F. A. E. Luderitz, a Bremen

merchant, informed the German government of his intention to establish a

factory on the coast between the Orange river and the Little Fish river,

and asked if he might rely on the protection of his government in case of

need, he met with no discouragement from Prince Bismarck. In February 1883

the German ambassador in London informed Lord Granville of Luderitz's

design, and asked ``whether Her Majesty's government exercise any authority

in that locality.'' It was intimated that if Her Majesty's government did

not, the German government would extend to Luderitz's factory ``the same

measure of protection which they give to their subjects in remote parts of

the world, but without having the least design to establish any footing in

South Africa.'' An inconclusive reply was sent, and on the 9th of April

Luderitz's agent landed at Angra Pequena, and after a short delay concluded

a treaty with the local chief, by which some 215 square miles around Angra

Pequena were ceded to Luderitz. In England and at the Cape irritation at

the news was mingled with incredulity, and it was fully anticipated that

Luderitz would be disavowed by his government. But for this belief it can

scarcely be doubted that the rest of the unoccupied coast-line would have

been promptly declared under British protection. Still Prince Bismarck was

slow to act. In November the German ambassador again inquired if Great

Britain made any claim over this coast, and Lord Granville replied that Her

Majesty exercised sovereignty only over certain parts of the coast, as at

Walfish Bay, and suggested that arrangements might be made by which Germany

might assist in the settlement of Angra Pequena. By this time Luderitz had

extended his acquisitions southwards to the Orange river, which had been

declared by the British government to be the northern frontier of Cape

Colony. Both at the Cape and in England it was now realized that Germany

had broken away from her former purely continental policy, and, when too

late, the Cape parliament showed great eagerness to acquire the territory

which had lain so long at its very doors, to be had for the taking. It is

not necessary to follow the course-of the subsequent negotiations. On the

15th of August 1884 an official note was addressed by the German consul at

Capetown to the high commissioner, intimating that the German emperor had

by proclamation taken ``the territory belonging to Mr A. Luderitz on the

west coast of Africa under the direct protection of His Majesty.'' This

proclamation covered the coast-line from the north bank of the Orange river

to 26 deg. S. latitude, and 20 geographical miles inland, including ``the

islands belonging thereto by the law of nations.'' On the 8th of September

1884 the German government intimated to Her Majesty's government ``that the

west coast of Africa from 26 deg. S. latitude to Cape Frio, excepting

Walfish Bay, had been placed under the protection of the German emperor.''

Thus, before the end of the year 1884, the foundations of Germany's

colonial empire had been laid in South-West Africa.

In April of that year Prince Bismarck intimated to the British

government, through the German charge d'affaires in London,

Nachtigal's mission to West Africa.

that ``the imperial consul-general, Dr Nachtigal, has been commissioned by

my government to visit the west coast of Africa in the course of the next

few months, in order to complete the information now in the possession of

the Foreign Office at Berlin, on the state of German commerce on that

coast. With this object Dr Nachtigal will shortly embark at Lisbon, on

board the gunboat `Mowe.' He will put himself into communication with the

authorities in the British possessions on the said coast, and is authorized

to conduct, on behalf of the imperial government, negotiations connected

with certain questions. I venture,'' the official communication proceeds,

``in accordance with my instructions, to beg your excellency to be so good

as to cause the authorities in the British possessions in West Africa to be

furnished with suitable recommendations.'' Although at the date of this

communication it must have been apparent, from what was happening in South

Africa, that Germany was prepared to enter on a policy of colonial

expansion, and although the wording of the letter was studiously vague, it

does not seem to have occurred to the British government that the real

object of Gustav Nachtigal's journey was to make other annexations on the

west coast. Yet such was indeed his mission. German traders and

missionaries had been particularly active of late years on the coast of the

Gulf of Guinea. German factories were dotted all along the coast in

districts under British protection, under French protection and under the

definite protection of no European power at all. It was to these latter

places that Nachtigal turned his attention. The net result of his

operations was that on the 5th of July 1884 a treaty was signed with the

king of Togo, placing his country under German protection, and that just

one week later a German protectorate was proclaimed over the Cameroon

district. Before either of these events had occurred Great Britain had

become alive to the fact that she could no longer dally with the subject,

if she desired to consolidate her possessions in West Africa. The British

government had again and again refused to accord native chiefs the

protection they demanded. The Cameroon chiefs had several times asked for

British protection, and always in vain. But at last it became apparent,

even to the official mind, that rapid changes were being effected in

Africa, and on the 16th of May Edward Hyde Hewett, British consul, received

instructions to return to the west coast and to make arrangements for

extending British protection over certain regions. He arrived too late to

save either Togoland or Cameroon, in the latter case arriving five days

after King Bell and the other chiefs on the river had signed treaties with

Nachtigal. But the British consul was in time to secure the delta of the

river Niger and the Oil Rivers District, extending from Rio del Rey to the

Lagos frontier, where for a long period British traders had held almost a

monopoly of the trade.

Meanwhile France, too, had been busy treaty-making. While the British

government still remained under the spell of the

French and British rivalry in West Africa.

fatal resolution of 1865, the French government was strenuously

endeavouring to extend France's influence in West Africa, in the countries

Страницы: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

Copyright © 2012 г.
При использовании материалов - ссылка на сайт обязательна.