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The Anglo-French colonial rivalry in the Western Africa in the 80th of the XIX century

e. V. Morozov


Work is presented by department of the theory and history of the international relations of St. Petersburg State University.

The research supervisor - the candidate of historical sciences, associate professor A.Yu. Pavlov

Article is devoted to the history of the Anglo-French rivalry in the Western Africa in the 80th of the 19th century. The course of colonization of this region, a question of the status of Niger River at the Berlin conference of 1884-1885, the main stages of rivalry of Great Britain and France for these territories and the process of their partition into spheres of influence which led to the agreement of 1890 are considered

The article touches upon the history of the Anglo-French rivalry in the Western Africa in the 1880s. Among the issues studied are the process of colonization; Nigerian issue, discussed at the Berlin conferences of 1884-85; main stages of competition between Great Britain and France for these territories, and the process of partition of the latter into the spheres of influence, which resulted in the agreement of 1890.

The problem of the colonial partition of the Western Africa gained great value in the Anglo-French relations of the end of the 19th century. The region had great economic value as a source of cotton, palm oil and other raw materials. The first attempt of England to create colony in the Western Africa was made during Seven years' war in 1763: there was a British possession Senegambiya in 1807 announced by crown colony. In 1808 under the power of British the Sierra-Leone1 passed.

The first French trade trading stations arose on river banks Senegal in the 17th century. Later they became base for expansion of the French colonial possession. In 1851 when the French emissaries got into Lagos and tried to impose to the local governor the contract on protectorate, England in response to it founded the consulate in the city. In August of the same year the British bombarded Lagos, and ten years later in general annexed ego2. By 1870th England already had

four colonies on the Guinean coast: Gambia, Sierra Leone, Gold Coast and Lagos. Interest in the region even more increased when near the Lower Niger the fields of tin ore were found, and in a river basin Benin and to Entre Rios - Hera and Benue are found kauchukonosy3.

In 1879 the former officer of the British army J. Goldie created the Niger company representing trade circles of London and Manchester. The company monopolized all trade up Niger. In 1882 the heads of the British "Central African trade company" suggested the government to go to the section of spheres of influence with France in the Western Africa to assign Niger to England. However London did not go for negotiations: the ambassador in Paris considered a moment inopportune because of aggravation Egyptian voprosa4. The part of the territory of the Southern Niger appeared under control of other association - the African association.

Begun during this period French-ger - mansky rapprochement was caused by aggravation in 1883-1884 of the Anglo-German contradictions. Besides, Germany sought to encourage colonial adventures of France to distract its forces from Europe and not to allow a possible revenge for defeat in French-Prussian voyne5. France and Germany informed England on convocation in Berlin in 1884 of the international conference where it was supposed to discuss problems of effective occupation of territories, trade on Congo River and a problem of internationalization of Niger. At implementation of this idea London would lose monopoly and the prospects of creation kolonii6 there. In these conditions it was necessary to expand to a conference in this area the possession: to the middle of the 1880th near the Lower Niger 237 contracts about protektorate7 were signed already.

At the Berlin conference Germany showed compliance in relation to requirements of British to recognize as their special

interests on the Oil rivers. For it England agreed to consider Cameroon the German sphere of influence and agreed not to interfere with penetration of Germans into deep rayony8. France stated that, its rights on headwaters of Niger will not be recognized yet, it will not accept obligations to navigation on Kongo9. Though British managed not to allow internationalizations of Niger, in the final document the freedom of trade for all nations was confirmed. The goods going in transit were not assessed with duties which could be raised only for a covering of administrative expenses. A specific place in work of the Berlin conference was held by a question of so-called effective occupation, i.e. establishment of effective control over territories. The states presented at a conference tried to agree concerning that the annexation made by one country by all means would admit other participants of the section. The final decision had indistinct character. For recognition of annexation two conditions were laid down: obligatory notice of other governments

about occupation of the territory and establishment of the power which would be sufficient for ochre - ny the acquired rights and freedom of trade. These conditions depreciated the fact that the annexing power was not obliged to designate borders of the busy territory precisely. Old colonial powers insisted on that these conditions had no return sily10.

The French-German rapprochement in colonial questions continued not for long. After falling in 1885 Zh. Ferri's governments of the relation between two countries sharply worsened. In France growth of revanchist moods which is warmed up by the Minister of War general Zh. Bulanzhe began. "The military alarm" finally buried 1887 hopes of those who else supported cooperation between France and Germaniyey11.

Seeking to fix decisions of the Berlin conference, in particular the statement of the district of Nizhny Novgorod of Niger by a sphere of influence of England, the British government officially recognized in 1886. The Niger company the political representation, having provided it the Royal Charter. Supreme authority of the company concentrated in hands of the board of directors in London now, and J. Goldie as the chief manager carried out it on meste12. In 1887 the territories controlled by the company were announced by Protectorate of Niger distrikt. Areas of the delta remained as a part of Protectorate of the Oil rivers as separate possession, but borders between both territories were not established. In Protectorate of Niger distrikt the administrative functions were carried out by the exclusive company, and on the Oil rivers was established direct British upravleniye13. In 1889 the British prime minister lord of Salisbury suggested France to carry out differentiation of the Western Africa. As a result of August 10 the British and French zones of influence in Senegambiya, Gold and Slave Coast were established. Appointment of special representatives on differentiation directly on mestakh14 was supposed. France conceded to England the small territories adjoining colony Lagos. Further both powers sought to fix the positions along a boundary between Dahomey and Nigeriyey15.

Establishment of the British protectorate over Zanzibar under the Helgoland contract of 1890 disturbed the French government as under the agreement with England 1862 France was one of guarantors of the status of a sultanate. The prime minister A. Ribot demanded from British of compensation, namely recognition of the French protectorate over Madagascar and the section of spheres of influence in the Western Africa. As the Anglo-German agreement provided mutual access to the lake Chad, Ribot authorized the ambassador in England A. Vaddington to demand from the British government to provide to France a part of the coastline of the lake and to provide access to Timbuktu16. Lord of Salisbury not vozrazhal17.

5 August, 1890 the Anglo-French agreement under which the line of their spheres of influence was drawn from point Seius, on the last section of the lower current of Niger, on the East to the lake Chad was concluded, i.e. all huge territory north of it to the Algerian border was recognized beyond France. To England territories of the lower current of Niger and located south of the lake Chad Bornu and Sokoto departed. England recognized the French protectorate over Madagascar, and France is the British protectorate over Zanzibarom18. The territories received by France were the Sahara Desert, and the earth which got to British was the richest and fertile. In the Salisbury House of Lords joked that the earth transferred to France "very easy" and a Gallic rooster will be able to scratch it as much as necessary. France stated a protest, and the French ambassador in London reported Salisbury that "undoubtedly, the Sahara and contains not a garden much as you told, the easy earth; however, if you allow me to tell frankly, it was hardly necessary to speak

about it publicly: You could present safely to ourselves to make this discovery" 19.

The agreement did not settle the English French contradictions. Paris was not slow to take that territorial advantage which they got. In 1890 the question of construction through the Sahara Desert of the trans-African railroad was brought up. In France there was a new splash in colonial moods. In parliament and the press, voices began to be distributed that now it is necessary to provide in practice domination of France in territories which it just received diplomati24 1

chesky putem20. In these conditions of distant- stvo for prevalence in the Western Africa

shy growth of Anglo-French soperniche- was inevitable.

1 History of Africa in XIX - the beginning of the 20th century of M., 1984. Page 97-98.
2 Burns A. History of Nigeria. London, 1958. P. 111-122.
3 The history of Nigeria during modern and latest times / Under the editorship of Yu.N. Zotova and I.V. Sledzevsky. M, 1981. Page 91-92.
4 Newbury C. W. British Policy Towards West Africa. Select Documents. 1875-1914. With Statistical Appendices, 1800-1914. Oxford, 1971. P. 175-177.
5 Rouard de Card E. Le Prince de Bismarck et l’expansion de la France en Afrique. Paris, 1918. P. 10; Geiss I. German Foreign Policy 1871-1914. London; N. Y., 2002. P. 49.
6 Robinson R., Gallagher J., Denny A. Africa and the Victorians. London, 1961. P. 175.
7 I.D. I.D. Colonial expansion of Great Britain in the last third of the 19th century. (Driving forces, forms and methods). M, 1991. Page 132-133.
8 The history of Nigeria during modern and latest times. Page 101.
9 Protocols and General Act of the West African conference. London, 1885. P. 74.
10 Collection of contracts of Russia with other states. 1856-1917. M, 1952. Page 240-259; Ministere des Affaires fitrangnres. Traiffis et conventions en vigueur entre la France et les Puissances fitrangmes/Par J. Basdevant. T. IV. Paris, 1922. P. 78-91.

imanfred A. 3. Foreign policy of France of 1871-1891. M, 1952. Page 354-445.

12 Burns A. History of Nigeria. P. 151-156; I.D. I.D. Monopoliya and empire. English exclusive companies and colonial expansion of the 80-90th of the 19th century. Saratov, 1980. S. 60-61.
13 Uzoigwe G. N. Britain and the Conquest of Africa. The Age of Salisbury. Ann Arbor, 1974. P. 99;

The history of Nigeria during modern and latest times. Page 102.

14 Newbury C. W. Op. cit. P. 200-203; Uzoigwe G. N. Op. cit. P. 102.
15 The history of Nigeria during modern and latest times. Page 102.
16 Documents Diplomatiques Frarnais (1871-1914). 1 srnie. T. VIII. No. 91, 93, 101.
17 Kanya-Forstner A. S. The Conquest of the Western Sudan. Cambridge, 1969. P. 159-160.
18 Newbury C. W. Op. cit. P. 205.
19 Tsit. on: F.A. Rotstein. The international relations at the end of the 19th century. M.; L., 1960. Page 225.
20 Kanya-Forstner A. S. Op. cit. P. 162-163.
Leslie Ross
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