BLTC Press Titles

available for Kindle at

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

The Revolt of the Netherlands

Friedrich Schiller

Vanity Fair

William Thackery

The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

British West Africa

by Augustus Ferryman Mockler-Ferryman


.moment there remains hardly a square mile of the continent to which one or other power cannot lay claim either by right of hinterland or by right of treaty.1 The following table .gives approximately in square miles the areas of the African possessions of the various European Powers, as well as the areas of those territories which are still independent or unappropriated:—

Estimated Area And Population Of Africa.'

From the above it will be seen that Europe has a voice in ihe affairs of more than 80 per cent. of the inhabitants of

1 For fuller particulars see The Partition of Africa, by J. Scott.Keltie; 1893.

2 From Whitaker'g Almanack.

Africa, and it requires to be little of a prophet to foretell that within a decade the whole of the continent, with the exception, perhaps, of Liberia,1 will have lost its independence. At first sight, it seems extraordinary that European nations should trouble themselves to such an extent about tracts of land which to all appearance can never be of any value, but a study of the population statistics of Great Britain and Germany will be. sufficient to prove that unless new industries and new markets be opened up, and with all speed, starvation must stare us in the face. It is not a question of "landgrabbing," for in the greater part of Africa the land itself is worthless to the European ; the desideratum is the willingness of the people to exchange for goods of European manufacture such commodities as are found in their country, and which are necessary to civilized Europe. Much misconception appears to exist as to the exact meaning of the term "sphere of influence "; it may be well, therefore, to throw a little light on the matter. When the great rush above referred to commenced, it was at once seen that unless some measures were taken there would arise unpleasant disputes between the different European Powers who had launched expeditions and despatched officials to annex new countries in Africa. A modus vivendi was, therefore, arranged, and the map of Africa was divided up with ruler and pencil, such lines forming temporary boundaries confining the actions of the different Powers interested. Each Power retained whatever territory it could at the time establish a claim to—as a rule certain strips of the coast—and, in order that trade with the interior might remain unhampered, these coast possessions were apportioned a given amount of back

1 The integrity of the Republic of Liberia (founded in 1823) is guaranteed by Great Britain and the United States of America, though France, it may be mentioned, has of late years been endeavouring to get a footing in the country.

.ground, or, as it was termed " hinterland," within which the particular European Power should be permitted to extend its influence. There was no actual distribution of the land, but merely an understanding among the Powers that each should have certain spheres within which the other Powers would not interfere. This briefly is what was intended by the agreement, but there were, of course, numerous provisos the principal of which related to the annexation of fresh territories In the case of intended annexation 1 (or extension by protection) by a Power, it was necessarv that the other Powers should receive information of the claim, which had to be proved by the production of treaties made with the natives. Theoretically, the "sphere of influence" arrangement was excellent; practically, however, there were many .difficulties in the way of its working smoothly. It was never for a moment imagined that the pencil lines on the map could remain as definite boundaries of territory possessed by the different P^uropean nations, since, for instance, they might run through the centre of a tribe, or even of a town; it was, therefore, arranged that when a Power had annexed, or proclaimed a protectorate over, its hinterland up to the temporary boundary line, then that Power and any other Power with an adjacent sphere of influence should appoint commissioners to proceed to the spot, to survey and lay down the actual boundary line. Several of these frontier delimitations have already taken place, and others are now in progress, though it must be many years before the boundaries of the whole country are clearly defined.

... from the RetroRead library, using Google Book Search, and download any of the books already converted to Kindle format.

Browse the 100 most recent additions to the RetroRead library

Browse the library alphabetically by title

Make books:

Login or register to convert Google epubs to Kindle ebooks



Lost your password?

Not a member yet? Register here, and convert any Google epub you wish

Powerd by Calibre powered by calibre