Between Law and History: the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 and the Logic of Free Trade

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Craven, Matthew (2015)
  • References (65)
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    10 Crowe (1942) 4-5. See also JD Hargreaves, Prelude to the Partition of West Africa (Macmillan, 1963) 337 ('The importance of the Berlin Conference has often been misrepresented and exaggerated . . . Nor is it true that the Conference “partitioned Africa”'); H Wesseling, 'The Berlin Conference and the Expansion of Europe: A Conclusion', in Fo¨rster et al. (eds) (1988) 527, 531-32; Ewans (2002) 97-98 ('Apart from establishing the (qualified) principle of free trade, the Conference of Berlin was, in fact, of less practical significance than has been generally supposed').

    11 Pakenham (1991) 254. What Pakenham is prepared to admit for the Conference is what he calls the 'spirit of Berlin': 'For the first time great men like Bismarck had linked their names at an international conference to Livingstone's lofty ideals: to introduce the “3 Cs”-commerce, Christianity, civilisation-into the dark places of Africa.'

    12 See R Robinson, 'The Conference in Berlin and the Future of Africa, 1884-1885', in Fo¨rster et al. (eds) (1988) 1, 16. Schmitt describes the contradictory character of the General Act as documenting 'the continuing belief in civilization, progress, and free trade, and of the fundamental European claim based thereon to the free, i.e., non-state soil of the African continent open for European land-appropriation'. C Schmitt, The Nomos of the Earth in the International Law of the Jus Publicum Europaeum, trans. GL Ulmen (Telos Press, 2006) 216.

    13 J Fisch, 'Africa as terra nullius: The Berlin Conference and International Law', in Fo¨rster et al. (eds) (1988) 347.

    14 See, e.g., J Hargreaves, 'The Berlin Conference, West African Boundaries, and the Eventual Partition' in Fo¨rster et al. (eds) (1988) 313.

    16 WR Louis, 'The Berlin Congo Conference', in P Gifford & WR Louis (eds), France and Britain in Africa (Yale UP, 1971) 167, 218.

    17 M Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, trans. A Sheridan (Vintage Books, 1977) 300-01.

    18 Cf. Robinson (1988) 32 ('So far as free trade was the purpose of Bismarck's Conference, it defeated its own object').

    23 Robinson (1998) 3. ('Rejected in Paris and Berlin, intrigued against in Brussels, decried by merchants in Manchester and patriots in Lisbon, and the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty had been sabotaged by mid-June'). See generally Anstey (1962); Fitzmaurice (1905) 344-54; Crowe (1942) 23-33.

    24 The Comite´ d'e´tudes du Haut Congo was the executive arm of a syndicate set up by Leopold in 1878 financed by private subscription which included, among others James Hutton, William MacKinnon and a Dutch company Africaansche Handelsvereeniging. The Dutch Company, one of the largest subscribers, went bankrupt in the same year leading to its formal dissolution. N

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