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The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956A History$
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James Heartfield

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190491673

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190491673.001.0001

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The Scramble for Africa

The Scramble for Africa

(p.297) 12 The Scramble for Africa
The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1838–1956

James Heartfield

Oxford University Press

The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was increasingly drawn in to the diplomatic maneuvers that led to the Great Powers of Europe into a “scramble for Africa”. The Society had worked with Leopold, King of the Belgians and his Congo International Association. They were disappointed that they had not been allowed to play a part in the 1884 Berlin Conference where control of the Congo was decided. The Society got some leverage by working with Cardinal Lavigerie’s international association of anti-slavery societies, but this was derailed by national rivalries. When another conference was planned to take place in Brussels in 1890, the Society made sure that they were at the heart of it, preparing position papers and making presentations to the delegates. It was this conference that carved up Africa among the European powers. The Society had a tempestuous relation with the explorer H. M. Stanley whose missions in Central and East Africa excited great support and the Society backed the East Africa Company’s mission against King Mwanga.

Keywords:   Congo, Leopold, Brussels Conference, H. M. Stanley, Diplomacy, Imperialism

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