Title: "The Dark Continent. A Wail from a French Newspaper"

Journal: Chicago Daily Tribune

Place of Publication: Chicago

Date: December 28, 1884


Most Americans did not have access to Congressional debates about whether the U.S should recognize the sovereignty of King Leopold II of Belgium's Congo Free State—which prompted the convening of the Berlin Conference—or discussions of U.S. engagement with the "African Question." [note 1] They turned to newspapers to glean any information about the major international issue for the West at the time—the present and future state of African affairs. U.S. media coverage of the Berlin Conference of 1884-85 was extensive, with articles published in the major coastal newspapers and dailies in the South, West, and Midwest, attesting to the scope of American interest in European designs on Africa.

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The Dark Continent.

A Wail from a French Newspaper.

Paris, Dec. 27. — [Special] — The Journal des Debats. in a leading article, says:

"The circle within which subjects are to be discussed by the Berlin Conference was strictly limited at the outset, but is now broken, and is widening out and continues to embrace more and more ground, until it is impossible to predict where the conference may lead to. The American plenipotentiaries are principally responsible for this. We do not insist upon the answer why America was invited to take part in the conference, but it seems that a nation which applies on its own side of the world the Monroe doctrine with such vigor should at least act with due reserve on our side of the water. 'D'Amerique aux Americains soit,' although a great deal might be said against such a pretension. But it is not too much for Europe to insist that Americans should not ask for anything more than America. America is quite large enough for them, and it is their duty to keep their hands off Africa and give Europe a chance on the Continent of Africa. The arm of Monroe was never before extended so far as this."

The Question of Neutralization.

Berlin, Dec. 27. — The negotiations with France for the neutralization of the territory of the African International Association have been renewed at Paris. Bismarck sent a special communication to Prime Minister Ferry urging him to withdraw his opposition to the scheme.

Waddington's Intentions.

Paris, Dec. 27. — Waddington, French Ambassador to London, has concluded to resign if the French financial plan before the Congo Conference shall not be maintained.