Selected by Joanne Ruff, Archives Assistant

This item is a map which shows how Africa was divided amongst European powers during the First World War. On this map, every country except Abyssinia (Ethiopia) and Liberia is shown as belonging to a European power. Germany’s colonies were later divided amongst Britain, France and Belgium as part of the conditions imposed upon Germany as part of the Treaty of Versailles.

This item highlights the colonial mindset of the time, clearly showing how Africa was divided up between Britain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The visual starkness of seeing almost the entire continent claimed by European colonists is for me a powerful reminder of the impact of colonialism on Africa, and that the First World War had consequences that reached far beyond Europe.

Ref: Groves Box 3 C

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