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By Sarolta, Ph.D. Takacs

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In 1871, Rhodes and his brother gave up farming and traveled to the diamond fields of Kimberley, where they staked a mining claim. Rhodes’s brother eventually returned to the farm, but Cecil continued to manage their claim. He returned to England in 1873 to complete a degree at Oxford University while still managing his interests at Kimberley. In 1880, he founded the DeBeers diamond company. He also began a political career, and in 1890 became prime minister of Cape Colony at the southern tip of Africa.

Rhodes was the quintessential imperialist, believing that Africans could not govern themselves and that it was Britain’s destiny to rule the world. ” In ill health for his entire life, Rhodes was barely fifty when he died in 1902, just at the end of the Boer War. At the time of his passing, he was one of the wealthiest men in the world. In his will, Rhodes created the Rhodes Scholarship, which allows students from around the world to study at the University of Oxford. were granted independence in 1960, Sierra Leone and Tanganyika in 1961, followed by Uganda (1962), Kenya and Zanzibar (1963), The Gambia (1965), Lesotho (1966), Botswana (1967), and Swaziland (1967).

The thirteen European nations that attended the conference were AustriaHungary, Belgium, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden-Norway, and the Ottoman Empire. A major focus of the conference was to control the slave trade and promote humanitarianism in Africa, but the conferees did little except pass resolutions on these issues, which were never enforced. The conference did, however, confirm the Congo as the private property of King Leopold II of Belgium the parent country.

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