Examine the importance of colonial rivalries in affecting the relations among the European powers in the period 1870-1914

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The period 1870-1914 saw a remarkable upsurge of imperial activity, including the partition of Africa and the scramble for concessions in China. The Great Powers competed with each other to get the most and best colonies; as a result, tension and fiction was displayed as the Great Powers sought to assert their claim to various pieces of land. This competition for colonies where the Great powers saw each other as a rival was the colonial rivalries. These rivalries worsened relationships between most of the countries, for example the Anglo-German relationship; but surprisingly, it improved some relationships such as the Anglo-French relationship. Colonial rivalries were one of the important factors that affected the relations among the European powers during that period because it made the powers work, interact, and understand each other.

Anglo-French relations went under a dramatic change as a result of colonial rivalry. From 1870-1884 Britain and France had no major quarrels and usually cooperated in international relations.

However, the partition of Africa led to continual friction, which brought them to the verge of war. Rivalry in the West Africa certainly impaired Anglo-French relations. Good Anglo-French relationships had to be based on France's acceptance of Britain's position in Egypt. A joint Franco- British supervision of Egypt's finances had bees set up after its bankruptcy in 1878. In the French point of view, because they had built the Suez Canal, Britain should withdraw. However, because of a revolt in Sudan which required Britain to send an army over to suppress it, British army insisted to stay in the light of the political chaos as the government army was defeated by the revolutions and it caused political instability. The important lesson French colonialists drew from this was that France should barter Egypt in exchange for France predominance in Morocco.