Algeciras Conference

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Conference (16 January7 April 1906) convened in Algeciras, Spain, to resolve the first Moroccan crisis over German attempts to break up the AngloFrench entente cordiale that dated from April 1904.

AngloFrench agreements recognized France's paramount interests in Morocco and Britain's special position in Egypt. They also secretly provided for the future partition of Morocco between France and Spain. In 1905, German chancellor Prince Bernhard von Bülow believed that Germany should demonstrate its great-power status and its right to be consulted over such issues. He pressed Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm II to undertake a trip to Tangier (March 1905) to assure the sultan of German support for Moroccan independence. French Premier Théophile Delcassé resigned, and Germany appeared to have achieved its goal of disrupting FrenchBritish ties. Nevertheless, von Bülow insisted on pressing his advantage and forced the convening of an international conference at Algeciras in Spain to discuss France's reform program for Morocco.

The conference was a disaster for the Germans. Their policy of threats had so alienated governments and public opinion throughout Europe that Germany found itself all but isolated, with only the AustroHungarian Empire and Morocco itself siding with the Germans. On the surface, Germany appeared to have gained its goal, for the conference reaffirmed Moroccan independence. But it also approved French and Spanish control over the Moroccan police and banks, and it paved the way for France to further encroach on Moroccan independence. The first Moroccan crisis encouraged closer relations between France and Britain and revealed the weakness of Germany's diplomatic position. By permitting French penetration of Morocco, it practically guaranteed the rise of Moroccan nationalist opposition to the agreements. Such opposition was almost certain to lead to further French encroachments over Morocco's merely formal independence. The Algeciras Act was doomed from the outset, culminating in the Agadir Crisis of 1911.

see also agadir crisis.


Pennell, C. R. Morocco since 1830. New York: New York University Press, 2000.

Taylor, A. J. P. The Struggle for the Mastery of Europe, 18481918. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954.

Jon Jucovy

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ALGECIRAS CONFERENCE. In 1904 France made agreements with England and Spain that allowed France to increase its trading rights in Morocco. Germany, angered because it was not consulted, demanded a conference of the signatories to the Morocco Agreement negotiated in Madrid in 1880. Among the signatories was the United States, to whom the German government now appealed for an extension of the Open Door policy to Morocco. In private correspondence Kaiser William II warned President Theodore Roosevelt that the crisis might lead to war between France and Germany if left unresolved. Roosevelt, in an attempt to obtain a peaceful solution, persuaded England and France to attend a conference at Algeciras, Spain, in 1906. At the conference, however, the Germans appeared so uncompromising that Roosevelt supported France, which in the end won a privileged position in Morocco. Although resolved peacefully, the Moroccan crisis intensified German-French hostility, which boiled over eight years later with the coming of World War I. The U.S. Senate ratified the treaty that resulted from Algeciras but declared that this action was taken solely to protect American interests and should not be interpreted as an abandonment of its nonintervention policy toward Europe.


Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1991.

Harbaugh, William H. The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975.

Lynn M.Case/a. g.

See alsoFrance, Relations with ; Germany, Relations with .

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Algeciras Conference: see Morocco.