Northern Africa 1905: Tangier Crisis
In 1904 Britain and France signed the Entente Cordiale—a series of agreements that defined their respective spheres of influence, in particular recognizing British control of Egypt and French primacy in Morocco. In an attempt to undermine this understanding, the German Kaiser decided to openly support the Sultan of Morocco against the French, but, when most of the other powers sided with France, he was forced to back down. As a compromise solution, the Algeciras Conference was called, affirming both Moroccan independence and French influence in Morocco.
29 Dec 1903 Reorganization of French Congo▲
In 1903 the French Congo and Dependencies was redefined as French Congo—a federation of French possessions. At the outset of federation, these possessions consisted of the colonies of Gabon and Middle Congo (formerly called French Congo), the territory of Ubangi Shari, and the military territory of Chad. The federation was overseen by the Commissioner-General—from 1908 Governor-General—of French Congo.
8 Apr 1904 Entente Cordiale▲
The United Kingdom and the French Republic signed the Entente Cordiale in London, improving Anglo-French relations by settling colonial differences: Britain was given dominance in Egypt and France in Morocco; disputes in West Africa were settled in France’s favor; France renounced rights to fisheries in Newfoundland; and Siam was to be divided into zones of influence.
Sep 1904 Zaidi Revolt in Yemen▲
The Zaidi imam, Yahya ibn Mohammed, led a revolt against the Ottoman Empire in Yemen. To restore their authority, the Ottomans were forced to grant important concessions to the Zaidis, agreeing to withdraw the civil code and restore sharia in Yemen.
31 Mar 1905 Tangier Crisis begins▲
In March 1905 Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany arrived in Tangier, Morocco, and proclaimed German support for the Sultan of Morocco as ruler of a free and independent kingdom—a statement which directly and deliberately challenged French influence in Morocco. The Sultan subsequently rejected a set of French-proposed governmental reforms and issued invitations to major world powers to a conference, precipitating a crisis among the European powers. The crisis peaked in June, when Germany threatened an alliance with Morocco, but was resolved by the Algeciras Conference of 1906.