The first crisis, 1905-06
France already had an empire in North Africa, which included Algeria and Tunisia. Morocco would complete this North African Empire as Morocco held a position of great strategic importance at the mouth of the Mediterranean Sea. For the mid-nineteenth century, the Great Powers had become increasingly interested in events there. In 1904 France and Great Britain agreed that Morocco fell into the French ‘sphere of influence’. This angered the Kaiser, who wanted to expand German power in Africa and the Mediterranean. So the Kaiser decided to interfere,
- He wanted to test the strength of the Entente Cordiale and hoped to split it apart. he did not believe that Britain would stand by France over Morocco
- He did not want to see France extend her North African Empire
In 1905, the Kaiser paid a visit to the Moroccan port of Tangiers where he made a speech declaring that Morocco should remain independent of France. This sparked a crisis, France, supported by Britain, refused to back down. However, the French did agree to the Kaiser’s demand for an international conference to discuss the future of Morocco.
The conference took…