All African countries except for Liberia and Ethiopia came under imperialist rule between 1750 and 1914. European countries rushed to gain control over African countries in order to enhance their economic, social and political standing. Despite resistance from Africans, all but two countries were colonized under European control.
The prime reason for the imperialists' attraction to Africa was economic. The Industrial Revolution expanded markets, which increased the need for raw materials and new venues to facilitate higher profits. The profitable slave trade had ended and the exchange of goods between Africa and Europe had increased. This relationship changed when Europeans decided to take African land and resources.
Numerous countries were competing for political prominence in European. Gaining territory was a way to succeed in this goal, and some countries looked to Africa as a way to achieve that end. Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Britain and Belgium rushed to claim territory before their rivals.
Europe also looked to Africa as a solution to its social problems that were a direct result of industrialization, including homelessness, unemployment and poverty.
The Berlin Act was drawn up as a result of the Berlin Conference held between November 1884 and February 1885. This treaty defined how the territories were to be divided and occupied, and laid out rules concerning trade, navigation and the slave trade.