Then and Now
Celebrate 100 years of The World Book Encyclopedia by taking a look at the world in 1917 compared to today.


Changing Map of Africa | Africa: 1917 and Now

When the first World Book was published in 1917, there were only two independent countries in Africa: Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) and Liberia. Together, they made up less than 5 percent of the land area of the continent. The rest of Africa was divided into colonies controlled by the European nations of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.