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During other European powers starting from that 15. Century began to win colonies in overseas stepped Germany only into 19. Century as colonial power in feature. As only German partial state strove Brandenburg end 17. Century around a small colonial possession. In addition many Germans emigrated to overseas and created settlements, which are called sometimes also German colonies.

Early colonies of German states

The Welser colony

The Welser colony (also small Venice) was a trading base in Venezuela, which to Karl V. (HRR) Augsburger had pawned the Patriziergeschlecht of the Welser from 1528 to 1556. Here it did not concern however a colony in the state-legal sense.

Brandenburgisch Prussian colonies

In the year 1682 cure prince Friedrich William of Brandenburg sent an expedition, in order to create the first brandenburgische colony in Africa. One year later was go-eaten at the cape of the three points the brandenburgische red eagle in today's Ghana and first "protection contracts "with chieftains was locked. In addition the foundation-stone for the fortress was put largely Friedrichsburg.

One acted in the brandenburgischen colonies particularly with slaves, rubber, ivory, gold and salt. For the slave trade the cure prince leased the Caribbean base pc. Thomas of Denmark.

The son Friedrich of William king Friedrich William I. of Prussia worried no longer about his colonies and sold her or had her by other colonial powers conquered.

The brandenburgischen colonies were:

  1. Largely Friedrichsburg (today Ghana), colony 1683-1718
  2. Arguin (today Mauritania), colony 1685-1721
  3. Pc. Thomas (Karibik, today the USA, to American young remote islands), brandenburgisches lease area in Danish west India 1685-1720
  4. Crab island (Karibik, today the USA), brandenburgische Annexion in Danish west India 1689-1693
  5. Tertholen, in the Caribbean sea 1696
  6. Whydah, in today's Togo around 1700 (the Brandenburgi colony was in this case only one base in this place, in also the Britisher and Dutchman a base had.)

Colonies of the German Reich

  1. German new Guinea 1885-1919, acquired by Otto Finsch
    1. Emperor William country (today northern Papua New Guinea)
    2. Bismarck archipelago (Papua New Guinea)
    3. Bougainville island (Papua New Guinea, see also Salomonen)
    4. Northern Salomon islands 1885-1899 (Salomonen)
    5. Marianen 1899-1919
    6. Marshall Islands 1885-1919
    7. Palau 1899-1919
    8. Karolinen (Mikronesien) 1899-1919
    9. Nauru 1888-1919
  2. German East Africa (today Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Mocambique Ruvuma triangle) 1885-1919, acquired by Carl Peter
  3. German southwest Africa (today Namibia, Botswana of the Caprivi Zipfels) 1884-1918, acquired by Franz Adolf Eduard load-cut
  4. German Witu (today southern Kenya), 1885-1890, acquired by the brothers Denhardt from Zeitz
  5. Kiautschou 1898-1914 (China, for 99 years leased)
  6. Cameroon 1884-1919, (today Cameroon, Nigeria East part, Chad southwest part, Central African republic Republic of, Republic of Congo northeast part, Gabon northern part) acquired by Dr. Gustav Nachtigal
  7. Samoa 1899-1919, today independent State of Samoa
  8. Togo country 1884-1919, (today Togo, Ghana western part) acquired by Dr. Gustav Nachtigal

Colonial policy of Bismarck

After the German realm Reich of 1870/71 the colonial policy in Germany played first only a subordinated role. In particular realm chancellor Otto von Bismarck rejected territorial acquisitions in overseas, since he expected only small economic advantages, however substantial political disturbances in connection with colonial acquisition. Also the suggestion after the French-German war French colonies to take over, could not inspire that, iron chancellor". It was the opinion the acquisition of colonies could its consistent policy of peace endanger.

In the course of the 1870er years won colonial propaganda in Germany however increasingly in public effectiveness. 1873 were created "the African society in Germany ", which saw its major task in the geographical investigation of Africa. 1882 came it to the establishment "of the German colonial association ", which saw itself as interest association for colonial propaganda. 1884 developed the competitive "society for German Kolonisation ", which sat down the practical Kolonisation to the goal. Both associations fused 1887 to "the German colonization and administration company for colonies ".

Year 1884 marks the actual beginning of the German colonial policy. Otto von Bismarck placed several possessions of German buyers after English model under the protection of the German Reich. Thus it used a phase of relaxation with regard to foreign policy at the beginning "of the colonial experiment ", which it faced however further sceptically. As substantial motive for Bismarck's turning turn above all "the colonial fever can be stated "in the German population: Bismarck hoped, both its own position to strengthen and the colonial-friendly national liberal a party before the realm tag choice 1884 to support. In addition one hoped to return the emigration stream to America into these colonies. Economic, social and national motives might have been rather subordinate.

First by of Bremen the buyer the Adolf load-cut acquired possessions at the bay of Angara Pequena ("loading cutting bay") in April 1884 as German southwest Africa under the protection of the German Reich placed. In July Togo country followed and the possessions East Africa niche area acquired by Adolph Woermann in Cameroon, in February 1885 from Carl Peter and its "society for German Kolonisation "and in April acquired the brothers Denhardt finally still Wituland. With the assumption of Pacific areas, north new Guinea (emperor William country) and the Inselgruppe (Bismarck archipelago), lain before it, in May 1885 the first phase of German colonial policy was final.

Bismarck's politics planned to transfer private organizations by the national charters the trade and the administration of the respective protected areas. The national intervention should be reduced to a financial and organizational minimum. This strategy failed however within fewer years: Due to the bad financial situation in nearly all protected areas as well as the partial precarious security situation and its successors were forced Bismarck to subordinate all colonies directly and formally the national administration of the German Reich.

After 1885 Bismarck turned away again from the colonial thought and continued its political priorities with the relations care with the great powers England and France. The colonies served it in this connection also as negotiation mass. Thus at the conference of Congo 1884/85 in Berlin Africa under the great powers was divided and 1890verzichtete the German Reich in the Helgoland Sansibar contract on German Witu, prepared considerably by Bismarck, in order to reach a reconciliation with England.

Colonial policy under William II.

Emperor Wilhelm II. tried to remove Germany by establishment of further commercial representations its influence than colonial power. The wilhelminische era stands for the imperial navy for a expansionistische policy and a forced armament, in particular, and aimed at one "place at the sun "(realm chancellor von 1897) for "the nation "come too late, with which not least also the possession of colonies was meant. This politics of the national prestige were in sharp contrast to Bismarck rather pragmatically justified colonial policy of 1884/85.

In the time William II. succeeded however only the acquisition of fewer areas. 1888 terminated the realm on centralPacific Nauru the master war and took the island under its protection. 1898 were added the Chinese city Kiautschou/Tsingtau, 1899 the mikronesischen islands of the Karolinen, Marianen and Palau in the central Pacific as well as Samoa in the south Pacific. A colonial re-organization of Africa aimed at by some colonial propagandists did not take place. The exception represented here the acquisition of a part of the French Congo area for Cameroon in the course of the second Morocco crisis of 1911.

In joke living 1898 the German colonial school (tropical school) was created, in order to train humans for a removal into the colonies agriculturally. The follow-on equipments form today a Nebenstandort of the University of Kassel.


Articles in category "German colonies"

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» George Thomas Napier
» Gerald Graham
» German colonies
» German new Guinea
» Gilbert and Ellice Iceland Colony
» Gunboat politics

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