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The German colonial empire constituted the overseas colonies, dependencies, and territories of the German Empire. Short-lived attempts of colonization by individual German states occurred in preceding centuries, but crucial colonial efforts only began in with the Scramble for Africa. Germany lost control when World War I began and its colonies were seized by its enemies in the first weeks of the war.
Many Germans in the late 19th century viewed colonial acquisitions as a true indication of nationhood. Public opinion eventually arrived at an understanding that prestigious African and Pacific colonies went hand-in-hand with dreams of a world-class navy. Both aspirations would become reality, nurtured by a press replete with Kolonialfreunde supporters of colonial acquisitions and a myriad of geographical associations and colonial societies. Bismarck and many deputies in the Reichstag had no interest in colonial conquests merely to acquire square miles of territory.
The aim of Weltpolitik was to transform Germany into a global power through aggressive diplomacy, the acquisition of overseas colonies, and the development of a large navy. With the Germans ing the race for the last uncharted territories in Africa and the Pacific that had not yet been carved up, competition for colonies involved major European nations and several lesser powers.
The German effort included the first commercial enterprises in the s and s in West Africa, East Africa, the Samoan Islands, and the unexplored north-east quarter of New Guinea with adjacent islands. German traders and merchants began to establish themselves in Bismarck seeking first time African Cameroon delta and the mainland coast across from Zanzibar. At Apia and the settlements Finschhafen, Simpsonhafen and the islands Neu-Pommern and Neu-Mecklenburg, trading companies newly fortified with credit began expansion into coastal landholding.
Large African inland acquisitions followed, mostly to the detriment of native inhabitants. All in all, German colonies comprised territory that makes up 22 countries today, mostly in Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. He reluctantly acquiesced to pleas for help to deal with revolts and armed hostilities by often powerful rulers whose lucrative slaving activities seemed at risk. German native military forces initially engaged in dozens of punitive expeditions to apprehend and punish freedom fighters, at times with British assistance.
Once war was declared in late July Britain and its allies promptly moved against the colonies, the public was informed that German colonies were a threat. The British position that Germany was a uniquely brutal and cruel colonial power originated during the war.
Byonly in remote jungle regions in East Africa did the German forces hold out. The Herero and Nama genocide was a campaign of racial extermination and collective punishment that the German Empire undertook in German South-West Africa modern-day Namibia against the Herero and Nama people, considered one of the first genocides of the 20th century.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Herero migrated to what is today Namibia from the east and established themselves as herdsmen. In the beginning of the 19th century, the Nama from South Africa, who already possessed some firearms, entered the land and were followed by white merchants and German missionaries. At first, the Nama began displacing the Herero, leading to bitter warfare between the two groups that lasted the greater part of the 19th century.
Later, the Nama and Herero entered a period of cultural exchange. During the late 19th century, the first Europeans arrived to permanently settle the land.
Primarily in Damaraland, German settlers acquired land from the Herero to establish farms. The exchange later became the basis of German colonial rule. Soon after, conflicts between the German colonists and the Herero herdsmen began. These were frequently disputes about access to land and water, but also the legal discrimination against the native population by the white immigrants.
The Herero and Nama resisted expropriation over the years, but were disorganized and the Germans defeated them with ease. Inthe Herero people learned that they were to be placed in reservations, leaving more room for colonists to own land and prosper. Inthe Herero and Nama began a large rebellion that lasted until Bismarck seeking first time, ending with the near destruction of the Herero people. In a period of four years,approximately 65, Herero and 10, Nama people perished.
The first phase of the genocide was characterized by widespread death from starvation and dehydration due to the prevention of the retreating Herero from leaving the Namib Desert by German forces. Once defeated, thousands of Herero and Nama were imprisoned in concentration camps, where the majority died of disease, abuse, and exhaustion. During the Herero genocide Eugen Fischer, a German scientist, came to the concentration camps to conduct medical experiments on race, using children of Herero people and mulatto children of Herero women and German men as test subjects.
Together with Theodor Mollison he also experimented upon Herero prisoners. Those experiments included sterilization and injection of smallpox, typhus, and tuberculosis. Other scholars, however, are skeptical and challenge the continuity thesis.
This pragmatic attitude was mainly supported by the leading political figure of the time, Otto Von Bismarck, a major force behind unification. Bismarck disliked colonialism but reluctantly built an overseas empire when it was demanded by both elite and mass opinion. The attitude toward colonialism shifted again during the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who espoused a Weltpolitik foreign policy that emphasized aggressive diplomacy, the acquisition of overseas colonies, and the development of a large navy.
German colonies comprised territory that makes up 22 countries today, mostly in Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Uganda. Germany lost control of its colonial empire at the beginning of World War I when its colonies were seized by its enemies in the first weeks of the war. Otto von Bismarck : A conservative Prussian statesman who dominated German and European affairs Bismarck seeking first time the s until In the s, he engineered a series Bismarck seeking first time wars that unified the German states, ificantly and deliberately excluding Austria, into a powerful German Empire under Prussian leadership.
Germany and the Herero The Herero and Nama genocide was a campaign of racial extermination and collective punishment that the German Empire undertook in German South-West Africa modern-day Namibia against the Herero and Nama people, considered one of the first genocides of the 20th century. Learning Objectives Assess the argument for classifying the persecution against the Herero as a genocide. German colonists arriving in the following years occupied large areas of land, ignoring claims by the Herero and other natives. There was continual resistance by the natives, most notably in when some of the Herero tribes rose in revolt and about 60 German settlers were killed.
In OctoberGeneral Lothar von Trotha issued orders to kill every male Herero and drive the women and children into the desert; when the order was lifted at the end ofprisoners were herded into concentration camps and given as slave labor to German businesses; many died of overwork and malnutrition. It took until to re-establish German authority over the territory; by that time tens of thousands of Africans estimates range from 34, tohad been either killed or died of thirst while fleeing.
Inthe German government recognized and apologized for the events Key Terms Herero : An ethnic group inhabiting parts of Southern Africa. The majority reside in Namibia, with the remainder found in Botswana and Angola. During the German colonial empire, the German colonists committed genocide against these people. Eugen Fischer : A German professor of medicine, anthropology, and eugenics, and a member of the Nazi Party.
Adolf Hitler read his work while imprisoned in and used his eugenical notions to support the ideal of a pure Aryan society in his manifesto, Mein Kampf My Struggle. It was 1. The colony had a population of around 2, Germans, numerous indigenous rebellions, and a widespread genocide of the indigenous peoples.
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