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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by the German Colonial Society, 1910, Retrospective on the Development of the Deutsch=Ostafrika Protectorate in 1909
Retrospective on the Development of the Deutsch=Ostafrika Protectorate in 1909

On January 1st 1909 3387 whites were counted in Deutsch-Ostafrika. The increase of 542, in comparison to the previous year, is mainly to be explained in resumed railway construction. In the north the Usambara Railroad was extended beyond Mombo, the Central Railroad beyond Morogoro into the interior. 
The black population, too, has increased, this, anyway, has been established by all district offices. Natives, who emigrated in the rebellion years 1905 and 1906 have returned; in the Lindi region for instance 10,000 men. The rebels of the Mahenge district also, to the larger part, have moved back to their old dwellings, the movement back into the Langenburg district also continues.
The official report assumes, that the hygienic measures undertaken by the government begin to have a beneficial effect on the health environment and thus permit the population to increase. Unfortunately the sleeping disease has extended in the northwest of the colony, even a number of Europeans have fallen victim to it. Not only the banks of Lake Victoria, but also the main settlements on Lake Tanganyika are infected; combatting the sleeping disease is difficult, because the population, as in Togo, refuses to be lodged in isolation camps.
Even among us certain segments of society reject, in the case of sickness, to go to a hospital. In Reichstag the opinion prevailed, that in the face of the threat posed by the sleeping sickness, the funds allocated were insufficient to lastingly put an end to the disease.
Among special events it has to be mentioned, that near Lindi a deposit of gigantic dinosaur remnants have been found and examined by a scientific expedition. In August 1908 and again in February 1909 a small earthquake took place, which both did not cause any damage. The natives' production, the importance of which again and again has been stressed by official sources, has decreased in the report year, partially caused by sinking prices for the main products. Exports of wax have increased, exports of caoutchouc have decreased, cotton also was not favourable everywhere, although the negro in the individual districts realizes that he gains advantages by cultivating this highly valuable product. The word for cotton in Useguha is "Mali", literally translated to piece of value; it is treated equal with cash and cattle, and everywhere cotton is the tax product, as it provides the source of cash the native needs to pay the hut tax, which amounts in Deutsch-Ostafrika to 4,- Mark per annum and head (p.25), and which, in 1908 brought in 2,854,000 M., 854,000 more than calculated in the budget. The European planters interested in cotton encourage the negro cultivation by paying him in advance, by and large. The Leipziger Baumwollspinnerei (cotton mill) in Sadani, f.i., in 1908 paid c. 4500 Rupees in advanced payments, and calculated for 1909 c. 10,000 Rupees.
Here also it shows that the negro learns from role model and impulse given by the European. He gets accustomed to use European tools for his work in the field; in some areas he has begun to fertilize.
Otherwise his cultivation serves to answer his own demand. If he builds a Shamba, he does not extend it beyond his personal requirements. He could earn cash by selling plant products, but what can he do with it if there are not sufficient food articles he can buy. Where roads etc, exist, conditions are better; but where supply or delivery are obstructed, any cultivation beyond his personal needs are an impossibility. Anyway, the negro already today is deeply influenced by the European economy. In the old days he made fire by rubbing two sticks against each other; since cheap matches are available in a large part of the colony, the old technique of their fathers to start a fire have almost been forgotten by the sons.
Overall, the negro gets accustomed to look for work on the railroad construction or on the plantations, in order to acquire cash. In the report year the labour conditions were described as improved. If the number of those who reported for work is given as 50,000 men, this is not a large figure if compared to other colonies; for instance among the Jaunde in Kamerun, 40,000 out of 60,000, at the most, signed up as carriers and plantation workers.
Among the European enterprises a significant increase in coffee exports is to be observed, and it is to be expected, that the extention of the Usambara Railroad until Moschi, already approved, will have an even more favourable effect on coffee exports. Exports of sisal hemp also have increased; they cover already more than a quarter of the motherland's demand. Caoutchouc suffered from low world market prices and the figures should be more favourable for 1909, as the prices rebounded. In case of cattle breeding on Lake Victoria the situation is even worse, the exports of skins and fur decreased considerably.
The settlement in the Moschi District offers better prospects than expected. 37 Boers, 8 Reich Germans, 8 German Russians, 3 Englishmen and 1 Greek settled there. They cultivated rice, coffee and manihot in addition to products for their own consumption. Recently, following the English example set in the neighbouring colony, attention has been given to the breeding of wool sheep; yet it can not yet been said if our protectorate provides suitable areas and preconditions. (p.26)
More light has been shed on the settlement question by an expedition which the undersecretary of state in the Reichskolonialamt, Herr von Lindequist, undertook in 1908-1909, in the company of many prolific scholars. Unfortunately little has been said about the results of the expedition. Herr von Lindequist only has stated in the budget commission, thus not in public, what he expects of a German settlement of Deutsch-Ostafrika. So far it proceeded not only without the incentive of, but, so to say, against the will of the administration. For instance in the years 1907 and 1908 the white population of the districts of Moschi and Wilhelmstal has increased by 110. It will increase even more, when, as the Reichstag has decided in spring 1910, the Usambara Railroad will reach the areas mainly suited for settlement, located on the Kilimandscharo and the Meru. There is ample space for many: on the slopes of the volcanoes Kitumbeine, Gelei, Meandet and Mondul many European cattle farmers will find locations to settle; in the regions to the west of the rift, ample good pasture is available. The tension which used to be there betweem settlers and government has decreased, fortunately. The population in the protectorate has accepted that the communal organizations, except for the city districts of Daressalam and Tanga, have ceased to exist.
A minor event may be regarded symptomatic for the entire development: The Kwei Domain, once started as an experimental station, which, under an energetic tenant, by the means of agriculture and livestock breeding, has produced good results; it has been sold to the tenant. So private business in Deutsch-Ostafrika (p.27) will more and more replace what has been started with state support.
So, in the climatically favourable regions, more and more Germans will settle. This development does not need encouragement, but it should also not be discouraged from official side.

Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Yearbook and Remarks by Hubert Henoch. Berlin 1910, p.24ff.

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Dokument in deutscher Sprache