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Imperialism | Colonial Policy

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Atlas of Germany's Colonies and Illustrated Yearbook, edited by P. Sprigade and M. Moisel, 1914, The Development of the German Protectorates in the Pacific in 1913
The Development of the German Protectorates in the Pacific in 1913

Our knowledge of Kaiser-Wilhelmsland has been expanded by the Kaiserin-Augustafluss Expedition, which had been suggested and supported to a considerable extent by the Deutsche Kolonialgesellschaft. With the exception of Dr. Thurnwald, the participants have returned to the motherland in autumn 1913 and soon will publish the results if their research, on which they already have reported in the Deutsche Kolonialzeitung.
Their activity was concentrated on the southern basin of the Sepik, from the Dutch border to the coast. Here the many tributaries feeding into the Sepik from the south and the dense mountain land reaching close to the main river offered much more interesting scientific tasks than the northern Sepik basin, largely covered by swamps. The northern basin of the Sepik, with the exception of the direct vicinity of the main stream, was utterly unknown. 
Due to the exploits of the expedition, especially of Dr. Behrmann, our knowledge of Neu-Guinea's interior has expanded by 3 to four degree squares. The tributaries on the right of the Sepik have been visited and mapped. On the left bank, all search for larger tributaries was in vain. Overall it turned out that the obstacles standing against the opening of Neuguinea are not insurmountable, and that the natives are accessible to friendly attempts to enter in communication.
On the Bismarck Archipelago, at some locations the expansion of our administration has met resistance on a scale hitherto unknown. In Neu-Hannover's interior, the district office of Kaewieng regarded it necessary to send an armed force against disobedient natives. On the other hand, in Baining the administration succeeded in improving relations with a part of the native population. So the enlistment of workers was successfully expanded. Today, quite a number of Baining men regularly work on nearby white-owned plantations. Their main product, copra, after 1912 again has achieved a higher revenue. Deutsch-Neuguinea, including the island region, exported 17,300 tons of copra at a value over 6 million Mark. Samoa brought more than 11,200 tons of copra at a value of considerably over 4 million Mark onto the world market. Today in Neu-Guinea more than 32,000 ha are under cultivation, 90 % of which planted with cocos palm trees. Everywhere the cocos palm culture is expanding and applications for land allocations continue to reach the administration. Also, the world market prices for copra are rather good.
Caoutchouc, cocoa, sisal etc. by comparison are rather insignificant.
A few years ago great expectations had been invested in the mineral riches of the protectorate. The Hercules River sand contains gold. A research expedition sent there was unable to conclude their examination. At the upper Hercules River gold fields have repeatedly been the site of exploitation by manual gold-washing. It takes energetic men, well-accquainted with life in the wilderness, in order to wash gold here, far away from civilization, in the deep jungles of Kaiser-Wilhelmsland. Unfortunately the examination and exploitation of the oil fields discovered in the Eitape District has not yet been begun. The protectorate's revenue service has declared the area off limits. The production of phosphates on Nauru and Angaur again has increased. On the former island, lack of labour was registered. 
On Deutsch-Neuguinea's list of exports we find almost 10,000 birds-of-paradise, estimated at a value of almost half a million Marks. The number for 1913 might even be greater; this export trade discontinues in 1914, as a close season has been declared for more than a year.
The Ponape men who caused so much trouble in 1911 have been quiet. The inhabitants of Micronesia made no difficulties. Here our administration cautiously moves to abolish age-old institutions such as the feudal system, matriarchal law etc. Attempts aim mainly at ending social damage, at raising the status of the woman in the family and to free her from the influence of various groups, in and outside of her hut.

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(indigenous archer in Kaiser-Wilhelmsland)

The Samoans also have quietly accepted the regulation for the succession to the deceased upper chief Mataafa. The institution has been abolished, by newly appointed Governor Dr. Schultz. (p.41)
It is satisfactory that Samoans more and more take up jobs as workers. For example, they have been employed at construction objects on a day labourer basis. The plantations, as before, depend on Chinese, of whom more than 1500 dwell in the protectorate.
The opening of the Panama Canal might lead to an increase in Samoan traffic. It is located half-way between America and Asia. However, the port of Apia in no way can matchthe American Tutuila. Essential for Samoa as well for all of Germany's Pacific possessions is the establishment of a radio telegraph connection, which has been accomplished in Apia and Rabaul, so that we no more depend on transportation of messages via Australia or Jap.


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel. Berlin 1914, p.40ff.

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