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Imperialism | Colonial Policy

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Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by the German Colonial Society, 1918, The German Protectorates in the Pacific Ocean

The German Protectorates in the Pacific Ocean

1. Deutsch-Neuguinea (p.25)

The entire protectorate has an area of 242,500 square km and a population of 1,178 whites and an estimated 600,000 coloureds. Reliable figures regarding their number can, for the time being, not be given from official side.

a. The Bismarck-Archipelago

Size : about 61,000 square km (roughly two thirds of Bavaria). The main islands of the archipelago are Neu-Pommern with the Gazelle Peninsula and Neu-Mecklenburg, separated by the St. Georgs-Kanal, further Neu-Hannover, as well as the island of Neu-Lauenburg, limiting the Blanche Bay off the Gazelle Peninsula. Within the bay the small island of Matupi where the German flag first has been hoisted on November 3rd 1884. In the northwest the Admiralty Islands, the largest Manus, the smaller Hermit Islands (p.26), the Ninigo Islands, Maty and Durour. Of the Solomon Islands the northernmost, Buka and Bougainville, which play a role as recruiting areas for workers. The islands located further south, by agreement of 1899, are British.

Population : The coloured population is estimated at roughly 200,000 (Melanesians or Papua). In the district Gazelle Peninsula 28,718 were counted, in Neu-Lauenburg 2,969, on the Witu Islands 1,356. In the other districts the population figures have been established partly purely by estimation, partly as a combination of estimation and census. Baining 5,000, Neu-Pommern 50,000, Neu-Mecklenburg-Nord and Neu-Hannover 28,000, Neu-Mecklenburg-Sued 27,000, St. Mathias 3,000, Admiralty Islands 10,000, Solomon Islands 33,000. The European population was in 1904 318 whites, of them 203 Germans, in 1905 335 whites, of them 233 Germans, in 1906 383 / 267, in 1907 360 / 255, of them 100 adult women, in 1908 463 / 364 / 105, 1910 510, of whom 118 adult female, in 1911 563 whites, 402 Germans, 94 adult women. 1912 : 685, of whom 482 Germans and 134 adult women. Further several hundert not indigenous coloureds (Chinese (in the entire protectorate 1141), Malays, not indigenous Pacific islanders)

Morphology and Hydrology : all islands are mountainous. On Neu-Mecklenburg mountains up to a height of 1,200 m. On the Gazelle Peninsula the volcanoes Mutter with Nordtochter and Suedtochter. Neu-Pommern has many coastal rivers; the Holmesfluss on the Gazelle Peninsula. On Bougainville the Kaisergebirge mith the three-peak Balbiberg (3,067 m).

Climate : The Archipelago has a tropical climate, mildened by the maritime surrounding. Average annual temperature 26 degrees. Lowest rainfall mostly July to October. Earthquakes frequent, but not dangerous.

Flora : (This and the next paragraph also are valid for Kaiser-Wilhelmsland) Very lush vegetation. Dense forest with slim trees, lianas winding around them. Guttapercha growth. In higher altitudes treeless grass steppes. Cultivated plants : coco palm; the plantation of rubber, cocoa, cotton in testing phase. Coffee, tobacco negligible.

Fauna : No predators, no monkeys, i.e. an Australian fauna, for instance marsupials. Birds of paradise, the most beautiful representative of a rich avifauna. Of the maritime fauna Holothurus (Trepang) and mother-of-pearl 
clams are mentioned.

Minerals : On Neu-Mecklenburg coal has been found on several locations, but not yet investigated regarding workability/profitability. In Kaiser-Wilhelmsland on the German-British border (Herkules-Fluss) profitable deposits of alluvial gold; near Kaiserin-Auguste-River petrol.

Trade and Transportation : Copra, some rubber, cocoa, coffee, nuts, trepang, mother-of-pearl, tortoise-shell, bird-of-paradise bellows. Values of exports and imports see table on page 10. Main import goods are food articles, meat, yarn, textiles, metals and metalwares, tobacco, beverages, coal etc.
Navigation : 245 steamers and 104 sailing ships entered the harbours of Herbertshöhe, Simpsonhafen, Kaewieng, Namatanai and Kieta (Bougainville) of the Bismarck Archipelago, with 243,000 tons. Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen in Kaiser Wilhelmsland 71 steamers, 84,000 tons. 1909 : 476 ships, 400,000 tons, 1911 576 ships, 431,000 tons, 1912 : 634 ships with 503,000 tons.
Post and Telegraph Services : by the end of 1913 : 14 offices, 2 of which with telegraph service and local telephone service, 31 km overland telegraph lines. 1912 : 324,000 letters, 9,866 postal money orders over 1,902,483 Mark, 5,137 parcels, 136,000 newspaper issues, 32 telegrams, 49,178 telephone calls. Postal connection via Hongkong or Sydney every 4 weeks; via Singapore every 8 weeks. Period of delivery Berlin-Simpsonhafen (Rabaul) 44 to 48 days. To the Karolinen twice all 16 weeks, to Jap via Hongkong respectively Sidney every 4 weeks. Period of delivery Berlin-Jap 38-60 days. Telegrams : telegraphically to Jap or Nauru (Marshall Islands) or Sidney, from there on by mail, Telegram fee per word to Jap 4.40 Mark, to Sidney 3,10 Mark, to Nauru 4.90 Mark. In addition a radio telegraphic station at Bitapaka.

Administration : Seat of the Imperial Governor and district office : Rabaul near Simpsonhafen (earlier Herbertshöhe). Governor for the time being Dr.Hahl. Stations : Manus, Kaewieng, Namatanai, Kieta, Herbertshöhe. Other main places : Matupi, Raluana and Muliama. Coloured police troop for all of Neuguinea 597 men.

b. Kaiser-Wilhelmsland

Size : About 179,000 square km (half of Prussia). Located on the large, partially British (Australian) and Dutch island of New Guinea.

Population : The coloured population is estimated at over 300,000 (Melanesians or Papua, with many different, but related dialects. 300,000 in Eitape, 20,000 in Morobe, 20,000 in Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen. Furthermore a couple of hundred other coloureds (Chinese, Malays etc). The white population 1904 : 113 Europeans, among them 98 Germans, 1905 : 128 / 115, 1906 : 149 / 130, 1907 : 182 / 162, 38 adult women, 1908 not changed, 41 adult women, 1909 : 197 / 185 / 48, 1910 : 239 / 216 / (p.27) 63, 1911 : 290 / 260 / 75, 1912 : 290 / 260 / 75, 1913 : 283 whites, of them 274 Germans anf 76 adult women.

Morphology and Hydrology : Along the 800 km long coast many coral reefs, smaller islands and bays. The most important are the Huon Gulf and the Astrolabe Bay. In the protectorate's north the Kaiserin-Auguste-River, navigable for larger vessels for 400 km, with favourable estuary not blocked by reefs; its larger tributaries, partially navigable, almost touch the Ramu system. The Gogol River feeds into the Astrolabebai, the Markhamfluss into the Huon Gulf. The largest river is the Ramu, which used to be called, in it's lower stretch, Ottilien River. it is navigable for 200 km. Along the southern border the Waria or Herkulesfluss. The interior is little explored. Between Huon Gulf and Astrolabe Bay the Finisterre Mountains (3,475 m); between it and the coast a coastal mountain range reaching 1,000 m altitude. In the interior the yet unknown Kraetke Chain, further north the Bismarck Chain. According to newest investigation between Bismarck-Chain and Finisterre Mountains a fertile, densely populated plain.

Climate : tropical climate. Along the coast highest temperature in the shadow 35 degrees Celsius, lowest 20 degrees, average annual temperature 26 degrees. Between April and September south east passate, from October to March north west monsoon. Clear distinction between dry and rainy season in most years not notable. The main rainy season depends on the fact, if the respective region is more exposed to the passate or monsoon wind. Thus the rainy season, at different places, sets in at different times.

Flora, Fauna, Minerals : see under Bismarck-Archipelago.

Trade and Transportation : main export articles : copra, trepang and mother-of-pearl; recently rubber, hemp, cocoa; aldo bird-of-paradise bellows. Values of imports and exports see table page 10.

Administration : Friedrich-Wilhelmshafen. Stations : Eitape, Angorum, Morobe.

c. The Carolines, Palau-Islands, Marianas and Marshall-Islands

Size : The island groups which previously have been a Spanish possession have been acquired by purchase by the German Empire in June 1899. The Carolinas have an area of 1,600 square km (of which the Palau islands 450 square km). The Marianas have an area of 626 square km. The number od all these islands is 800. The main islands of the Carolinas are : Kusaie, Ponape, Truk and Jap. The most important island of the Palaus is Baobeltaob. The main Mariana Islands are Saipan and Tinian. The Marshall Islands, consisting of the Ratak Group in the east and the Ralik Group in the west, overall 353 islands, have an area of about 400 square km surface, slightly bigger than the Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe.

Population : whites 1911 : 289, of them 139 Germans and 44 women, 1912 : 325 whites, 1912 : 459 whites, of them 259 Germans and 75 adult women. Coloureds on the western Carolinas, Palau and the Marianas 15,400, according to a census undertaken in 1911.

Morphology And Hydrology : The highest peak is the Tolekole on Ponape, 872 m.

Climate : average annual temperature 27 degrees. Rainy season on the eastern islands June to September, on the western islands June to August. On the Marshall Islands yearly 300 rainy days with 4,000 to 5,000 mm annual precipitation.

Flora : The western islands have a richer flora than the eastern ones. The coco palm is almost the only domesticated plant. Recently experiments with rubber and cocoa.

Fauna : Of the mammals originally only bats. Imported were rats. A rich avifauna, also many species of fish, few species of insects. Domesticated animals : almost everywhere dog, cat and pig. On Tinian herds of wild cattle and pigs.

Minerals : On the Palau Islands profitable coal deposits. On Nauru, Angaur and Feis rich phosphate deposits.

Trade and Transportation : Exported from all island groups mentioned : copra, trepang, tortoise-shell, mother-of-pearl, nuts, shark's finns, phosphates. Imported : textiles, tobacco, food, iron tools, alcohol etc. Values of exports and imports see table on page 10.
Navigation : Besides ships under German flag the Marianas are visited by British steamers, the Marshall Islands by Japanese sailing boats. 1909 the eastern Carolinas were visited by 23 steamers with 11,500 tons, the western Carolinas by 104 / 10,000 tons, the Marshall Islands by 13 with 7,000 tons. 1910 25 / 14,500 ; 119 / 97,000 ; 11 / 11,300. 1911 the eastern islands 96 steamers with 144,000 tons, the western 111 / 117,000. 1912 : 313 ships with 456,000 reg.-tons.
Post & Telegraph Service : By the end of 1913 8 post offices, of them three with telegraph service, postal connections twice every 16 weeks, delivery Berlin-Jaluit 52-57 days, in addition Jap every 4 weeks and Angaur every 8 weeks (Norddeutscher Lloyd), delivery to Jap 38-51 days, Angaur 53 days. Telegrams : directly to Jap, Angaur or Nauru,to the other offices telegraphically to Jap or Nauru (Marshall Islands) or Sydney, from there 
delivered by mail. Fees for telegrams to Jap per word 4,40 Mk., to Angaur 4.90 M., to Sidney 3,10 M, to Jap 5,05 M. In addition 3 radio telegraphic stations at Jap, Angaur and Nauru.

Administration : Seat of district administrations are : Ponape, Jap, Jaluit; on Truk, Korror, Nauru and Garapan (Saipan) a station commander each. The islands are placed under the governor in Rabaul.


2. The Samoa Islands (Navigator's Islands)

Size : Since Nov. 14th 1899 respectively March 1st 1900, the following islands belong to the German protectorate of Samoa : Sawaii (1,691 square km), Upolu (868 square km, seat of the government), Manono (8,5 square km), Apolima (4,7 square km), total 2,572 square km (= the size of the Duchy of Sachsen-Meiningen). The other islands of the Samoan group belong to the U.S.A., among them Tutuila with the excellent harbour of Pago-Pago; the German Samoan Islands have no harbour; Apia is only an open roadsted.

Population : 1902 : 32,612 aborigines, 1906 : 33,478, 1911 : 33,554. Europeans 1903 : 381, among these Germans 192, 1907 : 455 whites, among them 248 Germans, 117 women, 1908 : 436 / 262 / 78, 1909 : 468 / 270 / 112 ; 1910 : 473 whites, 1911 : 504 / 284 / 93 adult women, 1912 : 500 / 294 / 98, 1913 : 557 / 329 / 99. In addition a population of mixed descent, about 1025 heads, and 1,546 Chinese.

Morphology And Hydrology : Sawaii and Upolu are mountainous (highest peak the Siope, 1,800 m) and volcanic. The rivers form many cascades, because of the terrasse-shaped structure of the islands.

Climate : tropical (May to September southeast passate). Average annual temperature 25,70 degrees Celsius. Samoa's climate is healthy.

Flora : lush vegetation; even steep cliffs are overgrown. Species of fern are frequent. Cultivated plants : coco palm, cocoa (of excellent quality) and, according to recent experiments, rubber.

Fauna : of the mammals originally only bats. Imported dogs and cats, pigs, unfortunately also rats. Land and sea rich in lower life forms.

Trade and Transportation : Export mainly of copra and fruits, also Kawa roots, and recently of cocoa, rubber and of a little tobacco. Import of consumer goods and textiles, construction material, metal wares. Values of exports and imports see table on page 10.
Navigation : On Apia's roadsted in 1907 were counted 88 steamers (only 1 of them German) and 31 sailing boats with a total of 59,000 tons. 1909 : 107 / 124,000 tons, 1910 : 118 / 112,000, 1911 : 109 (only 2 under German flag)/ 124,000 tons, 1912 : 132 steamers wit 141,000 reg.tons and 1913 only 121 steamers with 84,000 reg.tons.
Post & Telegraph Service : End 1913 : 8 post offices, among them 1 with local telephone service. 1912 : 267,100 letters, 5,417 postal money orders over a total of 1,715,052 M., 1,948 parcels, 33,400 newspaper issues, 111,293 telephone calls. Mail delivery all 4 weeks, time of delivery Berlin-Apia 33 days. Telegrams : by telegraph to Auckland or Suva (Fiji Islands), from there further by mail. Address as follows : Poste N.N., Apia, Auckland. Telegram fee per word to Auckland and Suva 3,10 M. For some time now it is planned to connect Deutsch-Neuguinea (Jap) and Samoa to the international telegraph cable network. This will be done, not by cable, but by radio stations, on Jap, Nauru, Rabaul and Apia presumably early in 1914, in Rabaul and Apia in 1914.

Administration : seat of the governor Apia on Upolu. Until 1911 Dr. Solf was the governor; he is now under secretary of state in the Reichskolonialamt (Colonial Office). His successor since 1912 Dr. Schultz. District office on Sawaii. 


Source: Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch, (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by P. Sprigade und M. Moisel, Surveys and retrospects by Dr. Karstedt. Berlin 1918, p.25ff.

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