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Imperialism | Colonial Policy


Deutscher Kolonial-Atlas mit Jahrbuch (Atlas German Colonies, with Yearbook), edited by the German Colonial Society, 1918, Guiding Principles of Colonial Policy

Guiding Principles of Colonial Policy

I. The Necessity of Overseas and Especially Colonial Activity

1. Overseas and especially colonial undertakings are indispensable for political, economic, ethical and national reasons, if the German people is resolved to remain a leading world nation, the Deutsches Reich a great power.
2. An extension of our territory in Europe certainly is as pressing for the German nation as is the economic union of befriended states in Central Europe and toward the orient; the possession of owbn colonies provides the necessary completion of European Germany, by the means of which it becomes to its allies an even more valuable friend, politically and economically.

II. Military Security for our Overseas and Colonial Activity

3. If it will prove a demand impossible to realize to protect every colony permanently against every enemy, and if it would be inappropriate, when it comes to the acquisition of colonies, to apply military criteria alone, according to the means available care should be taken that our future colonial empire not again will be exposed practically defenseless to a hostile attack.
4. A sufficiently strong navy will always have to be the protection of overseas and colonial activity; the protection of certain overland connections can function as a valuable complement to this navy task, but can not replace it as such.
5. In addition to a navy the military and political protection of our overseas and colonial activity requires the acquisition of bases, namely a sufficient number of naval bases, coal stations, cable and radio telegraph stations.
6. Inasfar as these stations are not located on islands, for military, economic and financial considerations it is urgently desired that they are attached to a colonial hinterland sufficient in size.

III. Our future Colonial Empire in General

7. The great demand of Germany and her allies, when it comes to colonial raw materials, the necessity to secure markets for her industry, especially compensation for the exclusion from previous markets, already implemented by our opponents or planned for the near future, require the acquisition of large colonial possessions without despondency, all the more, as a favourable opportunity will not reappear soon.

8. As attractive the idea may be to limit oneself to a cohesive colonial area and to give up all other colonial territory, a glimpse on the manifold political and economic demands and interests of the Deutsches Reich shows that a colonial empire to be established in Africa alone does not suffice us.
Africa is the colonial field located closest; but the extraordinarily great future of China requires us to hold on to and acquire bases in the territory of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
9. When a new colonial empire is created, firstly we have to hold on to our present colonies (p.41).
10. When it comes to the selection of new colonies, the following criteria have to be observed :
a) national : acquisition of new settlement territory
b) militarily :
1. positive : acquisition of bases;
2. negative : acquisition of such colonies, which are actually suited or seem to be so in the eyes of our enemies to strengthen their hidden power by providing coloured troops.
c). economically : Field of activity for German labour and German capital, especially in order to secure
1. the supply of raw materials, especially of those, in the case of which the lack is critical, or the possession of which is valuable to us for other reasons.
2. the market for German products. Herefore a numerous population willing to work and capable of purchase is an important precondition; health conditions also have to be considered. The existence of German interest has to be considered.
d) financially : Those colonies the development of which do not require large Reich credits are to be preferred.
e) geographically :
1. positive : adjacent to our present colonies ;
2. negative : prevent that certain colonies of other nations fall prey economically or politically to other powers or remain under their influence, the rule of whom there is especially disturbing to us.

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.40f

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Dokument in deutscher Sprache