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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, 30 Years of German Colonial Policy
30 Years of German Colonial Policy

The result of 30 years of colonial policy, as far as it can be expressed in figures, is evident in the statistical tables further below. They refute the assertion wide-spread in Germany and often uncritically taken for granted, that the colonial economy so far had not brought us any advantage. Too frequently it is forgotten that the development of colonial property is an affair which largely rests on experience. Compared with the scale even of the British colonies, what has been created in the German colonies justified the best gopes in regard to the future. It also stikingly refutes the wide-spread assumption that the German would be incapavle of developing new terrain. A certainly innocent witness in this aspect, the social democratic Reichstag member Kraetzig, who, as a trade unionist is close to the textile industry, recently (p.9) has expressed the following on the German accomplishments in the area of cotton production : "so far the colonies have contributed little to the raw materials used by the textile industry. However it has to be stated that over the last years in the difficult area of cotton cultivation in several of our colonies pragmatic work has been done and larger harvests would have had to be expected, if the speculants would not have messed up a lot. We do hope that it will be possible after the war to continue the production of cotton in the same pragmatic way, to avoid the danger which threatens to cut off the ozygen of the German and Austro-Hungarian textile industry any moment." 
That the development of our overseas possessions does not only affect the creation of material values, as indicated by the statistical tables, but that Germany, according to its fame as the most social of all nations, everywhere, also toward its coloured subjects, has completely and successfully fulfilled its obligations, is brilliantly proven by the attitude of the natives in almost all our colonies during the war. Finally the scale for the colonial feasibility of an administration and a people will always be, how they adapt to the fight which will evolve when a European people takes on the development of a country, the inhabitants of which are completely alien to the new masters, both on the ouside and on the inside. The conflicts which arise when the ruling race is forced, even if it treats the ways of the natives in most lenient fashion, in the interest of the natives to force these upon them against their will and against theire resistance in order to direct them onto new paths, have not failed to materialize in our colonies. Only the Arab rising in East Africa, the difficulties on Samoa, the various rebellions in Sudwestafrika, in Kamerun etc. are mentioned. Still, when the war broke out, it turned out that German administration, in the short time, had taken such a root that it seemed natural to the natives to take the side of the Germans without hesitation. In order to fully evaluate this fact reference is made to the fact that at the time the war broke out, in almost all colonies the fight against the Entente was regarded a dubious, if not hopeless cause, as our colonies were completely separated from the motherland. The accomplishments of the white population in the protectorates may be rated highly; their resistance would have long died down, because of their small numbers, if they would not have been able to recruit the black natives. The examples set by Kamerun and Ostafrika weigh heavier than the British claim of atrocities committed under German colonial administration, a claim used to prove to the world that it is a service to mankind to protect the natives of the German colonies against the return of German administration.


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, pp.8ff

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