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Germany | Imperialism
[P|S|M]
Dr. Carl Peters (1856-1918) on German Colonial Policy, 1885
German colonial policy is the natural consequence of German unification. It was only natural, that the German nation, after having reestablished its militaryposition on the battlefields of Koniggratz (i.e. Sadowa) and Sedan, immediately sensed the desire to terminate the pityful and despicable position of our nation beyond the oceans, and simultaneously to join in benefitting from the material advantages which have, at all times, been accompanied by large scale imperial expansion.

In Germany, the theoretical conviction of the necessity of national colonization gained ground in significant circles in the 1870es, and this movement expressed itself in the foundation of the Deutscher Kolonialverein (German Colonial Society) in 1882. So the foundation was laid for further steps; there was only one danger, that the movement could end up in sheer clubmanship, as in the case of so many other German movements, so that the German colonial movement finally would be fruitless. This fate has been avoided by the energetic action taken by Herr Lüderitz and the subsequent actions taken by the German government. The period of the German colonial movement actually ended in the moment when an actual German colonial policy set in.

In April 1884 the Gesellschaft fur deutsche Kolonisation (Society for German Colonisation) was formed as the second stage of the described development. The basic idea on which this society was formed is a brief one : to collect from German patriots funds, even in form of small membership fees, to establish an action apparatus which shall devote itself exclusively on questions of practical colonization.

As the Gesellschaft wanted to found independent German colonies under the German flag, its activity naturally was limited to those areas which at that time had not yet been taken. In fact, only Africa was suitable ... Already in November 1884 this task basically had been fulfilled by the expedition sent via Zanzibar. On December 14th 1884 I found myself, as representative of the Society for German Colonization, as the rightful owner of 2500 square miles of very lush tropical land, located to the west of Zanzibar.

Now the task was to gain the German government's recognition for the new acquisitions. This was achieved in short negotiations, and already on February 27th 1885 our society had been granted the Imperial charter by his Imperial Majesty.


from : Kolonial-Politische Korrespondenz (Colonial-Political Correspondence). 1st Year, Berlin, 16. Mai 1885
Dokument in deutscher Sprache

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