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Germany | Imperialism
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Heinrich von Treitschke on Colonies, 1897
If it is stated that the emigration of Germans to America is beneficial for Germany, then this is stupid statement. What was the benefit for Germany in thousands of its best sons, who could not make a living in their home region, to turn their backs on their fatherland ? They were lost forever ... Almost a third of the Nortyh American population is of German ancestry. How many of the most valuable forces did we lose due to emigration, and do we continue to lose day by day, without even the most minute compensation. Both their labour and their capital are lost to us. What immesurable financial advantages would these people offer us as colonials.

So any colonization which preserves the original nationality has become a factor of immense importance for the future of the world. On it it will depend inhowfar every nation will join in the white race's rule over the world; it is very well imaginable, that once a land without colonies will not be ranked any more among Europe's powers, no matter how powerful it may be otherwise. So we may not fall into the condition of paralyzation, which is the consequence of a foreign policy exclusively oriented on the continent, and the result of our next successful war has to be the acquisition of any colony.

But not only farming colonies, others too are of great importance to the motherland. So plantation colonies, where permanent presence of European peoples is not possible, but where indigenous people can work in the service of the motherland and deliver valuable plantation products. Whoever crosses the Dutch border from Kleve to Nijmegen can imagine what economic miracles are possible in the tropics. Cleve is a prosperous town of medium size, not at all poor. But if you come to Nijmegen, you are in a different world : splendid villas everywhere, with columns and perrons ! This is the wealth of India, of Java and Sumatra; luxury everywhere, of a kind German cities of medium size are not aware of.


from : Treitschke, H.v., Politik, Vorlesungen (Politics, Lectures), Vol. 1. Leipzig 1897, p. 123ff.
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