Imperialism's New Clothes: The Repartition of Tropical Africa, 1914-1919

Imperialism's New Clothes: The Repartition of Tropical Africa, 1914-1919

Imperialism's New Clothes: The Repartition of Tropical Africa, 1914-1919

Imperialism's New Clothes: The Repartition of Tropical Africa, 1914-1919

Excerpt

The First World War was a watershed event in the history of European colonialism in Africa. A major repartition of colonial empires occurred as a result. It was the wax, and the peace conference following it, that gave birth to the mandate system of the League of Nations. For millions of Africans the conflict also meant untold suffering in a conflict not their own.

This book is primarily a diplomatic history of Allied designs on Germany's colonies in tropical Africa. It examines the motives that drove Britain, France and Belgium to conquer and divide Togo, Cameroon and German East Africa between 1914 and 1919. In the process, it explores the Allied argument that a colonial redivision of the continent corresponded with African desires.

Fine studies by William Roger Louis, Christopher M. Andrew and A.S. Kanya-Forstner assess imperialism during the period from the national perspectives of Britain and France. The comparative international approach adopted here both expands and concentrates the topic. It explores the relationships of the nations' policies and uses the materials available in the different countries' archives to shed further light on the objectives pursued by the others. At the same time, the study remains closely focused on the three German colonies in tropical Africa. Togo, Cameroon and German East Africa were regarded as sharing common characteristics, and they were grouped together in 1919 to form the B category of mandates.

Outside of tropical Africa, responsibility for the conquest of Germany's colonies lay with Japan and the British Dominions. German Southwest Africa is the one German colony in Africa that falls outside the primary scope of this study. From the beginning of the wax until the end of the peace conference the Allies treated the colony as though it were in the Union of . . .

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