Africans were beaten for a range of offences, and for as little as showing disobedience towards their masters, or for breaking contract — which including leaving work without permission or failing to arrive when required. The threat and regular use of violence was, therefore, also central to the colonial economy, and specifically, to German attempts to secure a reliable labour supply.
In chapter six Conrad looks at the colonial economy in greater depth, here again emphasising the destructive nature of German policy, and the conflict it generated.
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Where German efforts went into growing crops on plantations for export, fertile land was seized without regard to existing patterns of landownership. Plantations also required large workforces, and, as local populations proved unwilling, administrations could only meet the demand for labour by introducing various forms of compulsion, including taxes designed to drive natives to wage labour, and stricter contractual regulations. Both were a major source of unrest everywhere, and have been identified as a chief cause of the uprising in East Africa.
Equally, however, he also points out that many native inhabitants continued to live their lives with little or no involvement in the colonial market economy. It seems this was a reflection of the limited presence of German business in these territories, and indeed of the limited reach of the colonial administrations themselves.
Especially in the interior of the colonies, away from the major coastal settlements, control could only be exerted at isolated points. As previous reviewers have noted 2 , German Colonialism illustrates the value of a variety of theoretical approaches in illuminating aspects of colonial history. At the Colonial exhibition in , which attracted some seven million visitors, over a hundred African people were exhibited in this way. In this context Conrad highlights the introduction of separate legal codes for Europeans and colonized peoples, and also the allocation of separate living space, the latter endeavour most fully realised in Qingdao in the German Colony of Kiaochow in China.
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Here, after wiping nine existing settlements from the map, the German administration built a model, planned city, which reflected the social order envisaged in the colony: Europeans were given residence in the heart of the city, while the Chinese population were designated living areas on its periphery. In German South West Africa it was implemented in a strict fashion, and even applied retrospectively. In Samoa, by contrast, mixed couples could apply on the basis of language proficiency to be recognized as culturally German, and, generally speaking, in the Pacific territories, living with native women was widely accepted.
As the author makes clear, a wider acceptance of the brutal nature of German colonial conquest has also been hindered because the German government continues to refuse to issue a formal apology for the genocide of the Herero, and to pay reparations to their descendents.
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Skip to main content. German Colonialism. A Short History. Historians as nation builders in modern Europe , Basingstoke, Boelitz, Das Grenz- und Auslanddeutschtum. Borschke et al. Carrier ed. Citron, Le mythe national. Picard ed. Conrad, Globalisierungeffekte. Thorp ed. Disch, L. Gruenberg, M. Volkwerden der Deutschen. Klasse 8 , Leipzig, Grindel, The end of empire. Colonial heritage and the politics of memory in Britain , in Journal of Educational Media, Memory, and Society, 1, , 5, p.
Hirschfelder and H. Nutzinger, Das Kaiserreich , Bamberg, Honold, K. Scherpe ed.
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Eine Kulturgeschichte des Fremden in der Kolonialzeit. Stuttgart, Jacobmeyer, Das deutsche Schulgeschichtsbuch Berlin, Kumsteller, U. Haake, B. Klasse 8.
Unter Mitarbeit von Gerhard Ottmer , Leipzig, Lantheaume, The empire in French history teaching. From a promise to a burden, in P. Lanzinner, Buchners Kompendium Geschichte. Von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart , Bamberg, Legris, Les programmes d'histoire en France. Lehn, Deutschlandbilder. Lindner, Koloniale Begegnungen. Mackenzie, G. Finaldi ed. Mangelsdorf, Werden und Wirken. Maurer, Weltgeschichte von bis Meier, H. Ziegler, Neuzeit. Klasse , Berlin, Michels, Schwarze deutsche Kolonialsoldaten. Mickel ed. Naranch, Inventing the Auslandsdeutsche. Emigration, colonial fantasy and German national identity , in E.
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Political discourse and the teaching of history , in Educational Review, 1, , 61, p. Chatriot, D. Gosewinkel ed. Porciani, J. Tollebeek ed.
German Colonialism: A Short History
Institutions, networks and communities of national historiography , Basingstoke, Renz, Kartierte Kolonialgeschichte. Der Kolonialismus in raumbezogenen Medien historischen Lernens.
Speitkamp, Kolonialherrschaft und Denkmal. Afrikanische und deutsche Erinnerungskultur im Konflikt , in W. Martini ed. Tenbrock, E. Goerlitz, W. Die geschichtlichen Grundlagen der Gegenwart. Traber, Weltgeschichte der neuesten Zeit bis Walter, Creating Germans abroad. Cultural policies and national identity in Namibia , Athens, Zimmerer, Von Windhuk nach Auschwitz?
Noiriel, Porciani - Tollebeek Grindel Osler Legris See also Lehn and Renz All translations S. For German colonial monuments in general cf. Zeller and Speitkamp Schnee Disch - Gruenberg - Edelmann , p. Bender , p. Bancel Traber , p. The concluding chapter on imperialism presents a balance of positive and negative repercussions of European expansion. Boelitz Appendix with photographs documenting extensively the civilizing and modernizing role of German colonizers.
Maurer , p. Hirschfelder - Nutzinger , p. Altrichter - Glaser , p. The burdensome phase of coming to terms with empire divides into decoloniziation, reorientation between the s and s and a new stage of discussion since the s which proves to be valid for the narration of colonial history in German textbooks, too. Lantheaume Lanzinner , p.