Differences Between German And Colonial Colonies During The Colonization Of West Africa

1389 Words Jun 11th, 2015 6 Pages
Herero, eliminating them as a threat to order within the colony. Differences in German behavior extended beyond their treatment of colonial rebellions. In territories where there was effective rule before colonization, the Germans coopted local power structures in order to administer through them in a form of indirect rule. In Kamerun, the Germans ruled the country be enabling local chieftains through military support to administer broad swaths of territory. This allowed them to avoid heavy direct involvement in the territory and reduced the cost of maintaining the colony. In German East Africa however, their were not strong native systems to use and so the government was forced to rule though Arab government agents. This has a direct impact not only on the day to day administration of the colony, but on the infrastructure that is developed in the colony. This is evidenced not just in the German colonial system, but the English as well. The English pioneered a system known as indirect rule in West Africa. The basic premise of indirect rule is to enable the local ruler to administer the territory with the assistance of an English advisor and the weight of the English army behind him. The native ruler maintains his seat of power, but cedes much of his authority to the British. This allows the British to maintain effective control over a broad swath of territory while still committing a minimal number of individuals to the effort. The policy was formalized by Lord Fredrick…

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