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Transcript of African Imperialism
Aug 1884: Land declared a German protectorate
Oct 21, 1885: Faced with repeated attacks by the Ikhowesin (subtribe led by Hendrik Witbooi), Chief of the Herero, Maharero, signed protection treaty with Imperial Germany's colonial governor, but did not cede their land German Africa - Background White Man's Burden and German Africa The Victims The Victims The Result
Success: Created logistic disaster for Boer Insurgency
Allowed British Empire to seize control of the two republics
And Massive Death Concentration Camps "Sub-humans" not only victims of Holocaust
Are the Nazi's the only European Power guilty of mistreating other "white" civilians?
Where is the line between military necessity and criminal negligence, or even murder? The Boer War and British "Crimes"
Tribal Sing and Dance War George Washington Williams
"An Open Letter to His Serene Majesty Léopold II, King of the Belgians and Sovereign of the Independent State of Congo" from Stanley Falls on July 18, 1890
The Accused: King Leopold ~ Hitler, Stanley ~ SS
Never steps foot in Congo: Network of agents and administrators
Lucrative rubber trade
1885 Dunlop inflatable rubber tire What is Humanitarian about the Belgian Congo Henry Morton Stanley: The "White Devil" Explorer
Heart of Darkness: What is the epitome of Stanley in Africa?
Stanley ~ Marlow
Stanley ~ Kurtz
Ace Ventura Video The "White Devil" in the Congo
Treaties with the native chiefs
"Must be short, and in a couple of articles must grant us everything" - Leopold
Most did not know what they were signing
acquired the villages and territories of more than 450 Congo basin chiefs
Chiefs received almost nothing for their land
Alcohol, fine clothes, coats, etc. Belgian Congo - Acquisition of Land In 1878, King Leopold and Stanley reached an agreement in which Stanley would return to the Congo, this time working for Leopold.
Set up base near the river's mouth
Construct a road around the rapids
Build trading stations along the Congo River
He would be able to write a book about his experiences, but Leopold would have the right to edit it Belgian Congo In Brussels, called by Leopold
13 Belgians and 24 foreign guests, including famous explorers, geographers, humanitarians, and business executives
Goal to decide on the "location of routes to be successively opened into the interior, of hospitable, scientific, and pacification bases to be set up as a means of abolishing the slave trade, establishing peace among the chiefs and procuring them just and impartial arbitration"
Voted to create the International African Association
Leopold the first chairman Geographical Conference of 1876 Colonialism in Africa
Diamonds were discovered in South Africa in 1867, and gold two decades later
Hoping that Africa would be a source of raw materials to fuel the Revolution
Explorers of Africa were seen as celebrities
Celebrating a "discovery" was, psychologically, a prelude to feeling that the continent was theirs for the taking The Belgian Congo European Colonization of Africa The Scramble for Africa von Trotha was appointed Supreme Commander
While Leutwein reported to Chancellor Bernard von Bulow, von Trotha reported to the military German General Staff, which was only subordinate to Emperor Wilhelm II
Great disagreement between Leutwein and von Trotha on how to deal with the Herero rebels Lt. Gen. Lothar von Trotha led by Samuel Maharero, attacked colonial capital Windhoek
killed between 123 and 150 Germans ("desperate surprise attack")
Leutwein requested reinforcements and an experienced officer from German gov't in Berlin More on
1903 & 1904 Revolts Reasons for Revolt
1. Land Rights
2. New policy on debt collection
3. Plan for railway line to divide their territory and set up reservations where they would be concentrated 1903 & 1904 - Revolts 1890: Maharero's son Samuel signed great deal of land over to the Germans in return for helping him ascend to the throne
1894: Theodor Leutwein became governor of the territory, which underwent a period of rapid development, while the German gov't sent imperial colonial troops to pacify the region More Background Maharero and Witbooi The Herero People A Reference to the Nazis A centralized era of martyrdom for ethnic pride
Boerestaat Party Lasting Effects Defended by popular scholars, writers, and military men
Decried by humanitarians Public Opinion Against the Camps? The Purpose
To Prevent women, children and slaves from assisting the Boer Insurgency
"Give Boer refugees a safe place to live". Concentration Camps Cape Colony, South Africa Settled by Dutch in 1652
Distinct Culture Forms
Permanent British Occupation in 1814
Emancipation of Slaves in 1829
"Great Trek" of about 15,000 Voortrekkers North
Set up two states
Orange Free State Heart of Darkness
Charlie Marlow in the Congo
Published in 1899
An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" - Chinua Achebe
NPR Interview with Chinua Achebe
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113835207 Heart of Darkness and Racism Banality of Evil General Henry Shelton Sanford
Former American minister to Belgium
Leopold used Sanford to get full American diplomatic recognition of his claim to the Congo.
The Berlin Conference of 1884
Made agreements with other countries recognizing the colony-in-the-making and marking its boundaries
Other countries thought they were giving approval to a sort of international colony, to be open to traders from all of Europe.
May 29, 1885, Leopold named by royal decree, his new privately controlled country the Congo Free State Gaining International Approval Lt. Gen. Lothar von Trotha Natives routinely used as slave laborers
Lands and cattle frequently confiscated and given to colonists
Area eventually inhabited predominantly by whites and became "African Germany"
STRAIN THEORY Growing Resentment The Victims By June 1900, main Boer forces had been routed, and both capitals seized.
Followed by insurgency of Boer people.
British response was Scorched Earth, and Concentration Camps. Boer Insurgency Boer Wars 1880: British attempt to annex states-> First Boer War. Ends with Britain renouncing claims in 1881
1886: Gold discovered in Transvaal.
1896: Failed Jameson Raid
1899: Second Boer War British Actions in Africa Despite apparent racism, or lack of empathy on Conrad's part, the British came out against the Belgian Congo.
British Colonies a better alternative?
Not-so-benevolent Empire Stanley's Exploration 1874-1877 Belgians in the Congo Henry Morton Stanley
Born in 1841
Fought on both sides of the US Civil War
A permanent foreign correspondent for the New York Herald
Expedition to find David Livingstone in 1871
Largest exploring expedition to date
Caught the attention of King Leopold II of Belgium "Petit pays, petits gens" - Small country, small people
Leopold II wanted Belgium to be on par with its neighbors, France and Germany
No military threat
No single all-powerful state that had to be subdued
Stanley had already explored it
Hoped to find ivory Why the Congo? Leutwein and Samuel Maharero Leutwein toasting Witbooi Leutwein and the Leaders The Herero People Originally a tribe of cattle herders living in a region of German South-West Africa (modern day Namibia). Why Africa? German Africa The British Empire Great Music & Dance Zulu War Chant von Trotha gave orders that captured Herero males were to be executed while women and children were to be driven into the desert where their death from starvation and thirst was to be certain
Alfred von Schlieffen (Chief of Imperial German Staff) approved in terms of a "racial struggle", but not the strategy - would have preferred their surrender The Herero 'Genocide' Benjamin Madley - "was a crucial precursor"
- personal connections, literature, and public debates served as conduits for communicating ideas and methods
Fischer - later taught medicine to Nazi physicians
Mahmood Mamdani - ideological similarities Relationship with Nazi Germany
The population of 80,000 Herero was reduced to 15,000 between 1904 and 1907
Another estimate - 100,000 victims The Survivors Eugen Fischer, German scientist, conducted medical experiments on race, using Herero children and the mixed children of Herero women and German men
- injection of smallpox, typhus, and tuberculosis
Concern with racial purity - used by Fischer to justify genocide Medical Experiments The Victims Survivors, mostly women and children, eventually put in concentration camps
- forced into slave labor
- pre-printed death certificates
"death by exhaustion following privation"
Died of disease, overwork, and malnutrition, as well as shootings, hangings, and beatings
1906: annual death rate = 227% for the Nama
86% for the Herero Concentration Camps Herero people seen as potential source of labor, thus economically important.
Governor Leutwein, later relieved of his duties, complained to Chancellor Bernhard von Bülow about Trotha's actions
Bülow to Wilhelm II- "[They are] contrary to Christian and humanitarian principle, economically devastating and damaging to Germany's international reputation." Opposition The Herero 'Genocide' German Africa Discussion Similarities Shift in relationship between the Germans and the Herero people
- Methodology Zappo Zaps
Cannibalistic war tribe in the Congo area
Hired as African enforcers
Arab Slave Traders?
"Burial parties were not needed as both sides ate the dead." Robert Agnew 'Heart Of Darkness' Is Inappropriate
"Africa as a setting and backdrop eliminates the African as a human factor… Can nobody see the preposterous and perverse arrogance in thus reducing Africa to the role of props for the break up of one petty European mind? But that is not even the point. The real question is the dehumanization of Africa and Africans which this age-long attitude has fostered an continues to foster in the world. And the question is whether a novel which celebrates this dehumanization… can be called a great work of art. My answer is: No it cannot (“Image” 257)."
Achebe's Response? Things Fall Apart
Published in 1958
Humanization! Chinua Achebe's Perspective Saw Europeans as cannibals also turning African slaves bodies into meat, brains into cheese, and their blood into wines. African Mindset Anglo-Belgian Indian Rubber Company and its militia
Severed hands and feet
Natives were shot for sport
The slave trade
Not meeting a rubber quota was punishable by death. The Crimes Estimates are between 20-30 million Congolese Death Toll of the Belgian Congo