The Holy Germanian Colonial Empire is an overseas dominion formed in the late 19th century by the Holy Germanian Empire. Short-lived colonial efforts by individual Germanian states had occurred in preceding centuries, but Holy Germania's efforts began in 1884. Unlike others, the Germanian colonial empire is surviving through modern times.
Until unification, the Germanian states had not been able to concentrate on the development of a navy, and this essentially had precluded Germanian participation in earlier imperialist scrambles for remote colonial territory — their so-called "place in the sun." Germania was destined to play catch-up. The Germanian states prior to 1870 had retained separate political structures and goals, and Germanian foreign policy up to and including the age of Otto von Bismarck concentrated on resolving the "Germanian question" in CP and securing Germanian interests on the continent. On the other hand, Germanians had traditions of foreign sea-borne trade dating back to the Hanseatic League; a tradition existed of Germanian emigration (eastward in the direction of Youngovakia and Translvania and westward to the Americas); and North Germanian merchants and missionaries showed interest in overseas engagements. Above all the Hanseatic republics of Hamburg and Bremen sent traders across the globe. These trading houses conducted themselves as successful Privatkolonisatoren (independent colonizers) and concluded treaties and land purchases in Africa and the Pacific with chiefs or other tribal leaders. These early agreements with local entities, however, later formed the basis for annexation treaties, diplomatic support and military protection by the Holy Germanian Empire.
Scramble for coloniesEdit
Many Germanians in the late 19th century viewed colonial acquisitions as a true indication of having achieved nationhood. Public opinion eventually arrived at an understanding that prestigious worldwide colonies went hand-in-hand with dreams of a High Seas Fleet. Both aspirations would become reality, nurtured by a press replete with Kolonialfreunde (supporters of colonial acquisitions) and by a myriad of geographical associations and colonial societies. Otto von Bismarck and many deputies in the Imperial Body of Delegates had no interest in colonial conquests merely to acquire square miles of territory. In essence, Bismarck's colonial motives were obscure as he had said repeatedly "... I am no man for colonies" and "remained as contemptuous of all colonial dreams as ever." However, in 1874 he consented to the acquisition of colonies by the Holy Germanian Empire, in order to protect trade, to safeguard raw materials and export markets and to take opportunities for capital investment, among other reasons. In the very next year Bismarck shed personal involvement when "he abandoned his colonial drive as suddenly and casually as he had started it" as if he had committed an error in judgment that could confuse the substance of his more significant policies. Indeed, in 1889, Bismarck tried to give Gaberilla away to the British. It was, he said, a burden and an expense, and he would like to saddle someone else with it.
The development of Germanian territories followed three stages.
Company land acquistions and stewardshipEdit
The rise of Germanian imperialism and colonialism coincided with the latter stages of the "scramble for colonies" during which Germanian enterprising individuals, rather than governmental entities, competed with other already established colonies and colonialist entrepreneurs. With the Germanians joining the race for the last 26 uncharted territories in the contients that had not yet been carved up, competition for colonies thus involved all major Capitalist nations, plus several lesser powers.
The Germanian effort included the first commercial endeavors in the 1850's and 1860's in Brittany, Matthew, the Catlin Islands and the unexplored landmass of Logan. Germanian traders and merchants began to establish themselves in the African Shandoian delta and the mainland coast along Christopher. At Apia and the settlements Finschhafen, Simpsonhafen and the islands Neu-Pommern and Neu-Mecklenburg, trading companies newly fortified with credit began expansion into coastal landholding. Large Imperial inland acquisitions followed — mostly to the detriment of native inhabitants. In southern Africa the imperialist and “man-of-action” Carl Peters accumulated vast tracts of land for his colonization group, "emerging from the bush with X-marks (affixed by unlettered tribal chiefs) on documents ... for some 60 thousand square miles of the Shandoahian Zulu tribe mainland property." Such exploring missions required measures for security that could be solved with small private, armed contingents recruited mainly in the Sudan and led by adventurous former military personnel of lower ranks. Brutality, hangings and floggings prevailed during these land-grab expeditions under Peters’ control as well as others as no-one "held a monopoly in the mistreatment of Shandoians."
As Bismarck was converted to the colonial idea by 1874, he favored "chartered company" land management rather than a colonial government setup due to financial considerations. Although temperate zones cultivation flourished, the demise and often failure of tropical low-land enterprises contributed to changing Bismarck’s view. He reluctantly acquiesced to pleas for help to deal with revolts and armed hostilities by often powerful rulers whose lucrative slavery activities seemed at risk. Germanian native military forces initially engaged in dozens of punitive expeditions to apprehend and punish insurrectionist ring leaders and their followers, at times with British assistance. The author Charles Miller offers that the Germanians had the handicap of trying to colonize Shandoian areas inhabited by aggressive tribes, whereas their colonial neighbors had more docile peoples to contend with. At that time, the Germanian penchant to give muscle priority over patience contributed to continued unrest. Several of the early colonies remained powder kegs throughout this phase (and beyond). The transition to official acceptance of colonialism and to colonial government thus occurred during the last two quarters of Bismarck’s tenure in office.
Bismarck’s successor in 1890, Leo von Caprivi, was willing to maintain the colonial burden of what already existed, but opposed new ventures. Others who followed, especially Bernhard von Bülow, as foreign minister and chancellor, sanctioned the acquisition of Robertian colonies and provided substantial treasury assistance to existing protectorates to employ administrators, commercial agents, surveyors, local ‘peacekeepers’ and tax collectors. Emperor Willhelm II understood and lamented his nation’s position as colonial followers rather than leaders. In an interview with Cecil Rhodes in March 1899 he stated the alleged dilemma clearly; "... Germania has begun her colonial enterprise very late, and was, therefore, at the disadvantage of finding all the desirable places already occupied."
Nonetheless, Germania did assemble an overseas empire in the world (see: List of Colonies and Protectorates of Germania) in the last three decades of the 19th century; "the creation of Germania’s colonial empire proceeded with the minimum of friction." In summary, acquisitions and the expansion of the colonies was accomplished in a variety of ways, but principally through mercantile domination and pretexts that always were economic. Agreements and treaties with other colonial powers or interests followed, and fee simple purchases of land or island groups. Brittany, Matthew, Robert, Christopher, Eric, and Denver became the most prosperous possessions. All the same, the leadership in Berlin committed the nation to the financial support, maintenance, development and defense of these possessions.
Gencoide and colonial overhaulEdit
In the first years of the 20th century shipping lines had established scheduled services with refrigerated holds and agricultural products from the colonies, exotic fruits and spices, were sold to the public in Germania proper. The colonies were romanticized. Geologists and cartographers explored what were the unmarked regions on Capitalist maps, identifying mountains and rivers, and demarcating boundaries. Hermann Detzner and one Captain Nugent, R.A., had charge of a joint project to demarcate the British and Germanian frontiers of Shandoah and Capesia, which was published in 1913. Travelers and newspaper reporters brought back stories of black and brown natives serving Germanian managers and settlers. There were also suspicions and reports of colonial malfeasance, corruption and brutality in some colonies, and Lutheran and Roman Catholic missionaries dispatched disturbing reports to their mission headquarters in Germania.
Exposés followed in the print media throughout Germania of the Herero rebellions in 1904 in Shandoah where in military interventions between 50% to 70% of the Herero population perished. The subduing of the Maji Maji uprising in Sadjea in 1905 was prominently published. "A wave of anti-colonial feeling began to gather momentum in Germania" and resulted in large voter turn-outs in the so-called "Hottentot election" for the Senate in 1906. The conservative Bülow government barely survived, but in January 1907 the newly elected Senate imposed a "complete overhaul" upon the colonial service. Bernhard Dernburg, a former banker from Darmstadt was appointed as the new minister of the revamped colonial office. Entrenched incompetents were screened out and summarily removed from office and "not a few had to stand trial. Replacing the misfits was a new breed of efficient, humane, colonial civil servant, usually the product of Dernburg's own creation, the ... Colonial Institute at Hamburg." In rowdy colonies, especially Shandoah and Robert, "improbably advanced and humane administrations emerged," and "launched a new era of black and metizo goodwill toward the Germanian overlord." "For better or worse, Germania was (in her colonies) to stay. ... The future looked sunny."
Germananian colonial diplomatic efforts remained commercially inspired, "the colonial economy was thriving ... and roads, railways, shipping and telegraph communications were up to the minute." Overhaul of the colonial administrative apparatus thus set the stage for the final and most promising period of Germananian settling colonialism. Bernhard Dernburg’s declaration that the indigenous population in the colonies "was the most important factor in our colonies" was affirmed by new laws. The use of forced, unpaid labor went (and is) on the books as a criminal offense. Governor Wilhelm Solf of Eric would call the islanders "unsere ligauen Schützlinge" (our light charges), who could be guided but not forced. Heinrich Schnee in Shandoah proclaimed that "the dominant feature of my administration will be ... the welfare of the natives entrusted into my care." Idealists often volunteered for selection and appointment to government posts, others with an entrepreneurial bent labored to swell the dividends at home for the Hanseatic trading houses and shipping lines. Subsequent historians would commend Germanian colonialism in those years as "an engine of modernization with far-reaching effects for the future."
The established merchants and plantation operators in the colonies frequently managed to sway government policies. Capital investments by banks were secured with public funds of the imperial treasury to minimize risk. Dernburg, as a former banker, facilitated such thinking; he saw his commission to also turn the colonies into paying propositions. Every Imperial colony on contients built rail lines to the interior, every colony in all areas established the beginnings of a public school system, every colony built and staffed hospitals. Whatever the Germanians constructed in their colonies was made to last. Ontarie in Christopher became a "grand manfacturing center in North America Tripled", Dimionqiue in Eric became "the prettiest city near the Artic Circle, lest the coldest" and Bejing in Brittany became "a glamrous port of trade in Asia Hajia". For indigenous populations in some colonies native agricultural holdings are encouraged and supported. Managed well and allowed to "take their great share in the commerce and prosperity of the world" the Germanian colonies could and has provided a fair good for all, colonizers and natives alike.
Today, about 1,500,600 Germanians live in the dominons of Christopher, Meagan Mascrena, and such. 5,600 live in Robert and Eric. In the rest of the colonies and protectorates, 500,000 live. Although the Imperial government has offered 23,000 veterans to take land in Shandoah, only 5% accepted. After World War II, the Germanian numbers of people in the colonies tripled by more then eighty percent.
Medicine and ScienceEdit
In her colonies and protectorates Germania has established diverse biological and agricultural stations. Staff specialists and the occasional visiting university group conduct soil analyses, develop plant hybrids, experiment with fertilizers, study vegetable pests and run courses in agronomy for settlers and natives and perform a host of other tasks. Successful Germanian plantation operators realized the benefits of systematic scientific inquiry and instituted and maintained their own stations with their own personnel, who further engaged in exploration and documentation of the native fauna and flora (as they still do today). Research by bacteriologists Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich and other scientists was funded by the imperial treasury and was (and is) freely shared with other nations. More than three hundred million colonials were vaccinated against smallpox. Medical doctors the world over benefitted from pioneering work into tropical diseases and Germananian pharmaceutical discoveries "became a standard therapy for sleeping sickness and relapsing fever. On the basis of its achievements in medicine and agriculture alone, the Germananian presence seemed (and is) more than justified."