German East Africa

German East Africa was the final colony to be imperialized by Germany. German influence emerged in the area in 1884, yet Germany did not declare the area a protectorate, or a colony with its own government protected by a foreign power , until February 27, 1885. It was located on the eastern coast of Africa and it borders the Indian Ocean on the east. It was comprised of present day Rwanda, Brundi, and Tanzania (which was formerly known as Tanganyika).

Reasons for Conquering German East Africa:


German East Africa was an area with strong Islamic and Arabic influences. Germany wanted to get rid of these cultures and introduce European culture. This was a major reason in Germany's desire to conquer this area. Also, German East Africa had many natural resources and agricultural products that made it an attractive possesion. Agricultural products included peanuts, cotton, coffee, and sisal (a plant fiber used for making rope). Cotton was a very important crop to grow, as it was in demand for making clothes for the increasing population due to the Industrial Revolution. Natural resources included iron ore, natural gas, phosphates, and petroleum. These products were valuable in industrialization. The value of gold and diamonds found in the area attracted Germany as well.

Positive and Negative Effects of German Imperialism:

Germany used the German East Africa Company, an organization founded in 1887 which was established to govern German East Africa, to establish roads, railways, hospitals, and schools in the country. This increased education. The official language taught was Swahili. Germany established a capital called Bagamoyo. Germany ended slavery in the region and introduced a plantation economy, which was an economic system based on the mass production of agricultural products by farming on large plantations. Although Germany did help the economy and increased communication in the area, many Africans were unhappy with the sudden rise of German power. They formed uprisings to fight against German authority, which were all over-powered by German army forces. By spreading European culture within the area, such as bringing Christianity to the region, the Islamic and Arabic influences diminshed greatly. The culture was changed, and the natives were not content with it. Even though Germany increased its own political and economic power, this imperialistic nation had to deal with problems. They had to keep uprisings of natives under control often by fighting for peace. Power for Germany did not come without conflict.


Map of German East Africa
Map of German East Africa





Flag of German East Africa
Flag of German East Africa


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