Cameroon (German: Kamerun) was an African colony of the German
Empire from 1884 to 1916 in the region of today's Republic of
Cameroon also included northern parts of
the Congo with western parts of the Central African Republic,
southwestern parts of
Chad and far eastern parts of Nigeria.
1.1 19th century
1.1.1 Protectorate of Kamerun
1.2 20th century
1.2.1 German losses
3 See also
5 Bibliography and references
6 External links
Republic of Cameroon
The first German trading post in the Duala area (present day Douala)
River delta (present day
Wouri River delta) was
established in 1868 by the
Hamburg trading company C.
Woermann (de). The firm’s agent in Gabon, Johannes Thormählen,
expanded activities to the
Kamerun River delta. In 1874, together with
the Woermann agent in Liberia, Wilhelm Jantzen, the two merchants
founded their own company, Jantzen & Thormählen there.
Both of these
West Africa houses expanded into shipping with their own
sailing ships and steamers and inaugurated scheduled passenger and
freight service between Hamburg, Germany and Duala. These companies
and others obtained extensive acreage from local chiefs and began
systematic plantation operations, including bananas.
By 1884, Adolph Woermann, representing all West African companies as
their spokesman, petitioned the imperial foreign office for
"protection" by the German Empire. Bismarck, the Imperial Chancellor,
sought to utilize the traders on site in governing the region via
"chartered companies". However, in response to Bismarck’s proposal,
the companies withdrew their petition.
At the core of the commercial interests was pursuit of profitable
trading activities under the protection of the Reich, but these
entities were determined to stay away from political engagements.
Eventually Bismarck yielded to the Woermann position and instructed
the admiralty to dispatch a gunboat. As a show of German interest, the
small gunboat SMS Möwe arrived in West Africa.
Protectorate of Kamerun
The protectorate of
Kamerun was established during the period
generally known as Europe’s imperialist "Scramble for Africa". The
German explorer, medical doctor, imperial consul and commissioner for
West Africa, Gustav Nachtigal, was the driving force toward the
colony’s establishment. By then well over a dozen German companies,
Hamburg and Bremen, conducted trading and plantation
activities in Kamerun.
With imperial treasury subsidies, the colony built two rail lines from
the port city of Duala to bring agricultural products to market: the
Northern line of 160-kilometre (99 mi) to the Manenguba
mountains, and the 300-kilometre (190 mi) long mainline to Makak
on the river Nyong. An extensive postal and telegraph system and a
river navigation network with government ships connected the coast to
Kamerun protectorate was enlarged with
Neukamerun (German: New
Cameroon) in 1911 as part of the settlement of the Agadir Crisis,
resolved by the Treaty of Fez.
At the outbreak of World War I, French, Belgian and British troops
invaded the German colony in 1914 and fully occupied it during the
Kamerun campaign. The last German fort to surrender was the one at
Mora in the north of the colony in 1916.
Following Germany's defeat, the
Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles divided the
territory into two League of Nations mandates (Class B) under the
Great Britain and France.
French Cameroun and part
Cameroons reunified in 1961 as Cameroon.
German surveyor in Kamerun, 1884
Police force at Duala on the Kaiser's birthday, 1901
Loading of bananas for export to Germany, 1912
Main article: List of colonial governors of
Cameroon § Kamerun
German Empire portal
German West African Company
History of Cameroon
Index: German colonisation in Africa
German South West Africa
German East Africa
Proposed flag for Kamerun.
Hamburg und die Kolonialpolitik, p. 68
^ Washausen, p. 116
^ Haupt, Deutschlands Schutzgebiete, p. 57
^ By 1911 the total volume of trade reached over 50 million gold marks
[Haupt, p. 64].
^ This line was later extended to the current
Cameroon capital of
Bibliography and references
DeLancey, Mark W.; DeLancey, Mark D. (2000). Historical Dictionary of
the Republic of
Cameroon (3rd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow
Press. ISBN 0-8108-3775-7. OCLC 43324271.
Gorges, E. Howard (1923). The Great War in West Africa. London:
Hutchinson & Co.
Haupt, Werner (1984). Deutschlands Schutzgebiete in Übersee
1884–1918 [Germany’s Overseas Protectorates 1884–1918].
Friedberg: Podzun-Pallas Verlag. ISBN 3-7909-0204-7.
Hoffmann, Florian (2007). Okkupation und Militärverwaltung in
Kamerun. Etablierung und Institutionalisierung des kolonialen
Gewaltmonopols. Göttingen: Cuvillier Verlag.
Cameroons 1914". UniMaps. 2004. Archived from the original on
4 April 2013. Map of the territories exchanged between France
and Germany at the Treaty of Fez.
Schaper, Ulrike (2012). Koloniale Verhandlungen. Gerichtsbarkeit,
Verwaltung und Herrschaft in
Kamerun 1884-1916. Frankfurt am Main
2012: Campus Verlag. ISBN 3-593-39639-4.
Washausen, Helmut (1968).
Hamburg und die Kolonialpolitik des
Deutschen Reiches 1880 bis 1890 [
Hamburg and Colonial Politics of the
German Empire]. Hamburg: Hans Christians Verlag.
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Former German colonies and protectorates
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