The Causes Of Colonialism By Headrick 's King 's Ghost Or One Of The Many Primary Sources

The Causes Of Colonialism By Headrick 's King 's Ghost Or One Of The Many Primary Sources

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For my paper, I decided to look at the causes of colonialism. I really enjoyed reading about the arguments for acquiring colonies and the way different nations went about it. Whether it was Headrick’s Tools of Empire, Hochschild’s King Leopold’s Ghost or one of the many primary sources we read earlier in the semester, I found it fascinating to learn about the causes, not just the results, of the “the second wave of colonialism.” I originally set out to compare and contrast Germany and France in their reasons for empire, but as I got into my research I found the German situation particularly fascinating. In part due to this being a relatively short paper, I decided to focus almost exclusively on Germany. The argument I am making is that Germany’s empire is, in reality, a result of a serious of perfectly timed events and was not only accidental but in many ways unwanted by Chancellor Bismarck and the nation.
Otto Von Bismarck was appointed Minister President of Prussia in 1862 and proceeded to unify first Northern Germany by defeating the Austrian Empire and then united Germany into the German Empire in 1871 by defeating France in the Franco-Prussian War. Bismarck oversaw this transformation and established a very conservative centralized government. While colonial societies did form, there was no outward attempt to building an overseas empire by Bismarck or any other major government official in the years after unification. Bismarck was preoccupied with maintaining and growing Germany’s position in Europe, realizing any overseas activity put Germany at risk of inciting significant geopolitical tensions in Europe.
Bismarck was opposed to colonialism for his entire tenure, with the exception of a roughly eighteen month period ...

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...colonial for the same reasons as he was before 1884. Bismarck, using similar arguments he used before Germany acquired colonies, began to dismantle pieces of the German empire. This strategy was seen in the 1890 treaty between England and Germany which saw Germany give up protectorates in East Africa in return for a strategically important island in the North Sea, he was removed from office a few short months later.
In conclusion, Bismarck, and Germany more generally, actively avoided internal pressure to establish a colonial empire due to concerns of cost and international entanglement. During a short period of time, Bismarck established protectorates with the goal of protecting German economic interests, ensuring markets remain open to traders. The protectorates later resulted in the creation of the German Colonial Empire after the colonial company model failed

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