Oliver Inter war Africa

Oliver Inter war - THE FULLNESS OF TIME Right up until 1914 the colonial powers had been too busy completing the occupation of their African

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THE FULLNESS OF TIME Right up until 1914, the colonial powers had been too busy completing the occupation of their African territories to spare any thought for the question of how long that occupation might be destined to last. It was, in fact the First World War which forced the issue on their attention. For the war was fought partly in Africa, and partly for the redistribution of African territories. At the peace conference at Versailles in 1919, Germany was stripped of all its colonies. However, in deference to the United States and other non-colonial powers involved in the peace settlement, these transfers were characterized as Mandates, and made accountable to the newly instituted League of Nations. The inhabitants of the mandated territories were described as peoples 'not yet able to stand by themselves in the strenuous conditions of the modern world', whose well-being and development constituted 'a sacred trust of civilization'. Implicit in the trusteeship metaphor was the notion that one day, in the fullness of time, the wards would come of age, and take over the management of the property. And what was to be accorded to the mandated territories could hardly be denied to the other colonies which had not changed rulers. Still, no one in 1919 was concerned to propose a period within which the purposes of trusteeship might be accomplished. Lugard, the architect of Indirect Rule, now in his retirement, the first British representative on the Permanent Mandates Commission of the League, expressed the view that the era of complete independence was 'not yet visible on the horizon of time'. His vision of the future, propounded in 1922 in his book, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa , presupposed a very long period during which tribes would be taught to govern themselves in an efficient way at the local level, before being introduced into regional federations, which in turn might eventually come together as nations. Meantime, it would be the duty of the colonial powers to exercise a double mandate, first in protecting the indigenous people, and secondly in promoting the economic development of the continent in the interests of the world as a whole. A contemporary French minister of colonies, Albert Sarraut, popularized the expression mise en valeur , which was accepted in both France and Belgium as possessing the same kind of positive ambiguity as Lugard's 'dual mandate'. Although the accent was placed on economic management, this was held to include the protection and development of the colonial peoples, who provided the essential manpower. It implied some recognition of the fact that in many territories population had fallen drastically since the beginning of the colonial period, both through epidemic diseases like smallpox, sleeping sickness and influenza, and through excessive demands for labour, not least during the recent war. Health and education services were thus at the heart of a successful
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This note was uploaded on 06/17/2008 for the course HIST 122 taught by Professor Iforgot during the Spring '08 term at Philadelphia.

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Oliver Inter war - THE FULLNESS OF TIME Right up until 1914 the colonial powers had been too busy completing the occupation of their African

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