Maji Maji Revolt

Topics: East Africa, German East Africa, Rwanda Pages: 16 (5235 words) Published: July 28, 2010






East Africa today is made up of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania consist of about 636,707 square miles of land surface and roughly 42,207 square miles of water or swamps. Tanzania (Tanganyika merged with Zanzibar in 1964) forms the largest area within this region, with a total, including Zanzibar and Pemba, of 342,170 square miles of land and 20,650 square miles of water or swamp. The country boarders: Kenya to the North, Mozambique and Malawi to the South, Zambia to the South West, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi to the West.

It emerges that Tanzania is a land of extreme ethnic diversity. Indeed the north-central part of the country, with its Khoisan, Cushitic, Nilotic and Bantu-speaking population, is the most linguistically diverse area on the whole African continent. The rest of Tanzania is entirely Bantu-speaking; in fact ninety-five per cent of present Tanzanians are born into families speaking one or another of a hundred or more Bantu dialects. The Arabs who settled along the coast were assimilated into Swahili with the increased contact between the coast and the interior in the 19th century and fully integrated in the 20th century.

The early visitors into Tanzania were mainly the Arabs from Oman, Muscat and other parts of Arabian Peninsula. These early visitors were followed from the beginning of the sixteenth century by the Portuguese who ruled the coast until their defeat by the Omani Arabs in 1698. In the nineteenth century came the Germans and the British. Tanganyika remained under the Germans control until 1919 when she signed the Versailles treaty in France. One of the terms of the treaty was territorial dispossession of Germany. Germany lost all her colonies in Africa and other parts of the world. In Africa her four colonies namely Tanganyika, Cameroon, Togo and South West Africa (Namibia) were handed over as mandated territories to the victorious powers with colonies neighboring them namely, Britain, France and South Africa acting for Britain in the case of South West Africa. Tanganyika was handed over to the British.

Germans in East Africa
The interest of the Germans to East Africa began with the formation of African societies in Germany by the aristocrats i.e. “the German Colonial Society” in mid nineteenth century. By 1876, the number of Germans coming to East Africa increased as many societies were formed. In 1884 Karl Peters formed the “Society for German Colonization” to acquire colonies for Germany. This society was formed as a counter-blast against the German colonial society which was considered by Karl Peters as too inadequate for colonial expansion[1].

Karl Peters left Germany in September 1884 arriving in Zanzibar on November 1884. He then traveled to the interior where he signed treaties with a number of African chiefs in the area of Kilimanjaro in 1884. These treaties were signed with illiterate chiefs in parts of Usagara, Uzigua, Nguru and Ukami launching the German East African Empire. In 1885, Karl Peters returned to Berlin, the Imperial Chancellor, Bismarck, guaranteed the sovereignty of the newly formed German East African Company over its treaty area. The Protectorate was enlarged by Anglo-German agreements in 1886 and 1890, while its western border followed that laid down by the Congo Free States Declaration of Neutrality of 1885. Germany also acquired colonies in Togo, Cameroon, and South- West Africa during this period.

In 1886, the Anglo-German Agreement was signed splitting East Africa into German and British Spheres of influence. Germany was apportioned land south of a line from the Umba River to Lake Victoria, but also retained the territory further to the north around Witu. In 1887, Sultan Barghash...

References: 1. Iliffe John, Tanganyika under German Rule 1905-1912, Cambridge University Press, 1969.
2. Kimambo I. N. and Temu A. J. (Eds), A History of Tanzania, East African Publishing House, 1969.
3. Hatch John, Tanzania, Pall Mall Press, London. 1972.
6. Okoth Assa. Essays on Advanced Level History. Africa: 1885/1914, Heinemann Educational Books (E.A) Ltd, 1985.
[2]G. C. K. Gwassa and John Iliffe (Eds.). Records of the Maji Maji Rising, Part 1 (Nairobi, East African Publishing House, 1968).
[5] Julius K. Nyerere, Freedom and Unity (London, Oxford University Press 1966), 40-41
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