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German East Africa

German East Africa, former German colony, c.370,000 sq mi (958,300 sq km), E Africa. Dar es Salaam was the capital. German influence emerged in the area in 1884 when Carl Peters, the German explorer, obtained treaties over parts of the territory. The German government declared a protectorate over the area in 1885 and the German East Africa Company was organized to administer it. In 1888, the sultan of Zanzibar relinquished the coastal areas, but German control was hindered by the Abushiri revolt (1888–90). In Jan., 1891, the German government took over the administration of the colony and by 1898 had conquered all of the territory. Plantations were established and railroad and harbor systems were begun. Discontentment with the administration and with the plantation system, however, led to the widespread Maji Maji rebellion (1905–7). After the rebellion, the colony entered a period of reform and economic expansion. During World War I the Allies captured German East Africa; after the war it was divided into League of Nations mandates. Great Britain was given most of the area, renamed Tanganyika (now Tanzania), while Belgium received Ruanda-Urundi (now Rwanda and Burundi), and Kionga, a village, was ceded to Portugal.

See V. T. Harlow and E. M. Chilver, ed., History of East Africa, Vol. II (1965); J. Bridgman and D. E. Clarke, German Africa: A Selected Annotated Bibliography (1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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