Establishment Of German Rule In Tanganyika

Just like British rule, the Germans established their rule by using several methods which included;

  • Use of force; this involved direct military confrontation with societies that tried to resist German rule e.g. the Hehe, Abushiri, Ngoni, Maji Maji were all defeated through use of force.
  • Treaty signing; Karl Peters, a German trader and imperialist was instrumental in signing of agreements e.g. he signed with chiefs of Usagara, Uzigua and Usambara.
  • Use of collaborators; these were used to spread German rule in Tanganyika e.g. Chief Marere of Sangu and Mangi Mandela of Kilimanjaro.
  • Intimidation and threats; these were used to scare off those who wanted to rebel. Resistors were severely beaten, beheaded, or hanged e.g. even after chief Mkwawa of the Hehe had shot himself, the Germans cut off his head and sent it to Berlin (Germany).
  • Use of traders and trading companies; e.g. Karl Peters and his trading company-GEACO. These funded the German administration and provided the initial man power.
  • Development of infrastructure; several transport networks were constructed like roads and railway lines in order to conform to the doctrine of effective occupation and to enable German consolidation of colonial rule e.g. in 1891, a railway line was built connecting the coast to lake Tanganyika.
  • Use of Christian missionaries; through their wonderful preachings, they softened the hearts and minds of the Africans which made them ready for colonial rule. E.g. the Berlin III missionaries.
  • Use of explorers; these were used in the initial stages of colonialism e.g. Jacob Erhadt drew a sketch map of East Africa and Dr. Livingstone reported about slave trade and all these called for European need to come to East Africa.
  • Construction of military posts; these were mainly put up by Karl Peters and they totaled to eight e.g. in Uluguru, Usagara, Uvinza and these were later used  by German administrators.
  • Divide and rule; this was mainly used in areas where Africans were rivaling each other for supremacy e.g. Karl Peters used Arabs to fight Abushiri soldiers who were fellow Arabs.
  • Use of gifts and Incentives; such were used in areas where collaborators helped the Germans extend colonial rule e.g. Chiefs of Usambara, Usagara were all given gifts to accept colonial rule.
  •  Use of treachery; this system was used in a way that the Germans pretended to befriend African chiefs but later turned against them e.g. Karl Peters signed treaties of friendship with chiefs of Uvinza, Usambara but later the Germans replaced them with the Akidas and Jumbes.

Direct Rule In Tanganyika

  • This was the German system of colonial administration that was used in Tanganyika.
  • Direct rule involved the Germans directly in the administration of their colony.
  • Under this system, the traditional chiefs lost their power and authority to the Akidas and Jumbes, who were Africans but of Asian origin from the coast.
  • The system was dictatorial and ruthless and hence it led to a lot of resentment from the Africans.

Why The Germans Applied Direct Rule

  • The Germans believed that it was the only system through which they could effectively administer Tanganyika.
  • They also believed that it was the only way that they could effectively exploit resources within Tanganyika.
  • The Germans had used force to take over many parts of Tanganyika and therefore soldiers had to be used so that Africans wouldn’t easily revolt.
  • The Germans wanted to impose their superior culture over the Africans and this would involve imposing their culture and legal system.
  • The Germans were also a proud people and therefore used this system to stand high and above the Africans.
  • The Germans had suffered early revolts and therefore had to bring in the harsh Akidas and Jumbes to tame the Africans.
  • In many societies, there were no chiefs and where they existed they were not faithful or powerful enough and therefore the Germans had no one to entrust authority with.
  • They opted for this system because they had enough manpower to man all departments and thus saw no need to recruit Africans in colonial administration.
  • The Germans also feared the expenses of training Africans before they could takeover administration because this could strain their budget.
  • The Germans were very selfish and didn’t want to share the exploited resources with the Africans and that is why they used direct rule.
  • The Germans also used direct rule because of their inexperience in colonial administration because they had just started acquiring colonies.
  • The Germans also feared using indirect rule that was being used by their rivals (British) because this was going to increase rivalry and competition among them.

How Direct Rule Worked/The Nature Of Direct Rule

  • At the top was the Governor who was the head of the colony, stationed at Dar-es-salaam and in most cases a soldier
  • The Governor had wide powers and authority and was directly answerable to the colonial minister in Berlin (Germany).
  • In 1904, there was the Governor’s council that was set up to advise the Governor.
  • For efficient administration, the Germans divided Tanganyika into districts and by 1914, they were twenty two.
  • Each district was under a district officer called Berzirksamtmann, with a police force and a small army to maintain law and order.
  • District officers acted as judges and appointed chiefs to preside over courts and administer punishments on their behalf. They were also the highest court of appeal.
  • Districts were further divided into counties, which were further split into sub-counties and sub-counties into villages of 20,000 to 30,000 people.
  • Areas that showed hostility to German rule, were put under military rule e.g. by 1914, the two districts of Iringa and Mahenge were under military rule because they were chaotic.
  • The Governor, district officers, and members of the Governor’s council were all whites. Therefore the whites dominated the top positions and the Africans were left to rule at the lower levels.
  • Below the district officers were the Swahili Arabs called Akidas and below the Akidas were the Jumbes who were in charge of the villages.
  • Akidas and Jumbes were in charge of tax collection, supervision of cotton schemes and public works. They were also supposed to appoint and dismiss junior chiefs and presided over over local courts of law.
  • Many local chiefs were stripped of their powers and were replaced by Akidas and Jumbes and in areas where no chiefs existed, the Germans just appointed the Akidas in place.
  • These turned out to be very harsh and brutal to fellow Africans and in the end, they made German administration very unpopular.
  • German administration was characterized by mal-administration, cruel methods of tax collection and forced labour on road construction communal cotton growing.
  • Areas that co-operated with the Germans, they were left with their local chiefs e.g. in Nyamwezi land but these chiefs were made Akidas and therefore served the Governor.
  • In some areas, puppet chiefs were put into authority to promote German interests e.g. in Usambara after the death of chief Samboja and in Unyanyembe after the death of chief Isike.
  • In their administration, the Germans were arrogant, and isolated themselves from the Africans which caused a lot of rebellions from the Africans e.g. maji-maji revolt.
  • This system of administration attracted many German settlers who also influenced the colonial government policy against Africans.
  • In some areas where the societies were organized, the Germans used some indirect rule and left the Africans to rule e.g. among the Chagga.
  • German rule came to an end in 1919 when the League of Nations granted Britain authority over Tanganyika because Germany was being punished for causing World War 1 (1914 – 1918).

Effects of direct rule in Tanganyika

  • Many African chiefs were stripped of their powers and replaced by the harsh Akidas and Jumbes.
  • Africans who were co-operative and loyal to the Germans were appointed as Akidas.
  • Direct rule brewed wide spread rebellions as people rose up against the harsh Akidas and Jumbes rule. E.g. Maji-maji revolt, Abushiri revolt and Hehe rebellion.
  • There was a rise in African nationalism because many people started organizing themselves into revolutionary movements to struggle for independence.
  • Heavy taxation was introduced e.g. a hut tax 3 rupees and taxes were brutally collected as the German tried to fully exploit the Africans and maximize profits.
  • There was forced cash crop growing introduced by the Germans e.g. they started forced cotton growing, which irritated the Africans.
  • Africans lost large chunks of land to the German settlers who introduced plantation farming.
  • People including chiefs were brutalized and humiliated as they were publicly flogged and beaten by the harsh Akidas and Jumbes.
  • African cultures and customs were eroded and abused by the Akidas e.g. they always raped women when their husbands were working on cotton farms and they would also enter mosques with dogs.
  • People were always in a state of suffering as there was wide spread discontent and resentment against the Akidas and Jumbes and generally the whole German administration.
  • Christianity was wide spread as traditional beliefs and Islam greatly declined as a result of shrines being burnt and churches widely built by German missionaries.
  • There was heavy loss of lives and destruction of property as the Germans tried to suppress the many rebellions.
  • Africans were forced to work for long hours on European farms and road works where they received little or no pay at all.
  • Infrastructures were widely developed in Tanganyika to aid the exploitation of resources e.g. roads and railway lines were built.
  • Famine broke out due to the unsettled life of the Africans and the German neglect of growing of food crops in favour of cash crops.
  • African traders like the Nyamwezi were driven out of trade by the Germans who became the main trade controllers.
  • Western civilization was promoted as a result of many schools that were constructed by the Germans.