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Title: The development and objectives of German South African policy, 1893-1899.
Author: Seligmann, Matthew S.
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1994
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This dissertation traces the development of German attitudes towards Southern Africa in the period 1893-1899 with a view to clarifying certain aspects of German imperialism, particularly the changing nature of the Reich government's policy objectives. The topic is approached with regard to two historical controversies. The first of these concerns the nature of the forces motivating German imperialism. Examining separately the popular, economic and governmental stimuli to the Reich's participation in the area, it assesses the relative importance of these factors to the nature of the country's diplomatic stance and thereby determines from which source or sources governmental action ultimately derived. The material uncovered leads to one certain conclusion. Though almost every imaginable interest group campaigned vigorously to influence the government's outlook on this issue, it was in fact shaped almost exclusively by the results of an internecine struggle between different factions in the executive. The second controversy concerns the issue of whether or not German imperialism had specific territorial objectives. The study of South Africa demonstrates that, during the period 1893- 1896, the German government abandoned its eurocentric stance and devoted considerable attention to the Transvaal in the hope of developing a position of preponderant political influence there. Thereafter, following changes in the administrative elite, they abandoned this in favour of the global aspirations of Weltpolitik. The evidence reveals that in the shift between a European concentration and a world outlook, the South African experience was crucial. Consequently, the conclusion of this study is that South Africa should occupy an important place in the historiography of German imperialism. Policy towards this region was developed at a time when Germany's attitude to the world was in a state of flux and, thus, perceptions developed by their diplomatic activities there were to play a major role in shaping their future world behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Imperialism History Political science Public administration