Herbert Adams Gibbons.

The New Map of Africa 1900-1916 online

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in 2010 with funding from

Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation







Ph.D., F.R.Hist.S.

author of "the new map of europe," "the foundation of
the ottoman empire," " paris reborn," etc.





-. — 1=


Copyright, 1916, by

Published, November, 1916


whose lifelong interest in
what before his day was

"The Dark Continent"

has been an important factor
in dispelling the


AUG 2 3 1957

Semper aliquid noui Africam adferre.

Greek proverb, quoted by
Pliny, Hist. Nat. VIII. §42



I. Great Britain in the Sudan . . i
II. The Islands of Africa ... 31

III. The Last Years of the Boer War

and the Period of Reconstruction

in South Africa .... 43

IV. The Two Independent States:

Liberia and Abyssinia . 92

V. British Policy in Somaliland . 106

VI. The Colonial Ventures of Italy . 115

VII. Algeria and Tunis: the Nucleus of

the French African Empire . 130

VIII. The Belgians in the Congo . .147

IX. The First German Colony: South-
west Africa . . . . 173

X. The Heritage of Livingstone and

Rhodes 189

• XL The British in East Africa and

Uganda ..... 206



• XII. The Germans in East Africa . . 228

XIII. The Problem of the Portuguese

Colonies ..... 244

XIV. The British in West Africa . . 276

XV. The Germans in West Africa. . 299

XVI. The French in West Africa and the

Sahara . . . 312

XVII. French Penetration into Central

Africa 335

XVIII. European Rivalry in Morocco before

Algeciras 355

XIX. France Gets Morocco . . . 374

XX. Egypt under the Last of the Khe-
dives ...... 391

XXI. Egypt Becomes a British Protecto-
rate 421

XXII. The Creation of the South African

Union ..... 441

XXIII. The Rebellion in South Africa and

its Aftermath .... 454

XXIV. The Conquest of the German

Colonies 47°



XXV. African Problems for the Peace

Conference . . . . .481

Index 493



I. Africa at the Outbreak of the

War ..... Title-page

II. Africa about 1850 . . . .32

III. Africa in 1902 . . . .64

IV. The Mediterranean Coast of Africa 128

V. Sketch Map Showing the German-
French Boundaries in 1912 . . 360

VI. The South African Commonwealth 448


WHEN The New Map of Europe was written,
at the beginning of the war, I had to
forego dealing in a comprehensive way
with colonial questions. Only the facts concerning
European expansion in Africa that seemed to have
direct bearing upon the diplomatic history of the
ten years preceding August I, 19 14 could be in-
cluded. But what has happened — and what has
not happened — in Africa during the past two years
revealed to me the necessity of reviewing the fifteen
years of colonial development, effort and rivalry
of European states in Africa, if I wanted to have a
clear understanding of the forces that had driven
Europe to war, of the issues that the war was bring-
ing into clear light, and of the problems that would
confront the Peace Conference.

The facts for a book on European colonization in
Africa I had been gathering for years. But I had
no idea until now how important these facts were,
and how essential a knowledge of them was to the
student of contemporary European history. This
book has been written not at all in the way originally
planned, but with the illumination that has come
through more than two years of living in the midst
of the "great conflict and writing daily upon its



various phases. However radically and vehemently
readers may differ from interpretations and conclu-
sions, I hope none will feel it a loss of time to go
with me through these pages that narrate the evolu-
tion of Africa from the Boer War to the completion
of the conquest of the last German colony by General
Smuts and the combined British, Belgian, and Portu-
guese armies in the autumn of 191 6.

I trust that none will think lightly of my work
because it is not accompanied by footnotes and a
bibliography. Primary sources are the govern-
mental "papers, " containing texts of treaties, official
correspondence and reports, consular reports, parlia-
mentary speeches and debates; bulletins and reports
of proceedings of chambers of commerce and other
organizations interested in African colonization for
economic, financial, political, scientific, and socio-
logical reasons; and, occasionally, newspaper compte-
rendus of interviews and speeches. The books I
have consulted are legion. The more important
ones can be found in the bibliographical lists after
each colony in the Statesman' 's Year Book. To the
summaries of events from year to year in the London
Annual Register, I gratefully acknowledge constant
indebtedness. For the first half of my period, these
illuminating annals were written by Mr. H. Whates.
Statistics are taken from the Statesman's Year Book;
French, German, Belgian, and Italian publications
that come under the head of primary sources men-
tioned above; Augustin Bernard's Le Maroc, Angel
Marvaud's Le Portugal et ses colonies, and A. P.
Calvert's German African Empire. I have made


use also of my own correspondence to the New York
Herald and the Philadelphia Evening Telegraph.

I want to express my keen appreciation of the
hospitality and precious help I received during a
visit to Africa in war time from H. H. Hussein Ka-
mil, G.C.B., Sultan of Egypt; General Sir Reginald
Wingate, G.C.B., G.C.V.O., etc., Governor- General
of the Sudan; Sir Henry McMahon, G.V.C.O.,
K.C.I.E., etc., H. M.'s High Commissioner for
Egypt; General Sir John Maxwell, K.C.B.,K.C.M.G.,
etc., Commanding the British Army in Egypt;
Hussein Rushdi Pasha, Prime Minister of Egypt;
Col. E. E. Barnard Pasha, C.M.G., Financial
Secretary of the Sudan; Ronald Storrs, Esq., Oriental
Secretary to the British Agency; Arakel Nubar Bey,
French Secretary to H. H. the Sultan; Major G. B.
Symes, D.S.O., Private Secretary to H. E. the
Governor-General of the Sudan; Gerald Delany,
Esq., Renter's Manager at Cairo; J. Edgar, Esq.,
sometime Professor in Cape Town University and
later Editor of the Johannesburg Star; and Walter
Harris, Esq., of Tangier, Times Correspondent in
Morocco. Mr. Edgar and Mr. Harris were good
enough to submit to the imposition of lengthy
questionnaires on South African and Moroccan
history, in which they have played an active and
important r61e. Many a glimpse into the inside
history of Egypt did I get from Artin Pasha, last of
the "elder statesmen" of Egypt, who went over
with me the books of Lord Cromer, Lord Milner,
and Mr. Dicey, and gave me a copy of his own work
on the Sudan.


To Mr. James Gordon Bennett and Mr. Rodman
Wanamaker I owe the privilege of a visit to Africa
in the early months of 191 6, and to Boghos Nubar
Pasha continuous and hearty encouragement to
undertake work in a field where his knowledge and
life-long experience make that encouragement worth
more than can be estimated.

Herbert Adams Gibbons

Villa El Farn, rue des Dunes
Houlgate, Calvados, Normandy.
October, 1916.


The New Map of Africa


AFTER the failure of the Khartum Relief Expedi-
tion and the death of General Gordon, the
' British Government ordered Egypt and the
British army to drop the Sudan. The whole Gordon
and Sudan literature, which requires a separate bibli-
ography and is rilled with sentimentalism, misrepre-
sentations, and party prejudices, is the historical
monument and record of the activity of Englishmen
at home and their interest in the problem of the Sudan
during the decade that followed the shameful fiasco of
1884. The Gordon legend alone was in the mind of
the Britisher who never left his tight little island,
and who considered that fact a kind of virtue. The
Mahdi reigned supreme in the Sudan, and after his
death, his successor, the Khalifa, continued to exter-
minate the tribes of the upper tributaries of the Nile.
For all British Cabinets and the British public seemed
to care, the dervishes were welcome to keep the
Sudan, and the early eighties were "past history."



But some Englishmen did care and did not forget.
In fact, there was never a moment that the thought of
the eventual reconquest of the Sudan and of the re-
trieving of the honor of British arms was not before
them. They had the vision. They lived with eyes
fixed «pn the goal. The uninitiable never look back
of events to their causes. To them whatever of
fortune through achievement falls to the other
fellow is "luck." They believe that Lord Cromer
blundered to fame through twenty-five years of hit
and miss in Egypt, and that Lord Kitchener was
"made" by the battle of Omdurman, "after all, you
know, an easy butchery of crazy fanatics who had
no chance at all against his superior weapons. "

The battle of Omdurman on September 2, 1898,
which made possible the reconquest and redemption
of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and the foundation of
its present splendid government, was the culminat-
ing event of more than ten years of herculean ef-
fort on the part of a handful of men whose
enthusiasm was fortunately matched by their fore-
sight, patience, and ability. The victory won at
Omdurman was the beginning of a new era for the
British Empire in Africa and throughout the world.
History will give to those who worked for it and
those who won it credit for far more than the
rehabilitation of the Sudan.

British colonial administrators have succeeded in
building an empire in spite of, rather than with the
help of, their Government and the great mass of their
fellow-countrymen. Problems confronting them in
their field of action have never been more difficult



than the problem of getting and keeping support
from home. London is the bete noire of the English
official overseas. Cablegrams from home cause more
trouble than native uprisings. In regard to foreign
policy, Conservative and Liberal Cabinets are very
much the same. They are guided by the fears and
the hopes of General Elections, and they hate like
poison :

i. To spend the British taxpayer's money over-

2. To sanction any policy that is likely to cause
fighting in which British troops must be engaged.

3. To offend the nonconformist conscience.

Colonial administrators who keep in mind con-
stantly these three points, and who plan to get result?
without coming into conflict with the Government on
any one of them, succeed in making for themselves
great careers, and gain honors, if not peace of mind,
Those who do not keep these points in mind never get
very far in a colonial career.

This is why the reconquest of the Sudan needed a
decade of preparation. There was never any hope
at all of convincing the British public of the necessity
of pouring out blood and treasure to get back to
Khartum. Unwillingness to pay the price had been
the cause of the debacle of 1884. The only other
possible way of accomplishing what they had in
mind was to put Egypt upon a sound financial basis,
and to recreate an Egyptian army that knew how
to fight and that would fight. The invasion of
the Sudan and the winning of the battle of Omdur-
man was possible only because Lord Cromer made



Egypt's revenues exceed her expenditures and be-
cause Lord Kitchener got an Egyptian army into
good fighting shape. When this was accomplished
— and not before then — it could be pointed out
to London that Egypt could contribute both in
men and money very substantially to an expedition
against the Khalifa. There had to be an appeal
also to public opinion in England and to the
nonconformist conscience. So for years one can
read in Lord Cromer's annual reports the skilfully
introduced and skilfully emphasized leitmotiv of
the necessity to Egypt of the reclamation of the
Sudan. Never could there be security in Upper
Egypt until the dervishes were crushed. Never
would irrigation projects on a large scale be justi-
fiable or possible until the headwaters of the Nile
were under Anglo-Egyptian control. Never would
the African slave traffic be stopped until the region
from the equator to Wady Haifa was policed by
Europeans. Common humanity and moral re-
sponsibility also demanded the reconquest of the
Sudan. For the native population was rapidly dying
out everywhere because of the dervish cruelties and
mismanagement. Last of all, from the standpoint
of European prestige, the Italian defeat at Adowa
must be counteracted.

Since Egyptian money and Egyptian lives were
largely instrumental in the reconquest of the Sudan,
and since the legal rights to the territories it would
comprise rested wholly upon those of the Ottoman
Empire and the Egyptian Khedives, it was impos-
sible—though it would have been desirable — to


establish an English colony or a distinct Protectorate
under direct British control. Then, too, the Sudan
was going to look for an indeterminable period to the
Egyptian army and the Egyptian budget for soldiers
and money to hold, to rehabilitate, and to develop
the vast regions which Mahdiism had so cruelly
oppressed and ruined. And was not the principal
reason for reconquest the political security and the
economic advantage to Egypt through possessing
the headwaters of the Nile? The problem was
exceedingly delicate, Owing to Great Britain's an-
omalous position in Egypt, both from the inter-
national and the Ottoman point of view.

A convention signed at Cairo on January 19, 1899,
between the British and Egyptian Governments,
stated that the territory south of the twenty-second
parallel of latitude was to be administered by a
Governor-General, appointed by Egypt with the
assent of Great Britain. The British and Egyptian
flags were to be used together. No duties were to
be levied on imports from Egypt, and duties on im-
ports from other countries, by way of the Red Sea,
were not to exceed the Egyptian tariffs. As long
as it should be necessary, Egypt was to make good
the deficit in the Sudan budget. But the money
invested in the Sudan by Egypt would be considered
a loan, upon which interest would be paid as soon as
possible. A portion of the Egyptian army should
serve in the Sudan, under the command of the
Governor-General, himself an officer of the Egyptian
army with the rank of Sirdar. So long as the na-
tions who enjoyed the privileges of a capitulatory



regime in Egypt did not demand the extension of the
capitulations to the Sudan, and so long as Egypt
remained under effective British control, such an
arrangement, paradoxical as it seemed, was workable.
It has worked out all right. But it is important to
note that the exact status of the Sudan, both from
the international and the Egyptian point of view, has
not yet been determined. It will come up for settle-
ment in the Peace Conference, when the affairs of
the Ottoman Empire are liquidated, and international
sanction is asked for the British Protectorate pro-
claimed over Egypt since the opening of the European
War. 1

Once the Sudan was reconquered, Cromer and
Kitchener still held to the policy of "sound financial
basis" that had made the conquest possible. For
they knew that the Home Government would take
little interest in, and do nothing for, the Anglo-
Egyptian Sudan unless it was demonstrated to them
that the country could pay its way. Immediate use
could be made of almost unlimited sums of money,
and the temptation was great to enter upon and urge
London and Cairo to cooperate in ambitious develop-
ment schemes. Cromer and Kitchener were in
complete accord in not falling into this trap, and
when Kitchener was suddenly called away to South
Africa, Lord Cromer was fortunate in finding in his
successor, Sir Reginald Wingate, an administrator
fully aware of the danger of grandiose schemes of
rehabilitation and rapid development. The initial
financial policy laid down by Lord Cromer in his

1 For the Egyptian point of view, see pp. 421-440.



address to the Sudanese chiefs at Khartum in Decem-
ber, 1900, to the effect that taxes were not to be made
burdensome, even if communications and develop-
ments had to wait, has been faithfully and consist-
ently carried out. To it more than to anything else
is due the marvelous success of the Sudan admin-
istration. For the Sudanese have had from the
beginning the contrast of the equitable taxation of
the British with that which ground them down and
ruined them under the Mahdi and the Khalifa: and
the British Government has not been wearied and pre-
judiced against the Sudan by unreasonable demands
for financial support.

The cost of the reconquest was L.E. 2,412,000, x
of which the British Government paid L.E. 780,000.
More money had, of course, to be invested in rail-
ways, in river transport, and in irrigation. The paci-
fication of the country and the rehabilitation of its
inhabitants depended upon means of transportation
and the cultivation of the land. Everything had
been destroyed or had fallen into decay during the
years of anarchy : so all kinds of public works needed
a substantial budget. Popular education had to be
thought of, and the expenses of the civil administra-
tion and a considerable military establishment pro-
vided for. But though the financial task looked so
formidable as to be almost hopeless, it was success-
fully grappled with, and the country saved from con-
cession hunters and insolvency by the adoption and
maintenance of the conservative policy of "go slow
and pay as you go. "

1 L.E. *= Egyptian pound, approximately five dollars.



In 1903, the Egyptian Cabinet authorized an ad-
vance to the Sudan for railway construction of
L.E. 1,770,000 to spread over four years. This was
a sound financial investment. For it was soon de-
monstrated that the increased revenue through the
development of transportation facilities would cut
down Egypt's contribution to the annual deficit more
than the interest on this money. In 1906, the Su-
dan Railway administration yielded a net profit of
L.E. 52,000/ and in 1907 the Sudan Government was
able to pay to Egypt, L.E. 45,000 interest on part of
the L.E. 3,000,000 advanced by Egypt for capital
expenditures up to the end of 1906. The Sudan
Government declared that it was now in a position
to assist the development of public works in the
Sudan. L.E. 100,000 was set aside for public works
in 1908 and L.E. 285,000 for the purchase of rails for
the Atbara-Khartum Railway. From January 1 , 1908,
the Sudan began to pay interest at 3 per cent, on
L.E. 1,500,000 of the debt to Egypt. The deficit in
revenue for 1908 was only L.E. 47,000, and in 1909 the

1 Over and over again in Africa the tremendous financial advantage
to a country accruing from state ownership of public utilities is
demonstrated. The Sudan, like South Africa, Egypt, and other
countries, gets a good share of its surplus revenue from railway profits
— a surplus that comes even though hundreds of miles of line are
built and operated at a loss for political reasons or for the ultimate
benefit of the people. One striking illustration of what the Sudan
has gained from keeping its transportation out of the hands of con-
cession hunters is found in the little Khartum-Omdurman tram,
which plies from Khartum to the ferry leading to Omdurman. This
tram line, carrying wholly natives, was begged for often at the
beginning by private groups. The Government kept it, and to-day
it brings a net profit of fifty thousand pounds per annum to the



annual subvention from the Egyptian Treasury was
reduced by another L.E. 10,000. This encouraged
Egypt to advance L.E. 380,000 for railway extension
and improvement, and the completion of Port Sudan
town and harbor. In 1 910, Sir Reginald Wingate
was able to report that the entire Civil Administra-
tion was paying its way and that the only deficit
was on the military budget. As more land came
under cultivation, trade would increase and the
deficit disappear. Three years later there was a
surplus of L.E. 40,000. The Sudan had made good.

Exports increased thirty per cent, in 191 1, owing to
the development of the cotton industry. In 1 91 2,
the creation of Port Sudan and the linking of the Red
Sea with the Nile by railway made possible export
without prohibitive transportation charges. Cotton,
cattle, and sheep progressed rapidly. In 1 91 3, the
trade output jumped again, owing to the extension of
the railway to El Obeid. Great Britain was supply-
ing thirty-nine per cent, of the imports, and took
twenty per cent, of the exports.

It is no surprise, then, that the British Parliament
showed itself willing to guarantee the interest on a
loan of £3,000,000 for cotton cultivation in the Sudan.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer explained that this
outlay, in irrigation and railway extension, would
develop the cultivation of cotton of the finest quality,
greatly needed by England for the manufacture of
her unique grades of cotton goods.

A few months ago, I sat in the office of the Finan-
cial Secretary at Khartum. Colonel Bernard is a
type of officer one finds only in the British army. If



he were a Frenchman, he would never have left Paris.
If he were an American, he would be one of our
captains of industry, with a yacht and a summer
home at Newport or Bar Harbor, and wondering
how he could spend his money. We occasionally get
in our army and navy men with a genius for business :
but they do not stay. It may be partly due to the
fact that until the Spanish War there were no tasks
to challenge this type of man. But it is mostly due
to the entire difference in our social system from that
of Great Britain. The Colonial Empire under the
British flag has been built by men who have gone
into Government service for reasons of caste. Among
them there has naturally been a large number, like
Colonel Bernard, with marked aptitude for business.
In any other country most of these men would have
gone into business. In England they never dream
of such a thing. In order to enjoy the privileges
of caste, young men of good families are willing to
leave home and friends, to live separated from their
own children, and to spend the thirty to forty best
years of their life in exile. They are content with an
occasional visit to England and with little or no
money, if only they preserve their caste. This is
the secret of Great Britain's world empire. The
moment the Englishman of the upper classes con-
siders business as honorable a vocation as Govern-
ment service, Britain's Colonial Empire will resemble
France's or Germany's — or will collapse altogether.
All this passed through my head as I listened to
Colonel Bernard explaining, budget estimates before
him, the financial policy of the Sudan, with all the



enthusiasm and keenness and understanding of an
American trying to attract capital to his latest

Without the railway across the desert from Wady
Haifa to Atbara, Kitchener's task against the der-
vishes would have been tenfold more difficult, and the
victory of doubtful permanent value. As the in-
vaders proceeded to Khartum, it was essential to lay
ties and rails with unflagging haste. Only did the
re-occupation seem a reality and worth while when
through railway service was established from Khar-
tum to Wady Haifa. As the political success of the
reconquest was wholly dependent upon its proving
a financial success, and as serious economic develop-
ment was out of the question so long as the route
through Egypt was the only exit from the country,
the first task of the Government was to connect
the Nile with the Red Sea by railway. In 1902,
Lord Cromer pointed this out in his annual report,
and the following year he succeeded in getting the
Egyptian Government to furnish the money, as we
have seen above. After untold difficulties with
labor, and the construction of a bridge over the
Atbara River, the junction was completed in 1907.
Suakim was abandoned as the terminus on the Red
Sea, and a harbor built some miles farther north at

Online LibraryHerbert Adams GibbonsThe New Map of Africa 1900-1916 → online text (page 1 of 34)