Togo under the German Flag
Germany, a latecomer to the competition among the European powers for colonies in Africa, established the Togoland Protectorate in 1884. Encompassing the territory of present-day Togo and the Volta Region District of Ghana in western Africa, Togo was portrayed by German imperial circles as a model colony, financially self-sufficient and benefiting from bridges, roads, and railroads built to support an agricultural industry based on cacao, coffee, and cotton exports. Later historians disputed this characterization, noting the often harsh treatment of the Togolese under German rule. The German authorities used scientific expeditions to extend their control to the interior of the colony. Heinrich Klose was a researcher from Berlin who, in 1894–98, spent nearly four years in Togo and took part in an expedition to its northern areas. Togo unter deutscher Flagge (Togo under the German flag) is his account of his stay and the expedition to the north. The book contains valuable information about the geography, people, and economy of the country, but it was also intended to validate the model colony thesis and to argue that the success of Togoland was evidence of Germany’s abilities as an imperial power. Germany lost the colony in 1914, when it was occupied by French and British forces in the early days of World War I.
Dietrich Reimer, Berlin
Title in Original Language
Togo unter deutscher Flagge
Type of Item
xxii, 561 pages, frontispiece, illustrations, plates, folded map, folded plan, facsimile. 25 centimeters
- Dennis Laumann, “A Historiography of German Togoland, or the Rise and Fall of a ‘Model Colony,’” History in Africa 30 (2003).
Last updated: June 20, 2014