German East Africa

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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 TanzaniaTanzania
, officially United Republic of Tanzania, republic (2015 est. pop. 51,046,000), 364,898 sq mi (945,087 sq km), E Africa, formed in 1964 by the union of the republics of Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
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), while Belgium received Ruanda-Urundi (now RwandaRwanda
, officially Republic of Rwanda, republic (2015 est. pop. 11,630,000), 10,169 sq mi (26,338 sq km), E central Africa. It borders on Congo (Kinshasa) in the west, on Uganda in the north, on Tanzania in the east, and on Burundi in the south.
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 and BurundiBurundi
, officially Republic of Burundi, republic (2015 est. pop. 10,199,000), 10,747 sq mi (27,834 sq km), E central Africa. It borders on Rwanda in the north, on Tanzania in the east, on Lake Tanganyika in the southwest, and on Congo (Kinshasa) in the west.
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), 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™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

German East Africa


a former German colony in East Africa (this name came into being in 1891). It included the territories of what are now Burundi, Rwanda, and most of Tanzania (Tanganyika). The native population of German East Africa was subjected to harsh exploitation. The despotic rule of the colonizers provoked numerous revolts, for example, the uprising headed by Abushiri in 1888-89, the revolt of the Haya and Chagga peoples, which began in 1891 and lasted about six years, and the Maji Maji revolt of 1905-07.

During World War I there was fighting on the territory of German East Africa. Under the Versailles Treaty of 1919 the major part of German East Africa—Tanganyika—was placed under the mandate of Great Britain, the territories of Burundi and Rwanda came under Belgian mandate, acquiring the name Ruanda-Urundi, and a small territory, the so-called Kionga Triangle, was made part of the Portuguese colony of Mozambique.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

German East Africa

a former German territory in E Africa, consisting of Tanganyika and Ruanda-Urundi: divided in 1919 between Great Britain and Belgium; now in Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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