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Germany's Vision of Empire in Venezuela, 1871-1914

Germany's Vision of Empire in Venezuela, 1871-1914

Holger H. Herwig
Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 302
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zv4n8
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  • Book Info
    Germany's Vision of Empire in Venezuela, 1871-1914
    Book Description:

    The book details which Germans pushed for overseas expansion, how they tried to implement their ambitions, and why they ultimately failed. Discussions of political leaders and diplomats, the navy, German nationals overseas, and the German Evangelical Church and its missions abroad contribute to the history of Wilhelmian Germany

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5827-9
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xi-2)
    Holger H. Herwig
  5. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 3-16)

    This book deals with German “imperialist” policies in South America in general and Venezuela in particular between 1871 and 1914. It studies German leaders and their thoughts, the German government and its diplomacy, German entrepreneurs and their commercial policies, the German navy and its overseas aspirations, the German Evangelical Church and its missions abroad, and the various German domestic pressure groups and their vociferous advocacy of theDeutschtum(German nationals) overseas. Specifically, it attempts to analyze the role of German trade, overseas financial investments, armaments sales, military missions, coaling stations, naval bases, and emigration patterns in South America with an...

  6. CHAPTER I FROM COFFEE TO RAILROADS: GERMAN MERCHANTS AND INVESTMENTS
    (pp. 17-46)

    Germany’s economic relations with Venezuela basically can be divided into a pre-industrial and an industrial period. Indeed, it would be more accurate before the 1880s to speak of Hamburg’s trade with “Little Venice” in terms of coffee, cacao, tobacco, and cotton imports; according to one estimate, Hanseatic merchants in 1845 accounted for sixty-seven of the ninety-eight German firms engaged in commerce in South America. Exports of iron wares, machine tools, chemicals, and weapons take on meaningful proportions only well after German unification in 1871. Thus it is to the early Hanseatic coffee trader that one must look in order to...

  7. CHAPTER II THE GERMAN COMMUNITY: DEUTSCHTUM AS A TROJAN HORSE?
    (pp. 47-79)

    At the end of the nineteenth century, a small but influential group of writers in Germany demanded that the Reich establish closer contact with and provide financial support to the German element (Deutschtum) overseas. The latter was seen as a vital component in a policy of informal imperialism: Germany, lacking colonies of any commercial significance, had no choice but to use its nationals abroad as secular missionaries who would bring about a commercial orientation of their adopted lands toward the Reich. Moreover, the Germans overseas could become conduits through which German culture and learning as well as armaments sales and...

  8. CHAPTER III THE BLOCKADE 1902-1903: MOTIVATION AND HESITATION
    (pp. 80-109)

    At first glance, Germany’s participation in the international blockade of Venezuela perhaps comes closest to a classic case of late-nineteenth-century “imperialism,” of “big business” coercing the government to take action against a foreign power in order to collect outstanding debts. The pleas for government intervention by the Disconto Bank, the Great Venezuelan Railroad, Berlin Beton-und Monierbau, the German-Venezuelan Sulphur Company, the Orinoco Asphalt Company, the Hamburg Board of Trade, and numerous German merchants in Venezuela speak for themselves. The Social Democratic leader, August Bebel, in the Reichstag denounced the blockade as having been undertaken at the behest of Krupp and...

  9. CHAPTER IV THE MILITARY ADVISORS’ GAME
    (pp. 110-140)

    Nothing smacks more of classical imperialism than the dispatch of military advisors, instructors, or missions by a developed, modern state to a backward, underdeveloped state. The very mention of the term “military advisors” usually raises eyebrows or brings smirks to the corner of one’s mouth during casual discussions. And not without cause: the role of Gurkhas and Cubans, Frenchmen and Germans, Americans and Soviets over the last century around the globe has badly tarnished the image of such “advisors.”

    Latin America was a good case in point for German soldiers of fortune even before they could boast of a country...

  10. CHAPTER V GERMANY, VENEZUELA, AND THE PANAMA CANAL: THE ELUSIVE QUEST FOR A GERMAN NAVAL BASE IN SOUTH AMERICA
    (pp. 141-174)

    A major aspect of classic imperialism is the penetration of foreign markets by European merchants and the concomitant need to “protect” that trade with the armed might of the mother country. In the case of South America, it was often a matter of the flag following trade, of naval protection for men and money following commerce only at a later date. Indeed, Spain had formally prohibited European competition in its South American empire, but Hanseatic merchants, working through Cadiz, the main clearing house in Spain for goods bound for the New World, managed to operate illicitly alongside their fellow English...

  11. CHAPTER VI VENEZUELA AND PRESIDENT JAMES MONROE’S “INSOLENT DOGMA”
    (pp. 175-208)

    “In the coming century we must desire at all costs a German colony of some 20 to 30 million people in South America. . . . This is impossible without warships, which provide secured maritime communications and a presence backed by force.”¹ With this statement in 1900, Gustav Schmoller, Germany’s most eminent economist, gave verbal expression to the fears that haunted Americans such as Theodore Roosevelt, John Hay, and Henry Cabot Lodge concerning the Reich’s intentions to violate the Monroe Doctrine. Indeed, the supporters of that Doctrine in the United States constantly pointed to the presence of Reich nationals in...

  12. CHAPTER VII PARTING OF THE WAYS: GERMANY, GREAT BRITAIN, AND VENEZUELA AROUND 1900
    (pp. 209-235)

    Until the mid-1890s, Anglo-German relations had been amicable. Both sides shared a common goal of preventing the repeated French attempts at continental hegemony, and both sought to contain Russia within her eastern borders. The few attempts undertaken by several German states to establish overseas trade and colonies posed little threat to the British and quickly foundered. Not even German unification by Prussia in 1870-1871 endangered Anglo-German relations—Benjamin Disraeli’s statement in the House of Commons that this event constituted a greater threat to the concert of Europe than the French Revolution of 1789 notwithstanding.¹ For Otto von Bismarck was content...

  13. CONCLUSION: WHAT PRICE IMPERIALISM?
    (pp. 236-246)

    More than twenty years ago, Richard J. Hammond cautioned his fellow economic historians against what he called the “besetting sin” of “going a-whoring” after “striking and colourful first approximations.”¹ The profession by and large ignored his advice. As a result, we are constantly offered a veritable flood of “theories” on imperialism, evaluations of those theories, and evaluations of the evaluations. In researching this book over the past decade, I have been queried by numerous individuals, ranging from archivists in the German Democratic Republic to historians in North America, as to what “striking and colourful first approximations” concerning imperialism I would...

  14. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 247-272)
  15. INDEX
    (pp. 273-286)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 287-287)