EUROPEAN COLONIALISM IN CAMEROON AND ITS AFTERMATH, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE SOUTHERN CAMEROON, 1884-2014

EUROPEAN COLONIALISM IN CAMEROON AND ITS AFTERMATH, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE SOUTHERN CAMEROON, 1884-2014

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Abstract

The study focuses on European Colonialism in Cameroon and its Aftermath, with Special Reference to the Southern Cameroon, 1884-2014. The rationale for this work is based on a variety of reasons namely: the relative exclusion of Southern Cameroon from socio-economic and political scene and the dominance of the French speaking part of Cameroon in the country. The federal system which was then in existence was abolished and a unitary system was imposed in which the French speaking part of Cameroon, as mentioned above, became the dominant actor in the reunified Cameroon. This study dwelled on the impact of colonialism on the people of Cameroon during the period of European colonial domination\, as well as the consequences of the reunification of the two parts of Cameroon: namely, British and French Cameroon in the post-colonial period.The main objective ofthe study was to examine the aftermath of the reunification on Southern Cameroon. Interms of methodology, primaryand secondary sources were used. Primary sources included archival and oral sources, while secondary sources included textbooks, dissertations, theses, some articles in journals and so on.In this study, a multi-disciplinary approach and the collection, interpretation, evaluation and analysis of data was adopted.The study showed that there was extreme centralization of authority in Cameroon. The study further showed that Southern Cameroon suffered relative marginalization, representation in government, infrastructural development and a host of others. This study came to the conclusion that post-colonial Cameroon was almost the extension of the colonial period. The government was determined to maintain its hegemony in power, the assimilation of Southern Cameroon and the Francophonization of its institutions. This study provided information on which people can make rational decision on the future of Southern Cameroon. A Socio-Economic and political History of Southern Cameroon, 1961-2017, was indicated as area for further research.

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CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

Although the history of Cameroon is similar to the history of other African states, its

history is unique in the sense that it came under the domination of three imperial European

powers: Germany, Britain and France, quite unlike most of the other states which were under the

rule of one European power during the colonial period. The post-colonial developments were

therefore firmly rooted in the colonial experience it went through. The Berlin West African

conference of 1884-85 provided two important results as far as Cameroon was concerned. First

and foremost, the conference recognized Germany as the colonial power in Cameroon. Britain

and France had to give up their possessions to Germany.

Secondly, German control and domination of the area meant that the colony was

surrounded by other colonies dominated by European opponents of Germany, i.e. Britain and

France. Consequently, when Germany lost World War I, the British and the French did not

hesitate in dividing Cameroon among themselves. These issues will be discussed shortly.

However, it may be noted that some of the problems that later arose in Cameroon had their roots

in this complex colonial history. It may be noted here that various names were applied by the

Europeans to the area of study. The Germans called the area Kamerun, while the British and the

French used the term Cameroons and Cameroun respectively in the area. Southern Cameroon on

the other hand, was the area previously dominated by the British but was later ceded to the

French.

Cameroon has a long history of sporadic encounters that have occurred overtime. The Germans,

the British and the French had been major players at the centre stage of affairs in the

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Cameroons14 during the era of European “Scramble for Africa”. European powers did not want

their isolated individual claims and struggles to bring instability to Europe. Against this

background, the great powers formed alliances to checkmate one another.15


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