By D. K. Fieldhouse
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Extra info for Colonialism 1870–1945: An Introduction
The Dutch long preserved sultans and other rulers in Indonesia while using indigenous 'regents' as bureaucrats in Java. The Germans adopted indirect rule on the Nigerian pattern in part of the Cameroons ; and the Belgians, after they took responsibility for the Congo from Leopold 11 in 1908, also showed enthusiasm for this principle, though their system was essentially centralized and bureaucratic. Even the Italians collaborated with Islamic rulers in parts of Libya and Eritrea. On the whole, however, the dominant feature of all these colonial systems was direct rule on the French rat her than indirect rule on the British pattern.
Similarly alien rule, by destroying or debilitating indigenous systems of government and patterns of authority, removed those in native COLONIALISM 1870-1945 45 society whose leadership was needed to promote change and thus made it more difficult for the colonial peoples to act for themselves. Subordination also bred a 'colonial mentality' that accepted inferior status and depended on aliens for leadership. These things might have been more bearable had they been accompanied by a massive economic, social and educational advance ; and it is a key element in the general indictment of colonialism that this compensation was not paid.
Many indigenous rulers recognized this c1early and invited foreign 'protection' to avert the danger, though some were later disappointed to find that the price ofprotection was total subordination or even removal. Colonialism was thus a virtually automatie reflex on both sides of the relationship to acute problems of international relations . Ifcolonialism is seen in this way, rather than as a deliberately constructed system of international servitude, it is not surprising that it should have been riddled with internal contradictions.
Colonialism 1870–1945: An Introduction by D. K. Fieldhouse