The 1904-5 Kom- German- War: Dimensioning the Power and Leadership Horizons opened and closed by the War

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume III, Issue II, February 2019 | ISSN 2454–6186

The 1904-5 Kom- German- War: Dimensioning the Power and Leadership Horizons opened and closed by the War

Confidence Chia Ngam

Lecturer/Researcher, Department of History /Archaeology, The University of Bamenda, The Republic of Cameroon

Abstract: The Germans intention to subdue the Cameroon traditional ethnic entities (states) to implant their colonial project resulted in a number of resistances (wars). The Kom German War of 1904-5 was one of a kind which brought about drastic transformation and reconfiguration both to the way of life and the power ownership plus distribution patterns that existed here prior to foreign incursion. This paper moves away from the known general impacts of the War of resistances in Africa to situate the particularities of the short but severely eventful War between the Kom and the Germans. Based on evidence from primary and secondary sources, this paper argues that this war negotiated special horizons of power sharing and leadership equations between the Germans and the Kom traditional state thereby, opening the flood gates for the penetration of so many alien elements into the Kom traditional fabric. This discourse is consonant to the entire ramifications that shape the fortunes of African economies and political life styles elsewhere.

Key Words: Kom State, German, War, Impact, Development, State


Pursuant to the Hinterland theory that became the main resolution of the 1884-5 Berlin West African conference of 1884-5 and the complications plus opportunities/possibilities provided by the July 12 1884 Germano-Doula treaty, the German colonial administration decided to move into the interior of Cameroon. The need for inland exploration and implantation of foreign administration was further exacerbated by the German traders who desperately neededthe cooperation of colonial authorities in their quest for required labourers for the many plantation assignmentsfrom inland recalcitrant traditional polities like Kom. The need for the percolation of German administration inland became so grave and urgent that Zintgraff confronted the natives with various forms of projects

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