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A protectorate, in international law, is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship. However, it retains sufficient measure of sovereignty and remains a state under international law.

Rationale

Amical protection

In amical protection, the terms are often very favorable for the protectorate. The political interest of the protector is often moral (a matter of image, prestige, ideology, internal popularity, dynastic, historical or ethno-cultural ties, etc.) or countering a rival or enemy power (e.g., preventing the Ottoman Empire from obtaining or maintaining control of areas of strategic importance). This may involve a very weak protectorate surrendering control of its external relations; this, however, may not constitute any real sacrifice, as the protectorate may not have been able to have similar use of them without the protector's strength.

Amical protection was frequently extended by the great powers to other Christian (generally European) states and to smaller states that have no significant importance. In the post-1815 period, non-Christian states (such as China's Qing dynasty) also provided amical protection towards other much weaker states.

Colonial protection

Conditions are generally much less generous for areas of colonial protection. The protectorate was often reduced to a de facto condition similar to a colony, but using the pre-existing native state as an agent of indirect rule. Occasionally, a protectorate was established by or exercised by the other form of indirect rule: a chartered company, which becomes a de facto state in its European home state (but geographically overseas), allowed to be an independent country which has its own foreign policy and generally its own armed forces.

In fact, protectorates were declared despite not being duly entered into by the traditional states supposedly being protected, or only by a party of dubious authority in those states. Colonial protectors frequently decided to reshuffle several protectorates into a new, artificial unit without consulting the protectorates, a logic disrespectful of the theoretical duty of a protector to help maintain its protectorates' status and integrity. The Berlin agreement of February 26, 1895 stipulated that the colonial powers could declare in Black Africa protectorates (the last region to be divided among them) that could be established by diplomatic notification, even without actual possession on the ground. A similar case is the formal use of such terms as colony and protectorate for an amalgamation, convenient only for the colonizer or protector, of adjacent territories over which it held (de facto) sway by protective or "raw" colonial logic.

Foreign relations

In practice, a protectorate often has direct foreign relations only with the protecting power, so other states must deal with it by approaching the protector. Similarly, the protectorate rarely takes military action on its own, but relies on the protector for its defence. This is distinct from annexation, in that the protector has no formal power to control the internal affairs of the protectorate.

Protectorates differ from League of Nations Mandates, and similar United Nations Trust Territories, which gave in practice similar authority to "responsible" Western powers or Japan in various areas of the non-European world over former colonial possessions (including protectorates) of the losers in World Wars I and II, since a protectorate formally enters into the protection itself, while the international mandates are imposed upon them by the world community-representing body.

Belgian



During the East African Campaign of World War I, the north-west part of German East Africa, Ruanda-Urundi, was invaded by Belgian and Congolese troops in 1916 and was still occupied by them at the end of the war in 1918. As part of the Treaty of Versailles the major part of German East Africa was handed over to British control but Ruanda-Urundi, twice the size of Belgium but only about 2% of the size of the Congo, was confirmed as a Belgian protectorate by a League of Nations Mandate in 1924, later renewed as a United Nations Trust Territory. The territory was granted independence in 1962 as the separate countries of Rwandamarker and Burundimarker, bringing the Belgian colonial empire to an end.

British and Commonwealth protectorates

A protectorate, in the British Empire, is a territory which is not formally annexed but in which, by treaty, grant or other lawful means, the Crown has power and jurisdiction.

A protectorate differs from a "protected state". A protected state is a territory under a ruler which enjoys Her Majesty's protection, over whose foreign affairs she exercises control, but in respect of whose internal affairs she does not exercise jurisdiction.

When the British took over Cephalleniamarker in 1809, they proclaimed, "We present ourselves to you, Inhabitants of Cephalonia, not as invaders, with views of conquest, but as allies who hold forth to you the advantages of British protection." When the British continued to occupy the Ionian Islandsmarker after the Napoleonic wars, they did not formally annex the islands, but described them as a protectorate. The islands were constituted by the Treaty of Paris in 1815 as the independent United States of the Ionian Islands under British protection.

Other British protectorates followed. In 1894, Prime Minister William Gladstone's government officially announced that Uganda was to become a British Protectorate, where Muslim and Christian strife had attracted international attention. The British administration installed carefully selected local kings under a program of indirect rule through the local oligarchy, creating a network of British-controlled civil service. Most British protectorates were overseen by a Commissioner or a High Commissioner, rather than a Governor.

British law makes a distinction between a protectorate and protected state. Constitutionally the two are of similar status where Britain provides controlled defence and external relations. However, a protectorate has an internal government established, while a protected state establishes a form of local internal self-government based on the already existing one.

Persons connected with former British protectorates, protected states, mandated or trust territories may still be British protected persons if they did not acquire the nationality of their country at independence.

The last British protectorate proper was the Solomon Islandsmarker, which gained independence in 1978; the last British protected state was Bruneimarker, which gained full independence in 1984.

Other cases include:

Americas



Arab World



South and South East Asia



Sub-Saharan Africa

Asterisks denote protectorates which were governed from a colony of the same name



Oceania



Dutch



German

The German Empiremarker used the word "Schutzgebiet", literally protectorate, for its true colonies as well until they were lost during World War I.Cases involving indirect rule included;

In the Pacific: In Africa:

Besides these colonial uses, within Europe the Nazi Third Reich established:

French protectorates

  • Saar (1947-1956), not colonial or amical, but a former part of Germany that would by referendum return to it, in fact a re-edition of a former League of Nations mandate. Most French protectorates were colonial:


Asia

  • Present India: Arkatmarker (Arcot/Carnatic) was 1692 - 1750 a French protectorate until 1763 independence recognized under British protectorate
  • French Indochina until 1953/54:


Arab World and Madagascar

  • Comorosmarker 21 April 1886 French protectorate (Anjouan *) till 25 Jul 1912 annexed
  • Present Djiboutimarker was originally, since 24 June 1884, the Territory of Obock and Protectorate of Tadjoura (Territoires Français d'Obock, Tadjoura, Dankils et Somalis), a French protectorate recognized by Britain on 9 February 1888, renamed on 20 May 1896 as French Somalilandmarker (Côte Française des Somalis).
  • Mauritaniamarker on 12 May 1903 French protectorate; within Mauritanian several traditional states:
    • Adrarmarker emirate since 9 January 1909 French protectorate (before Spanish)
    • The Taganit confederation's emirate (founded by Idaw `Ish dynasty), since 1905 under French protectorate.
    • Braknamarker confederation's emirate
    • Emirate of Trarza: 15 December 1902 placed under French protectorate status.
  • Moroccomarker - most of the sultanate was 30 March 1912 - 2 March 1956 French protectorate
  • Traditional Madagascarmarker States
    • Kingdom of Imerina under French protectorate, 6 August 1896. French Madagascar colony, 28 February 1897.
  • Tunisiamarker, 12 May 1881 becomes a French protectorate by treaty. ... 20 March 1956 French protectorate terminated.


Sub-Saharan Africa

The legal regime of "protection" was the formal legal structure under which French colonial forces expanded in Africa between the 1830s and 1900. Almost every pre-existing state in the area later covered by French West Africa was placed under protectorate status at some point, although direct rule gradually replaced protectorate agreements. Formal ruling structures, or fictive recreations of them, were largely retained as the lowest level authority figure in the French Cerclesmarker, with leaders appointed and removed by French officials.See the classic account on this in Robert Delavignette. Freedom and Authority in French West Africa. London: Oxford University Press, (1950). The more recent statndard studies on French expansion include:

Robert Aldrich. Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion. Palgrave MacMillan (1996) ISBN 0312160003.

Alice L. Conklin. A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa 1895-1930. Stanford: Stanford University Press (1998), ISBN 9780804729994.

Patrick Manning. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, 1880-1995. Cambridge University Press (1998) ISBN 0521642558.

Jean Suret-Canale. Afrique Noire: l'Ere Coloniale (Editions Sociales, Paris, 1971); Eng. translation, French Colonialism in Tropical Africa, 1900 1945. (New York, 1971).
  • Beninmarker traditional states
    • Independent of Danhome, under French protectorate, from 1889
    • Porto-Novo a French protectorate, 23 February 1863 - 2 January 1865. Cotonoumarker a French Protectorate, 19 May 1868. Porto-Novomarker French protectorate, 14 April 1882.
  • Central African Republicmarker traditional states:
    • French protectorate over Dar al-Kuti (1912 Sultanate suppressed by the French), 12 December 1897
    • French protectorate over the Sultanate of Bangassoumarker, 1894
  • Burkina Fasomarker was since 20 February 1895 a French protectorate named Upper Volta (Haute-Volta)
  • Chadmarker: Baghirmi state 20 September 1897 a French protectorate
  • Côte d'Ivoire: 10 January 1889 French protectorate of Ivory Coastmarker
  • Guineamarker: 5 August 1849 French protectorate over coastal region; (Riviéres du Sud).
  • Nigermarker, Sultanate of Damagaram (Zindermarker), 30 July 1899 under French protectorate over the native rulers, titled Sarkin Damagaram or Sultan)
  • Senegalmarker: 4 February 1850 First of several French protectorate treaties with local rulers


Oceania

  • French Polynesiamarker, mainly the Society Islandsmarker (several other were immediately annexed) All eventually got annexed by 1889.
  • Wallis and Futunamarker:
    • Wallis declared to be a French protectorate by King of Uvea and Captain Mallet, 4 November 1842. Officially in a treaty becomes a French protectorate, 5 April 1887 until 1917 when it got annexed.
    • Sigavemarker and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofimarker signed a treaty establishing a French protectorate on 16 February 1888 until annexed in 1917.


Italian

In Europe:
  • Monacomarker under amical Protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia 20 November 1815 to 1860.
  • Montenegromarker, 1941-1943


In the colonial empire:
  • Ethiopiamarker: 2 May 1889 Treaty of Wuchale, in the Italian language version, stated that Ethiopia was to become an Italian protectorate, while the Ethiopian Amharic language version merely stated that the Emperor could, if he so chose, go through Italy to conduct foreign affairs. When the differences in the versions came to light, Emperor Menelik II abrogated first the article in question (XVII), and later the whole treaty. The event culminated in the First Italo-Ethiopian War, in which Ethiopia was victorious and defended her sovereignty in 1896.
  • Libyamarker: on 15 October 1912 Italian protectorate declared over Cirenaica (Cyrenaica) until 17 May 1919.
  • Somaliamarker: 3 August 1889 Benadir Coast Italian Protectorate (in the north east; unoccupied until May 1893), until 16 March 1905 when it changed to the Italian Somalia (Italian Somaliland) colony.
    • Majerteen or Harti sultanate since 7 April 1889 under Italian protectorate (renewed 7 April 1895), then in 1927 incorporated into the Italian colony.
    • Sultanate of Hobyo (formerly the Hiraab Imamate until its conquest by a Majerteen warlord) since December 1888 under Italian protectorate (renewed 11 April 1895), then in October 1925 incorporated into the Italian colony (known as Obbia).


United States



Japanese



Chinese (Qing Dynasty)

Qing Dynastymarker provided several amical or colonial protections to:

Russian



Spanish

  • Spanish Morocco protectorate from 27 November 1912 until 7 April 1956.
  • Mauritania: Adrarmarker emirate since 1886 under Spanish protectorate till 9 January 1909, then a French protectorate.


Joint protectorates



United Nations



Contemporary usage by the United States

Some agencies of the United States government, such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency, still use the term protectorate to refer to insular areasmarker of the United Statesmarker such as Puerto Rico and the U.S.marker Virgin Islandsmarker. This was also the case with the Philippinesmarker and (it can be argued via the Platt Amendment) Cuba at the end of Spanish colonial rule. However, the agency responsible for the administration of those areas, the Office of Insular Affairs (OIA) within the United States Department of Interiormarker exclusively uses the term "insular area" rather than protectorate.

Notes

  1. The Statesman's Yearbook 1967-1968
  2. C. W. Newbury. Aspects of French Policy in the Pacific, 1853-1906. The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Feb., 1958), pp. 45-56
  3. The Abacus and the Sword: The Japanese Penetration of Korea, 1895-1910 by Peter Duus ISBN 0520213610


References



See also




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