Massive European Immigration To Africa?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by RandomWriterGuy, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    Could it be possible that in the 20th Century that waves of European immigrants could settle in various African colonies like Namibia, South Africa, Algeria, Rhodesia, and Kenya? What would have to require for this to happen? Could large white majorities be formed in the colonies? And what would happen to the indigenous Africans? What else could we see happen?
     
  2. Ricardolindo Well-Known Member

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    Before someone here says that African diseases make this impossible, that's not correct. By the 20th century, those diseases were no longer a problem, there were vaccines against them. The big problem is, actually, the lack of incentive for Europeans to settle there. They would be moving to underdeveloped areas with very different climates. In addition, many of those areas already had large populations.
    The only area of continental Africa that I could see becoming European majority would be Namibia, if it had remained German, given its low and sparse population.
     
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  3. Lusitania Well-Known Member

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    I actually have a TL where we do have substantial emigration from Europe to Portuguese Africa starting in the 1930s. The driving force in development of these colonies with mining, industry followed by commerce.

    therefore if a country wanted to develop a colony which would attract people to iit. Can be done.
     
  4. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    The colonial governments can promote better jobs and pay as well as free land in the colonies. That’s how the US attracted so many settlers.

    Thanks for the input.
     
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  5. Reagent Cartography's Reactionary

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    This is pre-1900, but if you keep Angola's southern border at Cape Fria (doable with an 1886 POD) then Namibia would lose roughly 2/3rds of its native population (and importantly almost no whites lived in the portion of Namibia north of Cape Fria IOTL). That makes a European majority even more tenable.

    I made a scenario of a majority Portuguese Namibia using that border adjustment, but there's no reason it couldn't be a German, British, or even Afrikaner Namibia:
    [​IMG]
    POD: Adolf Lüderitz contracts Malaria and dies in 1881 while operating a factory in British Nigeria. As consequence, Imperial Germany does not press a claim to Namibia during the 1880s.

    Opinion: Don’t be too hard on Senator Wilson – Veracruz is a truly forgettable country.

    By Richard Miller - Foreign Policy Analyst

    Wednesday, March 13, 1991

    This past week, much has been made of Senator Matt Wilson’s (D-MO) gaffe during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee meeting. Senator Wilson, while making a speech in favor of increasing sanctions on Veracruz, talked of the dangers of having a “White Supremacist nation filled to the brim with South African Nuclear Weapons on the other side of the Gulf of Mexico” and went on to speculate that the nation was assisting clandestine drug trafficking efforts into the United States. Senator Wilson was apparently under the impression that Veracruz was located in Latin America – when in fact the nation is located on the other side of the Atlantic in Southern Africa. Republicans – hoping to unseat Senator Wilson in 1992 – have suggested that this gaffe shows the aging incumbent is no longer fit to serve, while columnists and satirists have made all sorts of jokes at Wilson’s expense.

    The gaffe was certainly embarrassing for Wilson, but the amount of grief he has received is way out of proportion to what he deserves. The truth of the matter is - unless you are a career diplomat or foreign policy analyst – you probably have never heard of Veracruz before this past Monday. It is truly a forgettable country.

    Modern-day Veracruz was discovered by Diogo Cão in 1486 as part of Portuguese efforts to circumnavigate Africa. The Portuguese paid little notice to their new discovery. The Portuguese quickly figured out that they could reach the Cape of Good Hope by tacking West into the Atlantic (making use of trade winds and currents) in much less time than it would take to sail down along the coast of Africa (where the Portuguese would have to sail against the Benguela Current). As consequence, the territory was almost entirely untouched by Europeans for the following four centuries. While the discovery of guano in the Penguin Islands prompted their annexation by the British Cape Colony and growth of the whaling industry in the South Atlantic led to an establishment of a settlement at Walvis Bay – the remainder of the territory was largely ignored by Europeans apart from missionaries. Indeed, in the 1870s, the British rebuffed numerous entreaties by the natives of the territory to be placed under British protection. Southwestern Africa was viewed as mostly worthless territory – more expensive than it was worth to occupy. However, all that would change in 1891.

    In what has to be one of the greatest diplomatic betrayals of the 19th century – the British thwarted Portuguese ambitions to link their Angola and Mozambique (the “pink map” project) by occupying vast swathes of Central Africa at the behest of mining magnate Cecil Rhodes, which were then placed under British rule. Portugal did not expect her ally of over 500 years to betray her in this matter by flagrantly ignoring her longstanding colonial claims – and subsequent Portuguese failure to secure even a reduced pink map corridor led to the collapse of Prime Minister António de Serpa Pimentel’s government and general demoralization of the country (in addition to a wave of anti-Anglo sentiment). The new Prime Minister, João Crisóstomo de Abreu e Sousa, looking to secure his political position sought a cause to rally his countrymen and raise their demoralized spirits. To counter prevalent images of Portuguese weakness, Abreu e Sousa’s government invoked the discoveries of Diogo Cão and Bartolomeu Dias, and advanced a claim on the hitherto unclaimed South-West Africa. While some in the British Cape Colony protested the move – London was content to allow Portugal this consolation prize. Portugal was thus afforded a free hand to colonize the territory.

    Portuguese South-West Africa was a prestige colony more than anything else. The colony ran horrible deficits (which the Portuguese government struggled to pay – a factor some say led to the overthrow of the Portuguese Monarchy in 1912) until the discovery of Diamonds in 1914 and was administered as little more than an appendage of Portugal’s much more valuable Angola colony. Indeed, until 1950, Portuguese South-West Africa “shared” a governor with Angola (which is to practically say that Angola’s governor had an extra responsibility). Little occurred in the territory besides ranching, farming, and some mining. Despite the territory’s large size and available farmland, Portuguese colonists overwhelmingly preferred to move to Angola or Mozambique. By 1970, no more than 300,000 people – colonist and indigenous – lived in Portuguese South-West Africa (even if Whites made up an appreciable share at around 30-35%). The territory was generally an afterthought to Portugal’s technocratic dictatorship.

    In 1976, a coup d’état in Lisbon brought down Portugal’s dictatorship, and the new government in Lisbon immediately began negotiating with the various rebel groups in their colonies to negotiate a transition to Independence. Despite the fact that the MPLSA (the main rebel group in South-West Africa) had never accomplished much besides a few small raids into South-West Africa – they were given a seat at the table and were largely expected to assume control of the territory within a year or two.

    The South Africans had different plans. Fearful of being surrounded by nations sympathetic to Black Nationalism – and to preempt a possible refugee crisis on the part of the large Portuguese settler community in Africa – South African Intelligence worked with prominent members of the settler community in South-West Africa to orchestrate a Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Portugal well before the transfer of power to the MPLSA could occur. On September 14, 1976, a settler paramilitary group seized the radio station in Vinduque and proclaimed the establishment of the “Republic of Veracruz” (named after Padrão set up by Diogo Cão and Bartolomeu Dias). Thereafter, elite South African troops quickly poured across the Southern and Walvis Bay borders and South African paratroopers landed at Vinduque’s airport to secure the new settler regime. As the Portuguese army in South-west Africa was almost entirely comprised of local settlers, it gave way to the UDI without any real resistance.

    The new Republic found (and continues to find) itself diplomatically isolated. Only South Africa recognized the validity of the Veracruz UDI. The Eastern Bloc and Third World has contended that the MPLSA was the legitimate representative of the people of South-West Africa and afforded diplomatic recognition to the MPLSA government-in-exile in Luanda. While the United States and many Western nations were hesitant to recognize the MPLSA government-in-exile due to the organization’s Communist ties – recognizing Veracruz was equally unacceptable, so a weird legal situation has persisted where America and her allies continue to recognize Portugal as the de jure authority in South-West Africa (despite the latter’s intent to decolonize the territory).

    As Angola and Mozambique descended into civil war after attaining Independence, many Portuguese settlers relocated from those territories to Veracruz – which had always had a reputation for being safe, even during the height of the colonial war. While these relocations gave the territory a slight White Majority - they also put tremendous strain on the economy of the country (which was further hurt by the newfound diplomatic isolation). Even though this economic disruption has been mitigated somewhat in subsequent years – Veracruz is still quite dependent on support from South Africa and is informally derided as “South Africa’s Fifth Province.” For this reason, Anti-Apartheid activists have largely ignored Veracruz (focusing their efforts against Pretoria), and most foreign policy analysts believe that toppling South Africa’s Apartheid regime will automatically force the Veracruz regime to the table. Accordingly, direct engagement with Veracruz has remained a peripheral concern of the United States, and for good reason. We have much bigger fish to fry in that region.

    Senator Wilson may have embarrassed himself this past Monday, but so too have the armchair-diplomats who have advanced the absurd notion that expertise on the situation Veracruz is requisite to be a United States Senator.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  6. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    Have a few immunizations develop a bit earlier and parts of Africa could emerge as competitors to Canada and Argentina in the post-1900 pre-WWI migration boom.
     
  7. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    What vaccine for Sleeping Sickness?
     
  8. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    Its doable with a longer colonial Africa. I have some of this helped by a stalled Second World War in my TL.
     
  9. RandomWriterGuy Bernie Sanders Hindsight 2020

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    Or if both World Wars forced greater migration levels.
     
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  10. I want to learn Well-Known Member

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    What if Italy remains neutral in WW2 and more Italians emigrate to Libya? Crossing the Atlantic to the Americas would be too hazardous in war time but if Italy is neutral the Mediterranean is safe enough and it’s traveling within Italian territory.
     
  11. Enigmajones Ours Is The Fury

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    But even then Libya isn't the only option right? There was a pretty large Italian colonist community in Eritrea, although mostly in Asmara OTL, that could be increased. Then there would be Somalia and Ethiopia, which really had no Italian settlement that I know of. In Italian Somalia there were a few administrators and such in the colony, but if the Italians go full Portugal, Mogadishu (in this timeline Mogadiscio) could become a large Italian settlement. Also, I don't think Ethiopia is very practical for white colonization, given its rugged terrain and established hierarchy. But that may just be me.
     
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  12. Hagre Well-Known Member

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    The Highlands aren't for certain. The southwestern and southern provinces are quite fertile so depending on the state of the insurgency there, you could see some Italian settlement there.
     
  13. Carl Schwamberger Kicked

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    Vacines were not the single enabler. There was none for Malaria in 1900, but the US managed to turn Panama into a defacto colony through understanding and dealing with the Malaria carrier. Ditto for Yellow Jack Fever. Then there was chemical prophlaxis using Atraibine & Quinine.
     
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  14. marathag Well-Known Member with a target on his back

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    USA spent over $300M for the Lock and excavations and almost as much for infrastructure improvements to make 550 Square Miles of the Canal Zone as inhabitable as Florida.

    There was real incentive to spend that much in making a new country and then build a Canal thru it. Nothing in Africa could match that during the peak era of migrations from Europe

    And Columbia wasn't as bad as Coastal Africa. Sleeping Sickness today still is far harder to treat than Malaria, and there isn't relief in looking at simple compounds from bark to treat Sleeping Sickness
     
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  15. Tamara Well-Known Member

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    Maybe WWII could end a lot worse, causing many Europeans to flee the continent.
     
  16. metalinvader665 Well-Known Member

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    Italian Somaliland was about 5% Italian (half of those in Mogadiscio) but it did give a framework for how things could work. There's a lot of irrigation and other agricultural improvements to be built in Somalia which would make for various settler colonies of Italians. But considering Italian interests in Libya, Eritrea, and Ethiopia, plus OTL Italian settlement in Tunisia, that's a lot of land which is competing for the same pool of settlers.
     
  17. Chungus Maximus Banned

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    Why would anyone move from Italy to someplace as unstable and disorderly as Somalia?
     
  18. Carl Schwamberger Kicked

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    Large financial incentives . But, yes Cleveland or Omaha sound's better.
     
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  19. Pauh the federalist Well-Known Member

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    Germany wins WW2 and turns increasingly repressive to the French, over time the French refugee population allow for French majority populations to keep large portions of west Africa allowing free France to stabilize of it's holdings in Africa long term.
     
  20. SealTheRealDeal Well-Known Member

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    Somalia was ok-ish prior to the Ogaden War.
     
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