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Chapter 2 shows how transnational cooperation in Europe led to the ICI’s invention of transcolonial and emulative development in the 1890s. The ICI’s transcolonial development differed from the state-led investment programs of the 1930s but resembled the functional governance famous among the UN development agencies in the 1960s. For utilitarian, racist, and ethical reasons, tropical hygienists, free-trade capitalists, Social Christians, and colonial lawyers in the ICI assumed that only the intrinsic motivation of Africans and Asians themselves could make colonial development a success. In the 1890s, the ICI’s showcase project was the Matadí-Léopoldville railway line in the Congo Free State, which successfully combined international investment and emulative development. The ICI facilitated the transcolonial recruitment of 10,000 indigenous workers for the construction by establishing rules for their employment. Although many workers died on the construction site, ICI members propagated a “soft” development that allegedly combined economic with ethical standards. Christian ICI members promoted this “ethical” development policy. Rarely, however, the ICI’s “soft” development could live up to the expectations it raised. Instead, ICI members designed colonial law and manipulated customary law to use both as a legal basis for exploitation under the guise of “soft development.”
Chapter 6 takes a close look at the watershed moment of World War II to show how Africans’ demands for better working conditions, greater political participation, and more social services pressured European nations to reform the development episteme. Economic hardship during the war intensified African vulnerability to poverty, malnutrition, and disease. Britain passed the new Colonial Development and Welfare Act (CDWA) in 1940, and France followed suit with the establishment of the Fonds d’Investissement pour le Développement Economique et Social (the Investment Fund for Economic and Social Development) (FIDES) in 1946. Unlike pre–World War II colonial development policies that demanded self-sufficiency, these initiatives provided significant metropolitan funding for economic and social programs in Africa without the stipulation that they result in a direct return on investment. European colonial development in Africa was no longer simply investment in colonial industries; now it claimed to promote the welfare of African people. Imperial powers envisioned postwar development as a solution to growing dissent in Africa and budding anticolonial movements across the globe at the end of the war. The new colonial development policies signaled a desperate attempt to keep colonialism alive at a time when it seemed perilously out of date.
The farmer-soldier (tondenhei) system was the centrepiece of the Meiji period program to develop and populate Hokkaido. It sought to establish communities of farmer-soldiers in order to accomplish a number of pressing objectives, including the fortification of the vulnerable north, the provision of opportunities for destitute members of the former samurai class, and the establishment of settled agricultural villages in Hokkaido. Established in 1874, it facilitated the relocation of over 7,000 households to Hokkaido before its abolition in 1904. In most historical accounts of Hokkaido’s Meiji period development/colonization, the tondenhei system is given pride of place. The farmer-soldiers are commonly cast as heroic pioneers who engaged in a courageous, and ultimately successful, battle to tame the harsh northern wilderness and protect it from the designs of looming foreign encroachment. In this chapter, I evaluate the contribution of the tondenhei to development and defense. Tracing the fortunes of a large number of farmer-soldiers and their communities across I recover some of the silence on the individual experiences of farmer-soldiers and reveal a mixed record in Hokkaido’s development/colonization. If anything the tondenhei system’s main contribution was to provide a mechanism for reconciling some of the former enemies of the Meiji government.
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