In the past two decades, colonial studies, the postcolonial turn, the new imperial history, as well as world and global history have made serious strides toward revising key elements of German history. Instead of insisting that German modernity was a fundamentally unique, insular affair that incubated authoritarian social tendencies, scholars working in these fields have done much to reinsert Germany into the broader logic of nineteenth-century global history, in which the thalassocratic empires of Europe pursued the project of globalizing their economies, populations, and politics. During this period, settler colonies, including German South West Africa, were established and consolidated by European states at the expense of displaced, helotized, or murdered indigenous populations. Complementing these settler colonies were mercantile entrepôts and plantation colonies, which sprouted up as part of a systematic, global attempt to reorient non-European economies, work patterns, and epistemological frameworks along European lines. Although more modestly than some of its European collaborators and competitors, Germany joined Britain, France, the Netherlands, and the United States in a largely liberal project of global maritime imperialism.
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