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German colonies in Africa
The First World War began in 1914. At that time except for Liberia and Ethiopia, the entire African continent was ruled by European powers. European colonies in Africa, i.e. almost the entire continent, got involuntarily involved in the war. Soon after the onset of the war England and France began to attack the German colonies in Africa. After the defeat of Germany in the war, allied nations began to compete with each other for occupying German colonies in Africa.
The American President, Woodrow Wilson, considering the situation, suggested that the victorious European nations should act as trustees of the erstwhile German colonies and administer them only as protectorates. It was necessary to give the colonies internal autonomy. Hence, the ‘League of Nations’ decided with the mutual understanding that England, France and Belgium should divide the colonies among themselves in 1919. A Committee of 11 members was appointed by the ‘League’ to supervise the administration of the colonies.