Learn more about Protectorate
In international law a protectorate is a political entity (a sovereign state or less developed native polity, such as a tribal chiefstainship or feudal princely state) that formally agrees (voluntarily or under pressure) by treaty to enter into an unequal relationship with another, stronger state, called the protector, which engages to protect it (diplomatically or, if needed, militarily) against third parties, in exchange for which the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship.
In the case of so-called amical protection, mainly extended by the great powers to fellow Christian (generally European) states and tiny ones without significant intrinsic importance, the terms may often be 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.), and/or countering a rival or enemy power, e.g. preventing the Ottoman empire from maintaining or obtaining control of areas of strategic importance. Even if this involves the very weak protectorate surrendering control of its external relations, this may constitute no real sacrifice, since they would not have been able to get similar use out of them without the muscle which only the protector can field for its interest.
Often the conditions are far less generous in areas of colonial protection. Here the western powers were generally after real control, so eager to obtain terms that reduced the protectorate to a de facto condition rather similar to a colony, but using the pre-existing native state as an ideal agent of indirect rule; sometimes a protectorate was even established by and/or exercised by the other form of indirect rule: a chartered company, which truly becomes a de facto state 'in' (but geographically overseas) its European home state, allowed to conduct its own foreign policy and generally disposing of its own armed forces.
In fact, 'protectorates' were even declared which were not even duly entered into by pre-existent traditional states, or only by a party in its internal politics of dubious authority, while colonial 'protectors' frequently decided on their own to 'reshuffle' several protectorates into a new, artificial unit, a logic not quite respectful of the theoretical duty of a protector to help maintain the protectorate's status and integrity. The Berlin agreemeent of February 26, 1895 actually stipulated that the colonial powers could declare a procectorate in Black Africa (the last continent to be further carved up between them) a protectorate could be established by diplomatcal 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/protector, of geographically proximious territories over which it held (de facto) sway by protective or 'raw' colonial logic.
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'.
 British & Commonwealth protectorates
Protection is a long-established term in English law for the duty of a sovereign to keep the subject safe from harm, including harm done by the sovereign; the subject has a corresponding duty of allegiance and obedience. Thus, in 1775, George III declared the thirteen colonies "out of his protection" for their disobedience — almost equivalent to a declaration of war.
When the British took over Cephallenia in 1809, they proclaimed that "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 Islands 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 made a distinction between a protectorate and protected state. Constitutionally the two were of similar status:
- Britain controlled defence and external relations in both cases
- however in protectorates Britain established an internal government, while in protected states a form of local internal self-government was already in existence.
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. See British nationality lawOther cases include:
 Middle East
- Aden Protectorates in Yemen (1873-1967)
- Egypt (1882-1922)
- British Residency of the Persian Gulf (1822-1971)
 South and South East Asia
- Bhutan (1910-1947)
- British North Borneo (1888-1946)
- Brunei (1888-1984)
- Federation of Malaya (1948-1957)
- Maldives (1887-1965)
- Sarawak (1888-1946)
 Subsaharan Africa
- Basutoland (1868-1871, 1884-1966)
- British Central Africa (1893-1907)
- British East Africa Protectorate (1895-1920)
- British Somaliland (1887-1960)
- Bechuanaland Protectorate (1884-1966)
- Gambia Protectorate (1894-1965)
- Gold Coast Protectorate (1902-1957)
- Kenya Protectorate (1920-1963)
- Northern Rhodesia (1924-1964)
- Nyasaland Protectorate (1907-1964)
- in present Nigeria: Bight of Biafra, Bight of Benin and after their merger Bight of Biafra and Benin Niger Coast Protectorate; Northern Nigeria Protectorate and Southern Nigeria Protectorate (established 16 Jul 1884 over Brass, Bonny, Opobo, Aobh and Old Calabar (excluding Lagos), confirmed 5 Jun 1885), as Oil Rivers Protectorate)
- Sierra Leone as a whole was no protectorate but a crown colony (1896-1961); however within a few monarchies were not eliminated:
- Swaziland (1902-1968)
- Uganda Protectorate (1894-1962)
- Walvis Bay protectorate (1878-1884)
- Zanzibar (1890-1963)
- British Solomon Islands (1893-1978)
- Cook Islands (1888-1901)
- Gilbert and Ellice Islands (1892-1916)
- Niue (1900-1901)
- Tokelau (1877-1916)
- Tonga (1900-1970)
 Other protectorates
- various sultanates in the Dutch East Indies (present Indonesia)
- the German Empire (Second Reich) used the word Schutzgebiet, literally 'protectorate', for its true colonies as well.
Cases involving indirect rule include: In the Pacific:
- sultanate of Witu, in Kenya
- German South-West Africa (later Namibia)
- Rwanda, a Resident with the native Mwami (king)
- Urundi, a Resident with the native Mwami (king; 1908 Sultan)
Besides these colonial uses, within Europe the Nazi Third Reich established:
- Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia from 1939 to 1945 (a nazi puppet regime in Czechia)
- Slovakia from 1939 to 1945, the German representative being officially a diplomat styled Envoy and Minister Plenipotentiary.
- Saar, 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 rather colonial:
- In present India: Arkat (Arcot/Carnatic) was 1692 - 1750 a French protectorate until 1763 independence recognized under British protectorate
- In Indochina:
In North African and Indian Ocean Muslim cultures:
- Comoros 21 April 1886 French protectorate (Anjouan *) till 25 Jul 1912 annexed
- present Djibouti was originally, since 24 June 1884, the Territory of Obock and Protectorate of Tadjoura (Territoires Française d'Obock, Tadjoura, Dankils et Somalis), a French protectorate recognized by Britain on 9 February 1888, renamed on 20 May 1896 as French Somaliland (Côte Française des Somalis).
- Mauritania on 12 May 1903 French protectorate; within Mauritanian several traditional states:
- Morocco - most of the sultanate was 30 March 1912 - 2 March 1956 French protectorate *
- over Madagascar Traditional States
- Tunisia 12 May 1881 becomes a French protectorate by treaty. ... 20 March 1956 French protectorate terminated.
In Sub-saharan Africa:
- in Benin traditional states
- in Central African Republic traditional states:
- present Burkina Faso was since 20 February 1895 a French protectorate named Haute-Volta ('Upper Volta')
- in Chad: Baghirmi state 20 September 1897 a French protectorate
- Côte d'Ivoire: 10 January 1889 French protectorate of Ivory Coast
- Guinea: 5 August 1849 French protectorate over coastal region; (Riviéres du Sud).
- in Niger, Damagaram sultanate (later capital Zinder) since 30 July 1899 under French protectorate over the native rulers, titled Sarkin Damagaram or Sultan)
- in Senegal: 4 February 1850 First of several French protectorate treaties with local rulers
- in French Polynesia, mainly the Society Islands (several other were immediately annexed)
- on Wallis and Futuna:
Twice in Europe:
- Monaco 20 November 1815 under amical Protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia*
- 3 June 1917 Albanian independence from the Ottoman empire under an Italian protectorate declared by Italy (this is opposed by most Albanians).
In the colonial empire:
- Ethiopia: the orthodox empire was 2 May 1889 - 26 October 1896 by the Treaty of Uccialli declared a protectorate by Italy (Abyssinian Italian Protectorate); contested by Ethiopia
- in Libya: on 15 October 1912 Italian protectorate declared Cirenaica (Cyrenaica).
- in Somalia: 3 August 1889 Benadir Coast Italian Protectorate (in the north east; unoccupied until May 1893), until 16 March 1905 Italian Somalia (Italian Somaliland) colony.
- Majerteen or Harti sultanate since 7 April 1889 under Italian protectorate (renewed 7 Apr 1895), 1927 incorporated into Italian colony.
- Hobyo sultanate (split off from Majerteen sultanate) since Dec 1888 under Italian protectorate (renewed 11 Apr 1895), Oct 1925 incorporated into Italian colony (known as Obbia).
- in Morocco 27 November 1912 - 7 April 1956 the so-called Spanish Zone (most of the sultanate was under French protectorate) jalifado *
- in Mauritania: Adrar emirate since 1886 under Spanish protectorate till 9 January 1909, then French protectorate
 Joint protectorates
- compare condominium
- the Adriatic republic of Ragusa (presently Dubrovnic in Croatian Dalmatia) was a joint Habsburg Austrian - Ottoman Turkish protectorate 20 August 1684 - 24 August 1798 - so exceptionally both a Catholic and a Muslim protector
- The United States of the Ionian Islands were a federal Septinsular Republic of seven formerly Venetian (see Provveditore) Ionian islands (Corfu, Cephalonia, Zante, Santa Maura, Ithaca, Cerigo and Paxos), officially under joint protectorate of the Allied Christian Powers, de facto a UK amical protectorate from 1815 to 1864.
 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 areas of the United States such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as were the Philippines 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 Interior exclusively uses the term insular area rather than protectorate.
 See also
- Chinese Protectorate
- tributary (political)
- Protector (titles for Heads of State and other individual persons)
- British protected person
 Sources and references
- WorldStatesmen- see each modern state, here grouped by colonial/protecting power
- Nouveau Larousse Illustré, undated, early 20th century, in French
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