A protectorate in its inception adopted by modern international law, is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity. In exchange for this, the protectorate usually accepts specified obligations, which may vary greatly, depending on the real nature of their relationship. However, it retains formal sovereignty, and remains a state under international law. A territory subject to this type of arrangement is also known as a protected state.
In amical protection, the terms are often very favorable for the protectorate. The political interest of the protector is frequently moral (a matter of accepted moral obligation, prestige, ideology, internal popularity, dynastic, historical or ethno-cultural ties, etc.) or countering a rival or enemy power (e.g., preventing the rival from obtaining or maintaining control of areas of strategic importance). This may involve a very weak protectorate surrendering control of its external relations; this, however, may not constitute any real sacrifice, as the protectorate may not have been able to have similar use of them without the protector's strength.
Amical protection was frequently extended by the great powers to other Christian (generally European) states and to smaller states that had no significant importance[ambiguous]. In the post-1815 period, non-Christian states (such as China's Qing dynasty) also provided amical protection towards other much weaker states.
Colonial protection of the International Law
Conditions are generally much less generous for areas of colonial protection. The protectorate was often reduced to a de facto condition similar to a colony, but using the pre-existing native state as an agent of indirect rule. Occasionally, a protectorate was established by or exercised by the other form of indirect rule: a chartered company, which becomes a de facto state in its European home state (but geographically overseas), allowed to be an independent country which has its own foreign policy and generally its own armed forces.
In fact, protectorates were declared despite not being duly entered into by the traditional states supposedly being protected, or only by a party of dubious authority in those states. Colonial protectors frequently decided to reshuffle several protectorates into a new, artificial unit without consulting the protectorates, a logic disrespectful of the theoretical duty of a protector to help maintain its protectorates' status and integrity. The Berlin agreement of February 26, 1885 allowed the colonial powers to establish protectorates in Black Africa (the last region to be divided among them) by diplomatic 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 or protector, of adjacent 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 their successors, United Nations Trust Territories, whose administration is supervised, in varying degrees, by the international community. A protectorate formally enters into the protection through a bilateral agreement with the protector, while international mandates are stewarded by the world community-representing body, with or without a de facto administering power.
A protectorate, in the British Empire, is a territory which is not formally annexed but in which, by treaty, grant or other lawful means, the Crown has power and jurisdiction.
A protectorate differs from a "protected state". A protected state is a territory under a ruler which enjoys Her Britannic Majesty's protection, over whose foreign affairs she exercises control, but in respect of whose internal affairs she does not exercise jurisdiction.
When the British took over Cephalonia in 1809, they proclaimed, "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. Similarly, Malta was a British protectorate between the capitulation of the French in 1800 and the Treaty of Paris of 1814.
Other British protectorates followed. In 1894, Prime Minister William Ewart 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 makes a distinction between a protectorate and protected state. Constitutionally the two are of similar status where Britain provides controlled defence and external relations. However, a protectorate has an internal government established, while a protected state establishes a form of local internal self-government based on the already existing one.
Persons connected with former British protectorates, protected states, mandated or trust territories may remain British Protected Persons if they did not acquire the nationality of the country at independence.
The last British protectorate proper was the Solomon Islands, which gained independence in 1978; the last British protected state was Brunei, which gained full independence in 1984.
Saar (1947–1956), 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 colonial:
Present India: Arkat (Arcot/Carnatic) was 1692–1750 a French protectorate until 1763 independence recognized under British protectorate
Comoros 21 April 1886 French protectorate (Anjouan) till 25 July 1912 when annexed.
Present Djibouti was originally, since 24 June 1884, the Territory of Obock and Protectorate of Tadjoura (Territoires Français 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:
Adrar emirate since 9 January 1909 French protectorate (before Spanish)
The Taganit confederation's emirate (founded by Idaw `Ish dynasty), since 1905 under French protectorate.
Kingdom of Imerina under French protectorate, 6 August 1896. French Madagascar colony, 28 February 1897.
Tunisia, 12 May 1881 becomes a French protectorate by treaty to 20 March 1956 when terminated.
The legal regime of "protection" was the formal legal structure under which French colonial forces expanded in Africa between the 1830s and 1900. Almost every pre-existing state in the area later covered by French West Africa was placed under protectorate status at some point, although direct rule gradually replaced protectorate agreements. Formal ruling structures, or fictive recreations of them, were largely retained as the lowest level authority figure in the French Cercles, with leaders appointed and removed by French officials.
Wallis declared to be a French protectorate by King of Uvea and Captain Mallet, 4 November 1842. Officially in a treaty becomes a French protectorate, 5 April 1887 until 1917 when it got annexed.
Sigave and Alo on the islands of Futuna and Alofi signed a treaty establishing a French protectorate on 16 February 1888 until annexed in 1917.
The German Empire used the word "Schutzgebiet", literally protectorate, for all of its colonies until they were lost during World War I, regardless of the actual level of government control. Cases involving indirect rule included;
Monaco under amical Protectorate of the Kingdom of Sardinia 20 November 1815 to 1860.
In the colonial empire:
Ethiopia: 2 May 1889 Treaty of Wuchale, in the Italian language version, stated that Ethiopia was to become an Italian protectorate, while the Ethiopian Amharic language version merely stated that the Emperor could, if he so chose, go through Italy to conduct foreign affairs. When the differences in the versions came to light, EmperorMenelik II abrogated first the article in question (XVII), and later the whole treaty. The event culminated in the First Italo-Ethiopian War, in which Ethiopia was victorious and defended her sovereignty in 1896.
Libya: on 15 October 1912 Italian protectorate declared over Cirenaica (Cyrenaica) until 17 May 1919.
The Adriatic Republic of Ragusa (presently Dubrovnik 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
Bosnia and Herzegovina were a joint Austrian and Hungarian protectorate since 1878 which formally still belonged to the Ottoman Empire until 1908 when it was annexed by Austria-Hungary (see Bosnian crisis).
See the classic account on this in Robert Delavignette. Freedom and Authority in French West Africa. London: Oxford University Press, (1950). The more recent statndard studies on French expansion include:
Robert Aldrich. Greater France: A History of French Overseas Expansion. Palgrave MacMillan (1996) ISBN 0-312-16000-3.
Alice L. Conklin. A Mission to Civilize: The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa 1895-1930. Stanford: Stanford University Press (1998), ISBN 978-0-8047-2999-4.
Patrick Manning. Francophone Sub-Saharan Africa, 1880-1995. Cambridge University Press (1998) ISBN 0-521-64255-8.
Jean Suret-Canale. Afrique Noire: l'Ere Coloniale (Editions Sociales, Paris, 1971); Eng. translation, French Colonialism in Tropical Africa, 1900 1945. (New York, 1971).
C. W. Newbury. Aspects of French Policy in the Pacific, 1853-1906. The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Feb., 1958), pp. 45-56
"Index of Colonies and Possessions". World Statesmen.org. Retrieved 2008-08-06.
Larousse, Pierre; Paul Augé, Claude Augé (1925). Nouveau Petit Larousse Illustré: Dictionnaire Encyclopédique. Larousse.Cite uses deprecated parameters (help)