The Modern Monarchies in Global Perspectives Research Hub will be hosting a series of online seminars. Join us as experts tackle key issues in the research of modern monarchies.
Professor Matt Fitzpatrick | Flinders University
‘Kaiser Wilhelm II: King of Samoa?’
Abstract: Before Samoa became a German colony the contest for Samoa’s kingship had been distorted by German, Britain and American imperial rivalry in the Pacific. This tendency continued after Samoa’s annexation, when Kaiser Wilhelm II was proclaimed King of Samoa. With the Kaiser the colony’s titular paramount leader, the Samoan heir apparent, Tupua Tamasese Lealofi travelled to Germany in 1910 to meet Wilhelm II as part of Samoa’s colonial diplomacy. Despite his aim of forging a personal connection to the German Emperor, further changes to the Samoan paramountcy were overseen by the colonial governor and rubber stamped by Germany’s constitutional monarch, meaning Tamasese and other Samoan nobles were increasingly sidelined from decision making. As this paper argues, German imperialism facilitated the erosion of monarchy in both Germany and Samoa.
Bio: Matthew Fitzpatrick is Professor of International History and Future Fellow at Flinders University in Adelaide. He is the author of several books, most recently The Kaiser and the Colonies: Monarchy in the Age of Empire (OUP 2022). He also recently edited a special issue of the journal History Australia on the theme of monarchy and sovereignty in the Global South. He is a past winner of the Chester Penn Higby Prize of The Journal of Modern History and has twice been a Humboldt Fellow at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster.
Image credit: TupuaTamaseseLealofiin Berlin with Samoan Governor Wilhelm Solfin 1910. Image used with permission. To receive the zoom link for the seminar register here:
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