National Geographic : 1906 May
VOL. XVII, No. 5 WASHINGTONQ MAY, 1906 THE L. AT , , THE NEW BRITISH EMPIRE OF THE SUDAN* By HERBERT L. BRIDGMAN Copyright, 9o6, by the National Geographic Society GREAT BRITAIN today domi nates the whole of Africa and has its future within her con trol as surely and as firmly as that of India. Germany in the northwest and southeast; France, Belgium, and Portu gal around the margin of the Atlantic and the Indian oceans, may have their "holdings" and their territorial jurisdic tion; but the spinal column, the Cape-to Cairo trunk line through the continent from north to south, is wholly and irrev ocably English, and whenever it be comes necessary to make this fact em phatic and forcible, then the mastery of the situation, the advantage of the posi tion, will be demonstrated. In the mean time Great Britain, applying the same principles which have made her the great colonial power of the world, goes on de veloping the industrial and commercial resources of the countries which have fal len under her influence, establishing law and order, schools, even higher institu tions of learning, and pouring in upon the places which have for centuries been shrouded in darkness the light of modern civilization. The fact is that modern methods have accelerated civilization at large almost as rapidly as in detail; with steam and electricity in the service, the spread of the institutions of the civilized world is immeasurably more rapid than a century ago, and what then would have taken a generation to accomplish is now effected in a few years. Since the recapture of Khartum and the conquest of Egyptian Sudan barely seven years have passed, but peace, plenty, and prosperity reign everywhere. Happiness and content are written on every countenance; life is as safe as in England or in New York, and the future, material and moral, seems normal, wholesome, and auspicious. "Sudan needs only population and capital," said a prosperous Greek merchant with whom I became well acquainted at Khartum, "and both are coming to it in ample measure." On one plantation near Ber ber, the other day one hundred and twenty children, the eldest less than six years of age, all children of the men and women employed on the place, were pho tographed, and the streets and bazaars of Omdurman, the commercial capital, as well as those of every working station along the White Nile, give cumulative proof of the dawn of the new era of good times. * An address to the National Geographic Society, February 16, 1906. This is the second of a series of articles on Africa arranged for the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE during 1906. The first in the series, "Morocco," by Mr Ion Perdicaris, appeared in the March number.