The mandated territories were divided into three classes, according to their economic and political development and their location, and were then assigned to individual powers. Class A consisted of Iraq (British), Syria and Lebanon (French), and Palestine (British). The provisional independence of these former Turkish provinces was recognized, subject to administrative control until they could stand alone. By 1949 all former Class A mandates had reached full independence. Class B was composed of the former German African colonies, South West Africa excepted—Tanganyika and parts of Togoland and the Cameroons (British), Ruanda-Urundi (Belgian), and the greater part of Togoland and the Cameroons (French). The establishment of military or naval bases in these regions by the mandatories was forbidden; commercial equality with other nations and native rights were guaranteed. In Class C were placed South West Africa (South Africa), former German Samoa (New Zealand), New Guinea (Australia), Nauru (Australia), and former German islands in the Pacific, north of the equator (Japan). While fortification of these mandates was forbidden and native rights were guaranteed, these areas were to be administered by the mandatories as integral parts of their empires.
With the creation of the United Nations, the mandates system was superseded by the trusteeship system (see trusteeship, territorial). All remaining mandated territories became trust territories except South West Africa (now Namibia), whose status was contested by South Africa and the United Nations until it became independent in 1990.
See Q. Wright, Mandates under the League of Nations (1930, repr. 1968).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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