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Mittelafrika

Mittelafrika is the name created for a geostrategic region in central and east Africa. Much like Mitteleuropa, it articulated Germany's foreign policy aim, prior to World War I, of bringing the region under German domination; the difference being that Mittelafrika would be an agglomeration of German colonies in Africa, while Mitteleuropa was conceptualised as a geostrategic buffer zone between Germany and Russia to be filled with puppet states. German strategic thinking was that if the region between the colonies of German East Africa, German South-West Africa, Cameroon could be annexed, a contiguous entity could be created covering the breadth of the African continent from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Given the richness in natural resources of the Congo Basin alone, this region would accrue considerable wealth to the colonising power through the exploitation of natural resources, as well as contributing to another German aim of economic self-sufficiency; the concept dates back to the 1890s, when Chancellor of Germany, Leo von Caprivi, gained the Caprivi Strip in the Heligoland–Zanzibar Treaty.

This addition to German South-West Africa attached the colony to the Zambezi River. British and German imperialists competed over the region which now comprises Zimbabwe and Malawi. Cecil Rhodes, on behalf of the British colonised the latter region. Germany discussed with Britain for them to press their ally, Portugal, to cede the colonies of Angola and Mozambique to them; the British however, had preferential trade agreements with Portugal, a trusted ally, though plans for an eventual partition of the Portuguese colonies were drawn, Britain would thus see its colonial position in Africa weakened in case they were applied, since the Germans could effectively threaten their Cairo to Cape lines of communication. These plans were arguably made only to be used only as a last resort to appease Germany in case she threatened to disrupt the balance of power in Europe. However, since German foreign policy interests were in subsequent years directed at gaining mastery in Europe itself, not in Africa, they were shelved.

Indeed, as it is that German concepts of a "Mittelafrika" were designed to put pressure on Britain to tolerate growing German dominance in the European continent, not the other way around, colonial concessions would never placate the German Empire, as British politicians came to realise at the time. Germany's aspirations in Mittelafrika were incorporated into Germany's aims in World War I insofar as Germany expected to be able to gain the Belgian Congo if it were to defeat Belgium in Europe; the full realisation of Mittelafrika depended on a German victory in World War I in the European theatre, where Britain would be forced to negotiate and cede its colonies in Rhodesia to Germany when faced with a German-dominated Europe across the English Channel. In the course of the actual war, German aspirations in Mittelafrika were never matched by events in the African theatre; the German colonies were at different levels of defence and troop strength when the war began in Europe, were not in a position to fight a war due to a lack of materiel.

German colonial empire The African Queen Pink Map Scramble for Africa Deutsches Kolonial-Lexikon Fischer, Germany's Aims in the First World War, Scranton, PA, W W Norton & Co, Inc. 1968 ISBN 0-393-09798-6

Cynthia Leonard

Cynthia Hicks Van Name Leonard was a suffragist, aid worker, writer, notable for her pioneering efforts toward social reform. In 1888, she became the first woman to run for mayor of New York City. Born Cynthia Hicks Van Name in Buffalo, New York, she married Charles Egbert Leonard in 1852, they had eight children. While a young woman in Buffalo, Leonard became the first woman to stand behind a counter as a salesperson and became a member of Buffalo's first Woman's Social and Literary Club. Four years after her marriage, in 1856, the couple moved from Detroit, Michigan to Clinton, where Charles Leonard founded the Clinton Herald, that community's newspaper, still in existence today, she was on the executive committee of the Soldiers' Relief Association, which established the first soldiers' home in the state of Iowa, attending to the housing needs of Union soldiers released from the 18th Regimental Hospital quartered in Clinton. In 1863, Charles Leonard sold the Herald, the couple moved to Chicago.

There Cynthia organized a fair to benefit the Freedman's Aid Society, helped found the Chicago branch of Sorosis and was editor of its newsweekly for a time, was a member of the Chicago Philosophical Society. In 1869, she led the spiritualist faction of the women's suffrage movement at the Music Hall, one of the first women's suffrage meetings held in Chicago. Susan B. Anthony was a frequent visitor in the Leonard home. Cynthia organized the Good Samaritan Society, after the great Chicago fire, she established a homeless shelter for the "unfortunate" women of the city, she was instrumental in the decision to place matrons in Chicago prisons, she authored two novels: Adventures of Lena Rouden, or the Rebel Spy and Fading Footprints, or the Last of the Iroquois. In 1880, working with the Ladies Lecture Bureau, she helped organize a number of benefits for the Irish Famine, she was afterward accused of mismanaging some of the funds raised at one of these events. After she separated from her husband, Cynthia took their two youngest daughters and Suzanne, to New York City to launch the girls' musical careers and to broaden her own political horizons.

There she organized the Science of Life Club and in 1880 managed a benefit for starving women and children in Ireland. In 1888, she became the first woman to run for mayor of New York City, she died in New Jersey in 1908. In a May 3, 1914 interview with Djuna Barnes, Lillian Russell gave this testament to her mother: To be a great woman, a great person, one must have suffered, even... suffered in great crises. What have I done that I should be famous— nothing but powdered a bit the cheeks that God gave me and smoothed the hair that I was born with and proven a faultless set of teeth. Any grinning idol, well painted, can do as well, but the real women, the big women, are those who toil and never write of it, those who labor and never cry of it, those who forfeit all and never seek reward. Begin this article with the name Lillian Russell, but end it with the name of such as was Cynthia Leonard. History of Clinton County, Iowa, 1976 Baker, Jean H. Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists. Hill and Wang, New York, 2005.

Lillian Russell: A Biography of'America's Beauty' ISBN 0-7864-0509-0 Cynthia H. Van N. Leonard listing in "A Woman of the Century", 1893 1940 film about Lillian Russell, portraying the Leonard family

John I. Jenkins

John Ignatius Jenkins, C. S. C. is the current president of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He served as its vice-president and associate provost, he replaced Fr. Edward Malloy, he was chosen as president-elect by the Notre Dame board of trustees on April 29, 2004. On October 11, 2019, Jenkins was elected to a fourth consecutive five-year term as president. Jenkins was born and raised in Omaha and attended the premier high school in the city, Creighton Preparatory School. A Notre Dame alumnus, Jenkins earned bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy from the University in 1976 and 1978 and was ordained a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on campus in 1983. While earning bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in philosophy from Oxford University in 1987 and 1989 he taught in Notre Dame’s London Undergraduate Program, he earned a master of divinity degree and licentiate in sacred theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley in 1988. Jenkins has been a member of the Notre Dame philosophy faculty since 1990.

He served as director of the Old College program for Holy Cross seminarians from 1991 to 1993 and as religious superior of the Holy Cross priests and brothers at Notre Dame from 1997 to 2000. He is the author of numerous scholarly articles published in The Journal of Philosophy, Medieval Philosophy and Theology, The Journal of Religious Ethics and of the book Knowledge and Faith in Thomas Aquinas. Jenkins is a member of the Board of Directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates. At Jenkins’ inauguration on September 23, 2005, he stated: "My presidency will be driven by a wholehearted commitment to uniting and integrating these two indispensable and wholly compatible strands of higher learning: academic excellence and religious faith." During his first four years in office, Notre Dame has made significant progress toward its research goal, including selection as the lead university partner in the Midwest Institute for Nanoelectronics Discovery. Although Jenkins has vowed to maintain Notre Dame’s identity as a Catholic university, he has not been immune to criticism.

His decisions include an invitation to President Barack Obama to attend Notre Dame's 2009 commencement ceremony and to receive an honorary degree was criticized by both Catholic laity and bishops, including Notre Dame's own former Bishop John D'Arcy, who opposed the invitation because of Obama's stance on abortion. Fr. Jenkins was advised not to invite Vice President Biden and then-Speaker Boehner by Notre Dame's bishop Kevin C. Rhoades. In a public statement, Bp. Rhoades said: "In dialogue with Father Jenkins about this matter some months ago, I shared with him my concerns with honoring the Vice-President. I believe it is wrong for Notre Dame to honor any “pro-choice” public official with the Laetare Medal if he/she has other positive accomplishments in public service, since direct abortion is gravely contrary to the natural law and violates a fundamental principle of Catholic moral and social teaching: the inalienable right to life of every innocent human being from the moment of conception.

I question the propriety of honoring a public official, a major spokesman for the redefinition of marriage. The Church has continually urged public officials Catholics, of the grave and clear obligation to oppose any law that supports or facilitates abortion or that undermines the authentic meaning of marriage. I disagree with awarding someone for ‘outstanding service to the Church and society’ who has not been faithful to this obligation.... My principal concern about this whole matter is scandal. In honoring a “pro-choice” Catholic who has supported the redefinition of marriage, which the Church considers harmful to the common good of society, it can give the impression to people, including Catholics in political office, that one can be'a good Catholic' while supporting or advocating for positions that contradict our fundamental moral and social principles and teachings."Fr. Jenkins has been criticized for other decisions such as allowing performances of The Vagina Monologues and showings of gay films on campus.

Despite Catholic teaching on the subject, Jenkins has declined to provide affordable health insurance for student spouses and children, with the result that high percentages of both are uninsured. This was once again criticized by the local diocesan bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, who wrote in another public statement: "I disagree with Notre Dame’s decision to provide funding for contraception in its health insurance plans, which involves it more directly in contributing to immoral activity; the Catholic Church teaches that contraception is an immoral action that contradicts the truth of marital love.... Members of the community who decide to use contraceptives, should not expect the university to act contrar