The first contacts of Cameroon with the Europeans occurred when, in the second half of the century. XV, the Portuguese navigators arrived there, but only in the course of the century. XVII European commercial establishments were established; the duala populations acted as an intermediary between the European merchants and the populations of the interior. Near the end of the century. XVIII the region of the coast fell under British influence and the colonization of the territory began in 1837 when, intensified the relations between the English and the indigenous duala, the king of Bimbia ceded to the former a long stretch of coast to the N of the Cameroon estuary. Over the course of the sec. Meanwhile, the central and northern part of the country was subjected by the Fulbe who constituted the Islamic emirate of Adamaua. After almost twenty years (1860) a German trading house also established its headquarters at the estuary of the Cameroon river and this made it possible in 1884 the creation of a real German colony, headed by Baron von Soden, which extended the sovereignty of Germany over the protectorate of King Bell and the territories of other indigenous notables. Further expansions of the colony were possible when France, to obtain German recognition of its interests in Conakry, ceded the territory of Batanga and the islet to the west of Kwakwa Kriek to Germany (1885); part of the German possessions then passed into French hands, but returned to German control after the Agadir incident (1911), as a counterpart to the renunciation of German claims on Morocco.
Although the German plans for the colony were very ambitious, it was hoped to link the territories of Cameroon to those already under Germanic control in East Africa, the results were entirely ephemeral; difficulties of all kinds (remember the indigenous uprising of 1904) frustrated the initiatives of the colonizers, who were forced to leave Cameroon during the First World War (1916). The former German colony was entrusted in 1922 by the League of Nations as a mandate partly to the French and partly to Great Britain; the latter, which had obtained only one sixth of the territory, reunited it administratively with Nigeria. Indigenous divisions formed by Leclerc they fought during World War II in Ethiopia, Gabon and North Africa. Immediately after the war, the mandate on Cameroon was transformed into a trustee and then, under the pressure of the indigenous leaders (Douala Manga Bell and Um Nyobè), Cameroon obtained, under the framework law passed in France in 1956, a semi-autonomous government (1957) and then autonomous (1959).
Finally the UN set for January 1, 1960 the end of the protection and the proclamation of independence. Following the results of the referendum, organized under UN control, the region of Cameroon in English trusteeship, with the exception of Adamaua who opted to join Nigeria, decided to join the Republic of Cameroon in a federal context; the union took place on 1 October 1961 with the granting of independence to the aforementioned region. On the same date, the Constitution of the Federal Republic was promulgated. Chaired by Ahmadou Ahidjo, the government, founded on a single party with a pro-Western tendency, the Union Nationale Camerounaise (UNC, National Union of Cameroon), had to face the clandestine opposition of the Union des Populations du Cameroun (Union of the Populations of Cameroon), whose head Ernest Ouandié was arrested in August 1970 and executed in the early days of 1971. In 1972, following a popular referendum, the country gave itself a unitary structure. A. Ahidjo, confirmed as president in 1975 and 1980, retired to private life in 1982, handing over his posts to Paul Biya, prime minister since 1975 and number two in the regime. Taking office as party president in 1983, the following year Biya became president of the Republic and was reconfirmed in 1988. In a climate of internal turmoil, in 1986, the UNC changed its name to Rassemblement Démocratique du Peuple Camerounais (RDPC, Democratic Grouping of the Cameroonian People), thus allowing elections to multiple candidates and initiating a more general liberalization of the regime, despite the continuing repression of protests provoked by the austerity policy.
In the late 1990s, the National Assembly passed a law that paved the way for multi-partyism. According to getzipcodes, the first pluralistic elections, held in March 1992, however, resulted in the victory of the former single party of President Biya. The oppositions, in particular the Social Democratic Front of the defeated John Fru Ndi, advanced the accusation of manipulation and fraud, fueling a wide protest in the North-West of the country which was repressed with the proclamation of a state of emergency. Despite the co-optation of some members of the opposition into the new government hegemonized by the DPRK, the internal situation in Cameroon continued to show some signs of turbulence with the eruption of various clashes, including tribal ones, while relations with neighboring Nigeria became more complicated. in 1993, it occupied the Bakassi Peninsula (1993). Further confirmation of the difficulties encountered by the young democracy of Cameroon came in March 1996, when the government’s decision to replace the freely elected mayors of the most important cities in the South-West sparked violent protests. then repressed in blood; so also in the legislatures of 1997 when the ruling party (DPRK) and the opposition party (SDF) won an equal number of seats: President Biya firmly established himself in power by forcibly stifling the voices of the opponents. This political climate was affected above all by the financial stability of Cameroon, as the country’s economic development programs continued to be hindered by the opposition and the dispute with Nigeria for the possession of the rich Bakassi peninsula remained unresolved. Biya, who stayed away from the country’s problems throughout the 1990s by spending long periods in France, again won the 2004 presidential elections, which international observers deemed irregular.