HINTERLAND (German for " the land behind "), the region lying behind a coast or river line, or a country dependent for trade or commerce on any other region. In the purely physical sense " interior " on " back country " is more commonly used, but the word has gained a distinct political significance. It first came into prominence during 1883-1885, when Germany insisted that she had a right to exercise jurisdiction in the territory behind those parts of the African coast that she had occupied. The " doctrine of the hinterland " was that the possessor of the littoral was entitled to as much of the back country as geographically, economically or politically was dependent upon the coast lands, a doctrine which, in the space of ten years, led to the partition of Africa between various European powers.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)