A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present (Blackwell by Richard J. Reid

By Richard J. Reid

Up to date and revised to stress long term views on present concerns dealing with the continent, the hot 2<sup>nd</sup> variation of A background of recent Africa recounts the total breadth of Africa's political, fiscal, and social background over the last centuries.
* Adopts a long term method of present concerns, stressing the significance of nineteenth-century and deeper indigenous dynamics in explaining Africa's later twentieth-century challenges
* areas a better concentrate on African enterprise, in particular through the colonial encounter
* comprises extra in-depth insurance of non-Anglophone Africa
* deals increased assurance of the post-colonial period to take account of modern advancements, together with the clash in Darfur and the political unrest of 2011 in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya

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Gunboats might create favorable commercial conditions, the British discovered, but it also meant a usually unwelcome extension of formal political control, as in Lagos, a persistent slave-exporting city-state on the Yoruba coast, which was bombarded in 1851 and eventually annexed in 1861. Thus the increase in scale of European economic interest in Atlantic Africa led to growing levels of political and military intervention: this was limited at first, but it nonetheless laid the foundations for later outright partition.

The Egba, with their capital at Abeokuta, also fought Dahomey, and for this reason sought access to the coast in order to acquire the necessary firepower; and the Ijebu, located close to the coast north of Lagos, were transit handlers of firearms bound for the north, and this commercially dominant people were also heavily involved in the “illegal” slave trade, exporting the hapless victims of the violence. Indeed it was this which prompted the British to annex Lagos in 1861. Plate 1 Ruler of a kingdom in transition: King Gezo of Dahomey, with Prince Badahun, in 1856.

In the nineteenth century, states engaged with one another in the context of both warfare and trade. Buganda’s relations with its neighbors, for example, were pragmatic: trade and economic influence where possible, conflict when necessary, as the kingdom sought to build both a territorial and an “informal” empire. Despite recurrent conflict, Buganda depended on healthy economic relations with Bunyoro, the Soga to the east, the pastoral states to the west, and a host of smaller states and societies to the south.

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