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By A. Adu Boahen

This heritage bargains with the twenty-year interval among 1880 and 1900, while almost all of Africa was once seized and occupied by means of the Imperial Powers of Europe. Eurocentric issues of view have ruled the research of this period, yet during this e-book, one in all Africa’s best historians reinterprets the colonial stories from the viewpoint of the colonized.

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From the beginning of the seventeenth century the Elmina officials suffered from the competition of private European traders who could offer African merchants better prices for higher quality goods. By the time the Dutch threw the Portuguese out of Elmina in 1637 its gold trade was in astate of irremediable decline. The other gold-bearing region of Africa of wh ich the Portuguese became aware was the plateau zone of southcentral Africa now known as Zimbabwe. As soon as they reached the East African coast the Portuguese ascertained that this gold was exported to Asia via Sofala, a port on the coast of modem Mozambique under the control of the city of Kilwa.

Some major African states The Ethiopian highlands were probably among the earliest centres of African state formation. The first Ethiopian state that can be identified was Axum, with its capital in the province of Tigre near to the Eritrean border. Axum controlled ports on the Red Sea and traded with the Mediterranean world in the Roman era almost two thousand years ago. The Semitic speech of many of the highlanders attested to the antiquity of human movements that linked them with the far side of the Red Sea in Asia.

Before the impact of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century the dominant form of capital in Europe was merchant capital, capital originating from individuals or companies of traders. At its most sophisticated, long-distance commerce could begin to call on joint-stock companies, 40 THE MAKING OF CONTEMPORARY AFRICA chartered ventures protected through royal monopolyand pioneer insurance firms. The colonial slave plantation was the great innovation of this pioneering phase of capitalism.

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