By Myles Osborne
Africans and Britons within the Age of Empires, 1660-1980 tells the tales of the intertwined lives of African and British peoples over greater than 3 centuries. In seven chapters and an epilogue, Myles Osborne and Susan Kingsley Kent discover the characters that comprised the British presence in Africa: the slave investors and slaves, missionaries and explorers, imperialists and miners, farmers, settlers, attorneys, chiefs, prophets, intellectuals, politicians, and squaddies of all colours.
The authors convey that the oft-told narrative of a monolithic imperial energy ruling inexorably over passive African sufferers now not stands scrutiny; really, at each flip, Africans and Britons interacted with each other in a fancy set of relationships that concerned as a lot cooperation and negotiation as resistance and strength, even if in the course of the period of the slave alternate, the realm wars, or the interval of decolonization. The British presence provoked quite a lot of responses, reactions, and adjustments in a number of points of African lifestyles; yet even as, the adventure of empire in Africa – and its final cave in – additionally forced the British to view themselves and their empire in new methods.
Written through an Africanist and a historian of imperial Britain and illustrated with maps and pictures, Africans and Britons within the Age of Empires, 1660-1980 provides a uniquely wealthy point of view for knowing either African and British history.
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Extra resources for Africans and Britons in the Age of Empires, 1660-1980
Merchants paid taxes and tolls to ensure the continuation of their activities; British traders also paid annual customs duties to the local rulers, enriching the coffers of elites. Lower down the commercial scale, many Gambians earned their livings through small-scale trade or by servicing river-borne commerce as interpreters or providers of transportation along smaller watery byways. Many of the local merchants were women descended from unions between Portuguese traders and African women. Their wealth and the prominence they gained from it gave them a social position that women further upstream could not attain.
Excellent conditions for producing wine provided scant consolation for the British government, which viewed the Cape as little more than an irritation. Though it was a useful refueling station and port city, it produced nothing, and at 6000 miles from London, proved difficult to communicate with. In 1793 its population consisted of 13,000 white settlers whose seeming aim was to create administrative difficulties for the British. The history of these settlers and their interactions with Africans had a profound impact on the ability of Britain to govern the Cape from the moment its administrators arrived and for many years after.
The purpose of oracles in many communities in West Africa was to provide judgment in disputes and to determine punishment for crimes. Oracles helped to reduce conflict by placing the burden of judgment on priests associated with the oracle, people whose decision-making was respected because it was inspired by the supernatural world. They lived separately from the common people and were thus absent and remote. At the peak of the slave trade, the oracle demanded “fines” for perceived offences and demanded that they be paid in slaves.