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Political Science
Wilson Prichard

LEC 02- SEPT 19 , 2012 Prichard’s email: [email protected] The Adverts of Colonialism The Rise and Fall of Asante  It was not an empire yet, it was several small communities in the 13 -15 thcentury. It existed next to other major West African empires. The dominant power was Denkyira, it drew tribute from the others, but it remained a fragmented state.  Europeans started to come from the coast, and began trading with locals. Gold, slaves, minerals for guns, cloth… So the skattered communities started to get bigger from those trades and allow them to grow in power in relation to their neighbors.  A strong community emerged to take control. And then the Asante empire began bigger and bigger.  The empire does not function as centralized as European empires. The center is strong, but as you go further out, power lacks. th  In the 19 century, brought growing conflict with the British over control of trade routes, with repeated minor wars.  Over the course of the 19 thcentury, the Asante had wars with the British, because they did not want to become a British protectorate. o The War of the Golden Stool led by the Queen mother- by which time the Asante leaders had been sent into exile and the lands were incorporated into the new Gold Coast colony of the British. o Econoimically, they pushed further the production of cocoa, and the export of gold.  th African Map in the 19 century. In comparison to a European map of the same time, there are important borders. African states are not centralized, borders are not exclusive. People can be members of two empires at once. The Nature of Pre-Colonial State Power  Lot less people relative to the amount of land available. High costs of extending power  Power based on control over people rather than land. Thus reliant on military threat in order to secure tribute and slaves  If you controlled territory, you controlled the people, and when you control these two, then you can generate revenue.  In Africa, it was not about controlling land, it was about controlling people, because it was way too easy to move somewhere else.  Limited incentives and ability to extend state power to peripheral regions.  ** Idea of periphery and borders. o Strength at the center, less engagement further in the empire. Initial European  The first Europeans initially came to Africa to trade with African communities in gold, cocoa, diamonds, ivory…  The change began around 1650 with the slave trade to American. o 10 million Africans were taken abroad. The British and the French dominated the slave trade, but the Spanish and the Portuguese also participated in. o ** Europeans made use of coercion to get slaves from the bushes through intermediaries. That shifted the location of these empires from further up, to the south.  In 1807, the British abolished slave trade in 1807, and other countries followed thereafter. The abolition of slavery precipated massive expansion of trade. o They shifted from people back to resources. o Legitimate trade increased as much as 3000% during first half of 19 century o Africa exported crops for industrial use  As much trade as they did, Europeans were few in the country. o Why? The trade through middlemen and small local presences worked. They did not go inlands, they stayed into the coast and o Many reasoning, but two worth emphazising:  High costs/low benefits: low population densities and large distances  Same factors that shaped the nature of African States  Disease. Partition Shift from trade to colonial rule was astonishingly rapid form 1870. Europeans did not think they would come colonize because the continent was inhospitable. But that changed fast. Aggressve advances into the interior began in the 1870s.  French through northern part of West Africa, British centered on the Gold Coast, Egypt, East Africa, and South Africa, Belgians and Portuguese in Cnetral Africa, and Germans scattered throughout Fearing conflict among colonial powers, partition of continent was negotiated in 1884 at the Berlin conference.  Colonialists cut up Africa into spheres of influence. With straight lines and stuff.  They sent up military parties to establish that this will in fact be your territory.  After 1884 (partition), conquests accelerated as colonial powers sought to affirm territorial claims o They did that by signing ambiguous “treaties” with locals to say that they did not steal the land  Protectorates and treaties precursors to unilateral conquest  Despite pockets of determined resistance, European conquest
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