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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, legal professionals, chiefs, prophets, intellectuals, politicians, and infantrymen 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; fairly, 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, no matter if in the course of the period of the slave exchange, the area wars, or the interval of decolonization. The British presence provoked a variety of responses, reactions, and alterations in a variety of features of African lifestyles; yet whilst, the adventure of empire in Africa – and its final cave in – additionally pressured the British to view themselves and their empire in new methods.

Written by way of an Africanist and a historian of imperial Britain and illustrated with maps and images, Africans and Britons within the Age of Empires, 1660-1980 provides a uniquely wealthy viewpoint for knowing either African and British history.

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Additional info for Africans and Britons in the Age of Empires, 1660-1980

Sample text

In 1795, the year the British arrived in Cape Town, 21,474 slaves lived in the colony: 12,996 men, 5529 women, 1541 boys, and 1408 girls. Slaves had outnumbered white settlers ever since 1717. Slavery institutionalized a racial hierarchy in South Africa’s earliest years of interaction between Europeans and non-Europeans. No European could be a slave – based on common practice – and legally no indigenous person from the Cape could either, though they often found themselves in the positions of serfs or servants.

Scholars believe that Equiano’s story, while true, is likely a composite testimonial based on what he knew about the Atlantic slave trade. His depictions of his childhood in West Africa before his capture have a particularly distinct ring of truth to them: When the grown people in the neighbourhood were gone far in the fields to labour, the children assembled . . to play, and commonly some of us used to get up a tree to look out for any assailant or kidnapper that might come upon us, for they sometimes took these opportunities of our parents’ absence to .

Abolition also produced deep discontent in South Africa, where the descendants of early Dutch traders and farmers (soon known as “Boers” and later “Afrikaners”) utilized slave labor extensively, a story we now take up. The Cape Colony In the southwestern corner of South Africa, far beyond the reach of the transAtlantic or East African slave trades, lay a territory that would become the British-controlled Cape Colony. Acquired first during the Napoleonic Wars in 1795, it was returned to the Dutch in 1803 after the Peace of Amiens, and re-acquired by Britain in 1806.

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