Colonial Exploitation in Nigeria Analytical Essay by Master Researcher

Colonial Exploitation in Nigeria
An historical analysis of how colonialism affected Nigeria between 1800-1940.
# 37531 | 1,150 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Nov 10, 2003 in History (African) , History (British)

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This paper briefly outlines the political and economic regime of colonial exploitation in Nigeria from 1800-1940. The paper describes how the colonial powers operating in Africa in the nineteenth century were all similar industrializing European powers, however, the nature of their colonial rule also reflected the pre-existing cultures and social structures of Africa. The paper highlights how the colonizers focused on economic exploitation while employing principles of indirect rule and delegation.

From the Paper:

"In 1807 Great Britain declared the slave trade illegal. This disrupted the Oyo Empire and also lead to the first British presence. A small squadron of the Royal Navy to intercept slave traders. However, slave trade rose again after 1817 and persisted to the 1860s. In total 1 million slaves were exported from Nigeria in the nineteenth century.
"Britain was determined to halt the traffic in slaves fed by the Yoruba wars, and responded to this frustration by annexing the port of Lagos in 1861. Thereafter, Britain gradually extended its control along the coast. British intervention became more insistent in the 1870s and 1880s as a result of pressure from missionaries and liberated slaves returning from Sierra Leone. There was also the necessity of protecting commerce disrupted by the fighting. The method of dealing with these problems was to dictate treaties that inevitably led to further annexations.
"Shift to commodities, especially palm oil. The principal commodities of legitimate trade were palm oil and palm kernels, which were used in Europe to make soap and as lubricants for machinery before petroleum products were developed for that purpose. Although this trade grew to significant proportions--palm oil exports alone were worth L1 million a year by 1840--it was concentrated near the coast, where palm trees grew in abundance."

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