"Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, 1830-1885"
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This paper reviews Anwuka Dike's book "Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, 1830-1885." The paper asserts that this is a pioneering work that sparked debate among many African historians concerning the roles of agency and structure during the economic transformation of West Africa from slave trade to "legitimate" trade. The paper explains that Dike's work also outlines an historic foundation of British economic intervention that eventually led to political intervention in British West Africa. The paper adds that the work's controversy lay in its assignment of agency to the African's in the Delta, rather than presenting them merely victims to external powers. The paper opines that Dike does not fully support his thesis throughout the book, which would have been much more complete had he continued to outline African action rather than reaction to the European economic and political environment. Still, the paper concludes, Dike's study remains a crucial watershed in the historiography of African agency.
From the Paper:"As a result of the opening of new interior markets and emergence of new trading partners, British merchants attempted to push into the hinterland and bypass African trading magnates on the coast. This expansion was met with opposition from traditional trading powers. The former slave trading power of Bonny particularly resisted British movement in to the interior, and it is from this point that Dike claims political intervention accompanied economic intervention. The British merchants demanded access to the new markets and protection by the British government while trading in the interior. These demands from the economic community initiated direct political intervention by the British government in the form of established Consulates and recognition of the Taubman's Niger Company as the de facto political administration in the area."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Dike, K. Anwuka. Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, 1830-1885. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1982.
Cite this Book Review:
"Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, 1830-1885" (2010, August 26) Retrieved January 27, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/trade-and-politics-in-the-niger-delta-1830-1885-129033/
""Trade and Politics in the Niger Delta, 1830-1885"" 26 August 2010. Web. 27 January. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/trade-and-politics-in-the-niger-delta-1830-1885-129033/>