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Nigerian Imperialism

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Nathan Buchwald

on 17 January 2013

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Transcript of Nigerian Imperialism

by Connor Vasu, Kirby Broderick, Halle Hall, and Nathan Buchwald Nigerian Imperialism Colonizers When and How did They Colonize? Warrant Chiefs Impact of Rule Style Warrant chiefs used their power to accumulate wealth at the expense of their subjects
Warrant chiefs caused a lot of problems because they were arrogant, greedy, and corrupt
The chiefs were so disliked that it led to the “1929 Women’s Revolt” or “Women’s War” Collaboration Major collaboration between natives and British imperialists was through trade
The average annual quantity of palm oil exported from West Africa to the United Kingdom was 28,876 tons between the years 1850 and 1854
They also traded rubber, woods, cocoa, and cotton however their quantities and values were much less The first to reach the coast of Nigeria were the Portuguese during the mid-fifteenth century, however the first imperialists to colonize in Nigeria were the British British interests in Nigeria first began with the amalgamation of several trading companies formed in 1879 by Sir George Goldie as an attempt to compete with French commercial competition
The Royal Niger Company, a 19th century British mercantile company in the lower valley of the Niger River, began to extend British influence in Nigeria
The Company established trading posts and port towns (Onitsha, Aboh)
Protestant and Catholic missionaries started to set up permanent camps
In 1884-1885 at the Berlin West Africa conference Great Britain claimed that its commercial predominance on the lower Niger River justified British political control
By 1910 the whole country was under British rule Resistance Cultural/ Economic Impact Why was Nigeria colonized? Impact on Colony Basic Info Achieving Independence Beginning Stages Middle Stages Final Stages Leaders of the Movement Nigerian Civil War Nigeria Today Nigeria Compared to Britain Political Instability Ethnic Differences International pressure to end the transatlantic slave trade caused Britain to sign treaties with local kingdoms and city-states in which the slave trade was stopped. However, the slave trade was the only way natives had to obtain guns and other Western technology, and it had been the main source of income for many. Its abolition meant that one of the major Nigerian powers, the Oyo Kingdom, began to collapse. Eventually, the port city of Lagos rescinded the treaty, which caused Britain to promptly annex it in 1861. Over time, they expanded along the coast to better stem the flow of slaves, and at the Berlin Conference, they successfully argued that, due to their sphere of influence and the need to protect their trade routes, they should control Nigeria. Over the next few years, they signed many treaties, annexing areas that refused to comply. They would also take control of areas with commerce-disrupting warfare, which eventually led to full British control of Nigeria. In Southern Nigeria, Christian missionaries spread health and educational services, and Nigeria was ruled indirectly. Despite being ruled indirectly, Britain managed to almost entirely change its economy: by requiring that taxes be paid in cash, sustenance farming was effectively ended as a means of survival, and migrant labor became the new path to income for many. To facilitate this change, and to enhance its own trade, Britain built many roads and railroads across Nigeria. However, in Northern Nigeria, indirect rule meant the continuation of the Muslim Sokoto Caliphate- meaning that many of the services southerners enjoyed, were not made available to northerners due to the fact that Christian missionaries would upset the existing social order. This led to many tensions still to this day, as can be seen on the map later in the Prezi. The English Language Throughout Nigeria, English became the official language for all purposes. It was at first adopted to talk to missionaries, traders, and the government, and later became the language of culture. Learning English meant moving into the middle class, and ones ability to speak English often gave the upper hand in negotiations, debates, and conversation. It later became the unifying language, allowing Muslim, Yoruba, and Igbo to converse and eventually fight for independence. The English language was arguably the most important legacy of the English colonization of Nigeria. The Effects on Britain Britain benefited materially, economically, politically, and militarily from Colonial Nigeria. Materially, the many resources brought from Nigeria strengthened the growth of British manufacturing. Economically, their control over Nigerian exports increased their balance of trade, if one were to subscribe to that belief. Politically, Nigerian colonization proved the power of the British empire, and successfully quelled the pressure to do something about the slave trade. Militarily, many Nigerians fought wars for Britain. Many rich people also became quite richer, but other than that, Nigeria did not impact British life considerably. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is the most powerful and famous literary work on African colonialism, and is set in Nigeria in the perspective of an African native. It suggests that perceived superiority is only due to limited information and is inherently destructive, and that Africans are as equally a cultured people as Europeans. This is a perfect example of the changes in Nigeria at the time- written in English instead of the native Igbo by a Western educated Igbo Nigerian, it discusses at length how native tradition is being replaced by Western institutions and practices. I have not read it, only of it. This map details the divide between states with Sharia law and states without, within the same country, even at the present day. The map clearly shows the separation between the Muslim north that missionaries never entered, and the south. The ill-conceived state constructed along lines of European commerce and influence, do little justice to the natives, involving two or more competing legal standards and national religions. The ratio of Muslim to Christian is nearly one to one, meaning that neither side will back down or end itself. Nigeria is a fairly rich country, but there is a great disparity between the haves and have nots.
$414 billion in GDP, 31 in world.
However,per capita GDP 178 in the world
Most people are employed in subsistence farming, but industrial companies make more money
Overall literacy rate is 69%, 44% for women
Education system similar to British, Nigeria also has one of the best university systems in Africa
Nigeria 158 out of 177 countries in terms of living standards and quality of life on the Human Development Index The Bottom Line Although Nigeria’s population has boomed, and its GDP is somewhat high, poverty and premature death befall the majority of Nigerians. Furthermore, the rise of oil has increased corruption, as people have become greedy, wanting a share of the money. The majority of the money in Nigeria comes from oil, but 70% of the people subsistence farm, and many others have low level jobs in the cities as well 21% unemployment and 70% of country below poverty line
Very low life expectancy (52), but it is the largest African country population-wise (170 million) and 7th most populated worldwide,
Median age is around 18. In comparison, the median age and life expectancy for the US is 37 and 79, respectively
No equal rights for women, as in many other areas on the continent Nigeria Today (continued) Britain has been industrialized for almost 200 years, and is much better off than Nigeria in almost all facets of life. Life expectancy is 80+, virtually all Britons can read, and they are the 9th-richest country in the world. 8% of Britons are unemployed, and the median age is 40, compared to Nigeria's 18. In most parts of Nigeria, warrant chiefs were promoted to run the district, which was a form of British indirect rule. Therefore, local chiefs kept their power, and their elite social class and position
However, tribes in eastern Nigeria like the Igbo did not have local leaders; instead, a democratic debate and a consensus was used to make decisions.
When warrant chiefs were appointed to lead tribes like the Igbo in Nigeria, they heralded a new, corrupt patriarchal system detrimental to the rights of the tribes and with power like the natives had not seen before
Women, who were previously equal, now had little say as they were not appointed to warrant chief positions
As a result, in the Igbo section of Eastern Nigeria in 1929, there was a mass “Women’s War” with women attacking warrant chiefs and the British court systems
10 courts destroyed, 55 women killed
British took action and abolished warrant chiefs and created new law courts with native-like tribunals After the Civil War, there were nine years of general instability due to multiple assassinations and the discovery of oil, which led to greed among many Nigerians. After that, there were four years of another failed republic, ended by another military coup. The last 20 years have been more stable, but still generally instable due to ethnic tensions between the Muslims and Christians.
Ethnic and regional differences plague the Nigerians, as they believe in different things and have different cultures and languages; Nigeria is not a nation-state Many Nigerians converted to Islam through northern Islamic pioneers. Other Nigerians converted to Christianity through British Christian missionaries, so much so that over 90% of all Nigerians now practice Islam or Christianity. However, apart from some religious changes, cultural beliefs and traditions were largely untouched by the British (apart from warrant chiefs) due to its policy of indirect rule in Nigeria. However, due to these new cultural differences, ethnic tensions exploded as a series of coups led to governmental instability and the Nigerian Civil War just seven years after independence. It pitted the Igbo Southern Christians vs. Hausa Northern Muslims. Eventually, the Southern Igbo, which had formed the independent country of Biafra, lost to the North. 2 million people died in the war. •Independence Achieved October 1st, 1960
•Northern Nigeria Called Hausaland. Predominately Muslim
•Southeastern Nigeria called Yorubaland
•Southeast Nigeria Called Igboland Nigeria was a combination of many different ethnic groups. When people began protesting against the rule of the British it was not because of a sense of Nationalism towards the country of Nigeria, but rather to the country of Africa. The initial goal of these protests was not to separate from England completely, but rather gain more influence in the government on the regional level. Their fight was rewarded when the British created a constitution allowing a few elected officials into Legislative Council. After their initial goal was met these people wanted more. Leaders After Independence Beginning cont. After WWII, the young people of Nigeria created new radical concepts. These people called for immediate revolution rather than gradual inclusion into the government as the older generation had attempted to do. This resulted in the creation of the Action Group, the Northern People’s Congress, and the National Council of Nigerian Citizens. These groups each had different motives to gain independence as they were from different regions. The NCNC was the first regional group to call for some sort of unification of people not by individual region. Another group, the Nigerian National Democrat party was Nigeria’s first party to represent the country as a whole. With the fight from these groups the goal of independence became close. In 1946 the British Parliament passed the Richards Constitution. This provided the Nigerians with a council that was allowed to decide on matters affecting the whole country. Then in 1950 the Macpherson Constitution was drafted, which provided Nigeria with greater autonomy. A greater autonomy was also present at a regional level as different ethnic groups had different needs for their respective region. The Lyttleton Constitution was created later in 1954. This furthered a federal principle in the Nigeria. These Constitutions eventually paved the way for Nigeria’s ultimate goal. In 1957 Eastern and Western Nigeria became fully self-governing under a parliamentary system. The same occurred in Northern Nigeria in 1959. Each region was self-governing, but there was still a central government in place. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, a member of the NPC, led the central government. He formed a ruling group from all three of the main parties. They guided Nigeria for the next 3 years with almost complete autonomy until Nigeria became officially independent. The British Parliament finally began drafting a constitution for an independent Nigeria in 1957. The constitution was finished in 1958, but it was not until October 1, 1960 that it was enacted and Nigeria achieved its ultimate goal. 1.Nnamdi Azikiwe
a.Formed the National Council of Nigerian Citizens
2. Obafemi Awolowo
a.Created Action Group
3. All political groups
a. Pivotal in fighting for rights4) 4.Herbert Macaulay
a. Considered father of Nigerian Nationalism •Nnamdi Azikiwe was installed as governor
•A republic form of government was set up
•The Muslim people of the north dominated politics, which angered other ethnic groups Post-Civil War The British used indirect rule, they let local leaders rule their territory
For places that did not have local leaders the British appointed representatives that they gave “warrants” to which allowed them to rule the area
These representatives became known as "warrant chiefs" Some local leaders agreed to sign treaties with the British and allowed them to colonize in the area, however others opposed foreign intervention and rebelled against it
When violent disagreements broke out because of religious differences the armed forces of The Royal Niger Company intervened on behalf of the Christians and several times sacked the protesting communities
Hostility arose among the local traders because of monopolistic policies imposed by the Royal Niger Company
As a result in 1885 the Royal Niger Company’s establishment at Akassa was attacked
1929 Women’s revolt
Thousands of peasant women protested against the introduction of taxes, the warrant chief system, and the low prices of agricultural produce
10 native courts destroyed and several others were damaged by the women
55 women were killed by colonial troops as a result Success in Resistance Because of the hostility and complaints from the people of Brass accompanied by French territorial disputes the Royal Niger Company’s charter was transferred to the imperial British Government on December 31, 1899
1929 Women’s Revolt was successful, the British eventually decided to abolish the warrant chief system The Royal Niger Company established trading posts and port towns in Onitsha
The company also sat on the Niger River
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