The End Of Slavery In Africa

The End Of Slavery In Africa

by Suzanne Miers

ISBN-10: 0299115542

ISBN-13: 9780299115548

Pub. Date: 12/19/1988

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

This is the first comprehensive assessment of the end of slavery in Africa. Editors Suzanne Miers and Richard Roberts, with the distinguished contributors to the volume, establish an agenda for the social history of the early colonial period—hen the end of slavery was one of the most significant historical and cultural processes. The End of Slavery in


This is the first comprehensive assessment of the end of slavery in Africa. Editors Suzanne Miers and Richard Roberts, with the distinguished contributors to the volume, establish an agenda for the social history of the early colonial period—hen the end of slavery was one of the most significant historical and cultural processes. The End of Slavery in Africa is a sequel to Slavery in Africa, edited by Suzanne Miers and Igor Kopytoff and published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 1977. The contributors explore the historical experiences of slaves, masters, and colonials as they all confronted the end of slavery in fifteen sub-Saharan African societies. The essays demonstrate that it is impossible to generalize about whether the end of slavery was a relatively mild and nondisruptive process or whether it marked a significant change in the social and economic organization of a given society. There was no common pattern and no uniform consequence of the end of slavery. The results of this wide-ranging inquiry will be of lasting value to Africanists and a variety of social and economic historians.

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University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date:
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents

Note on Orthographyxix
1.The End of Slavery in Africa3
The main issues3
Origins of the modern concept of abolition8
Forms of abolition before the partition of Africa10
The British "Caribean model,"10
The British "Indian model,"12
French and Portuguese forms of abolition13
The antislavery movement and the partition of Africa15
The role of the colonial states in ending slavery17
Colonial conquest and changes in the political economy18
Colonial antislavery policies: slave-raiding and -trading19
Colonial antislavery policies: the suppression of slavery21
International pressure to end slavery24
The impact of changes in regional and international markets25
The transition from slavery to freedom: a historiographic debate27
The ambiguities of freedom: slaves and owners in the aftermath of slavery33
Women slaves and freedom38
Slave children and freedom40
Slave-owners and freedom41
The persistence of unfree labor: forced labor and pawning42
The end of slavery in comparative perspective and as an international issue54
II.A Historiographical Debate
2.Britain and the Suppression of Slavery in the Gold Coast Colony, Ashanti, and the Northern Territories71
British policy towards slavery before 187473
Categories of slaves and pawns75
Enactment of and immediate reactions to the antislavery legislation in the Gold Coast Colony, 187478
The attack on the overland slave trade82
Slaveholding and slave emancipation84
Akyem Abuakwa and the McSheffrey hypothesis86
Role of the Basel Mission in Akyem87
Estimates of numbers of freed slaves88
Slave villages of refuge89
Alternatives for former slaves: emancipation and wage labor92
Impact of the ordinances on pawnholding94
The dilemma of colonial rule96
Pawns in Ashanti99
The demise of slavery and pawning in Ashanti100
Suppressing the slave trade and slavery in the Northern Territories100
British administration in the north102
Evidence for a revisionist interpretation103
III.The Politics of Antislavery
3.The Ending of Slavery in Buganda119
Precolonial Ganda slavery121
Christianity and slavery124
The Protestant declaration abolishing slavery129
British curtailment of further substantial slave-procurement131
Contradictions amongst Christian chiefs133
Mwanga's revolt136
The new order138
"New systems of slavery,"142
4.The Delicate Balance of Force and Flight: The End of Slavery in Eastern Ubangi-Shari150
Eastern Ubangi-Shari, 1860s-1890s: slave-raiding, the slave trade, and depopulation152
The limits of power: the French in eastern Ubangi-Shari, 1890s-1910155
Dar al-Kuti, the French, and slavery, 1890s-1911157
Dar al-Kuti, 1911-1920: the end of slavery, the persistence of raiding, and the return to subsistence agriculture162
Ending raiding, trading, and slavery in eastern Ubangi-Shari, 1910-1920165
5.The Politics of Slavery in Bechuanaland: Power Struggles and the Plight of the Basarwa in the Bamangwato Reserve, 1926-1940172
The origins of Basarwa "slavery,"174
The British and bolata177
The Ratshosa affair181
The reaction of the British administration182
The politics of inquiry184
The Tagart Commission187
"Missionary slaves": the London Missionary Society inquiry189
The Masarwa census190
Compromise and cooperation193
IV.The Diversity of Slave Initiatives and Ex-Slave Experiences
6.Slave Resistance and Slave Emancipation in Coastal Guinea203
Trade and politics205
Slavery on the Guinea coast208
Slave emancipation209
The slaves stop work in the Rio Nunez211
The Rio Pongo and Mellacoree214
7.Slaves, Soldiers, and Police: Power and Dependency among the Chikunda of Mozambique, ca. 1825-1920220
Chikunda on the prazos in the early nineteenth century223
Freedom before abolition, ca. 1850-1877229
Abolition: from ivory hunters to slavers and sepais, 1878-1920235
8.A Coastal Ex-Slave Community in the Regional and Colonial Economy of Kenya: The WaMisheni of Rabai, 1880-1963254
WaMisheni and the regional economy262
WaMisheni and the colonial economy267
WaMisheni, ex-slaves, and East African coastal history273
9.The End of Slavery in the French Soudan, 1905-1914282
French policy and the abolition of slavery284
The process of emancipation and the diversity of freed slaves' experiences287
Adjustments to the end of slavery293
10.The Ending of Slavery in Italian Somalia: Liberty and the Control of Labor, 1890-1935308
Colonial policies to 1923: a brief chronology308
The end of slavery in the coastal towns311
Rural slavery and clientship before emancipation313
Initial responses to emancipation: slaves, slaveholders, and administrators316
Responses to emancipation: the freed slaves320
Epilogue to emancipation: the Fascist regime and forced labor325
11."Children of the House": Slavery and Its Suppression in Lasta, Northern Ethiopia, 1916-1935332
Slavery and production in the north: the case of Lasta335
Sources of slavery's demise in Lasta and northern Ethiopia344
The fight against slavery in the north347
A rural proletariat353
12.A Topsy-Turvy World: Slaves and Freed Slaves in the Mauritanian Adrar, 1910-1950362
The condition called slavery364
Policy and practice: the early years366
Political economy and slavery369
Drought and depression, poverty and prostitution374
The story of Hammody and the hartani "work ethic,"379
Conclusions: a topsy-turvy world382
V.New Economies and New Forms of Labor Control
13.The Reform of Slavery in Early Colonial Northern Nigeria391
Lugard's reforms393
The economic impetus to the end of slavery399
Taxation and the slave system400
Land tenure and the slave system407
14.Slavery and Forced Labor in the Changing Political Economy of Central Angola, 1850-1949415
Slavery in central Angola: nineteenth century417
Portuguese conquest and the transformation of slavery, 1890-1910419
Portuguese antislavery policy, 1890-1918422
The colonial economy and the struggle to control labor, 1918-1949425
15.The Decline of Slavery among the Igbo People437
Slavery among the Igbo people before 1850437
The expansion of domestic slavery after 1850441
The suppression of slavery in Igboland--first attempts443
Continued suppression of slavery, the use of forced labor, and the establishment of a free-labor market in Igboland445
Wage labor and the decline of slavery450
The persistence of slavedealing and "voluntary" servitude451
Increasing numbers of osu454
The persistence of pawning455
Conclusion: the emergence of new classes455
16.The Ending of Slavery in the Eastern Belgian Congo462
Precolonial slavery464
The growth of slave labor under Zanzibari rule465
Redeeming slaves and recruiting labor in King Leopold's Congo467
Slavery and forced labor under Belgian rule473
17.The Cultural Context of African Abolition485
Predictions about and the reality of abolition485
Western notions of slavery and the scenario of abolition488
African cultural notions of "slavery,"490
The anthropology of emancipation494

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