Collaboration or Resistance to Colonial Rule

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Collaboration or Resistance to
Colonial Rule
• African responses were diverse and took
many forms.
• Majority vehemently opposed the changes
taking place in their societies.
• Various theories have been advanced by
scholars.
Robinson and Gallagher
• Primary resistance was reactionary and
fruitless and foolhardy with negative impact.
Examine examples of Samori Toure, Lobengula
and the Nandi of Kenya.
• Roland Oliver and J. D.Fage
• Argue that collaborators were well informed
leaders who saw futility of resisting. Hence they
agree with Robinson and Gallagher.
• Oliver and Fage saw resisters as ill-advised
people who jeopardized peace of the people.
Analysis
• There were serious issues at stake ,the
Africans lost authority, cattle, minerals
and land.
• African resistance proved that they did not
give up their sovereignty easily.
• African rulers were divided and used to
conquer others, but some were smart to
exploit the foreign domination e.g.
Buganda was able to gain a lot of land.
Revisionist Historians
•
Believed that drawing up a line between collaborators and resisters
was artificial and wrong.
• Gives the example of the Majimaji rebellion where the people of
• Tanganyika resisted knowing the bullets were fatal
• Hargreaves one of the revisionists challenges Robinson and
• Gallagher and gives example of Samori who tried to collaborate with
• the British but discovered it could not work.
• The Maasai of Kenya also tried to collaborate but lost land instead
.
• In Benin, Nana tried to collaborate but was deported by the British.
Theories
• Others used diplomacy such as King Tofa of
Porto Novo but still lost. So even the strategy of
cooperation did not work Africans still lost land
and political rule.
• Hargreaves argues that Africans did not
• resist modernization as postulated by Robinson
and Galagher but resisted to
• protect their political sovereignty and there is
nothing savage about self-determination
T. O.Ranger
•
•
•
•
•
•
Challenges Robinson and Gallagher and refutes the
idea that conquest of Africa was easy. He demystifies
the notion that Africans were helpless and passive.
He argues that Africans were participants who took their
stand during conquest.
He gives another example of Europeans who believed
they could do as they wished
Such as the Germans in Tanganyika which led to the
bloody majimaji rebellion,
John Iliffe shows that the resistance and rebellions
indicate that if Africans are pushed too far,they would
strike back
A.G.Hopkins
• Looks at the response from Economic point of
view.
• That African rulers struggled to maintain their
middleman position in trade e.g. Jaja of Opobo
and other states of Bonny that engaged in palm
oil trade.
• Edward Steinhart- looked at it from political
point of view he argues that centralized
societies with strong traditions resisted e.g.
Asante and Ndebele- not always, since Buganda
was highly centralized but collaborated
Closing statement
• collaborators and resisters were one
and the same. It is tactics adopted to
achieve their objectives that differed.
• It is not important what method were used.
All were interested in self-determination
and self- preservation, both lost at the
end.
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