By Moses E. Ochonu
Historians of colonial Africa have mostly appeared the last decade of the good melancholy as a interval of excessive exploitation and colonial state of no activity. In Colonial Meltdown, Moses E. Ochonu demanding situations this traditional interpretation by way of mapping the made up our minds, every now and then violent, but instructive responses of Northern Nigeria's chiefs, farmers, workers, artisans, girls, investors, and embryonic elites to the British colonial mismanagement of the nice melancholy. Colonial Meltdown explores the unraveling of British colonial strength at a second of world financial crisis.
Ochonu exhibits that the commercial downturn made colonial exploitation all yet very unlikely and that this dearth of earnings and surpluses pissed off the colonial management which then approved a brutal regime of grassroots exactions and invasive intrusions. the results have been as harsh for Northern Nigerians as these of colonial exploitation in growth years.
Northern Nigerians faced colonial monetary restoration measures and their brokers with a number of strategies.ColonialMeltdownanalyzes how farmers, ladies, workers, laid-off tin miners, and northerly Nigeria's emergent elite challenged and rebelled opposed to colonial fiscal restoration schemes with evasive trickery, defiance, strategic acts of revenge, and legal self-help and, within the technique, uncovered the susceptible underbelly of the colonial system.
Combined with the industrial and political paralysis of colonial bureaucrats within the face of main issue, those African responses underlined the basic weak spot of the colonial kingdom, the brittleness of its monetary challenge, and the boundaries of colonial coercion and violence. This surroundings of colonial cave in emboldened critics of colonial rules who went directly to craft the rhetorical phrases on which the anticolonial fight of the post-World warfare II interval used to be fought out.
In the present weather of worldwide financial anxieties, Ochonu's research will increase discussions at the transnational ramifications of monetary downturns. it's going to additionally problem the pervasive narrative of imperial monetary good fortune.
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Additional resources for Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression (New African Histories)
Introduction w 17 The reactions of different groups of Northern Nigerians confounded the simplistic economic assumptions of anxious British officials, as locals increasingly focused on the quotidian dimensions of the economic crisis in disregard of the grandiose imperial economic projections of British colonial crisis managers. Members of Northern Nigeria’s embryonic elite—many of them retrenched from their positions in the colonial civil service and from British mercantile companies—responded to their plummeting personal finances and loss of patronage and privileges by turning against the colonial system.
28 Cameron envisaged an improvement in revenue from a new income tax on civil servants, chiefs, and other personnel engaged temporarily or permanently in the colonial civil service, as well as from further reductions in the allowances paid to colonial staff. In arguing his case for the new income tax, the governor contended that the reductions in allowances of the previous year had been “felt more by junior [African] than the senior officers,” and that the planned graduated income tax would “have the effect of equalizing the sacrifice .
To boost revenue and the state’s capacity to lubricate its administrative machinery, colonial officials intervened robustly in the domain of export agriculture. These actions resulted from the colonial state’s own financial anxieties, and officials saw Nigerians’ economic interests and suffering as merely incidental to the state’s. This was not exploitation at work, but a desperate, cynical colonialism committed, temporarily, to self-preservation for its own sake. These economic recovery measures intensified Nigerians’ suffering and economic insecurities, to be sure, but their victimhood remained incidental to state recovery efforts.