African History: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

By John Parker, Richard Rathbone

This Very brief advent seems to be at Africa's prior and displays at the altering methods it's been imagined and represented, either in Africa and past. the writer illustrates vital points of Africa's background with quite a number attention-grabbing historic examples, drawn from over five millennia throughout this huge continent. The multitude of issues that the reader will know about during this succinct paintings comprise the team spirit and variety of African cultures, slavery, faith, colonial conquest, the diaspora, and the significance of historical past in knowing modern Africa. The e-book examines questions reminiscent of: Who invented the belief of "Africa"? How is African historical past pieced jointly, given one of these loss of documentary proof? How did Africa engage with the area 1,000 years ago?

Africa has been often called 'the cradle of mankind', and its recoverable background stretches again to the Pharaohs. however the notion of learning African heritage is itself new, and the authors express why it truly is nonetheless contested and debatable. This VSI, the 1st concise paintings of its style, will turn out crucial studying for a person attracted to the African continent and the variety of human history.


A rather well educated and sharply acknowledged historiography... can be in each historiography student's kitbag. A journey de force... it made me imagine very much. Terence Ranger, The Bulletin of the varsity of Oriental and African reports you'll end this e-book higher trained, with a greater figuring out of Africa and a clearer notion of the questions. Robert Giddings, Tribune This small e-book is a great and stimulating essay exploring problems with historical past, resources and strategies, Africa on the earth, colonialism and postcolonialism, and the prior within the current as a method of introducing scholars and others to educational puzzling over African heritage. Tom Spear, magazine of African background

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Colossal elephant herds have been decimated as ivory-trading frontiers driven inexorably from the east and west coasts in the direction of the Congo basin. The ownership of weapons, including new assets of mercantile wealth, altered the stability of political energy in lots of areas. verified states, corresponding to the Lunda and Luba kingdoms, have been introduced low through well-armed intruders or by means of inner dissent. somewhere else, new domain names arose, akin to these solid within the japanese Congo via Swahili ivory and slave investors from Zanzibar. In South Africa and in Algeria, in the meantime, white settler frontiers complicated inland, producing armed violence and lengthening degrees of dispossession. those a number of methods may culminate within the ultimate a long time of the century within the eu conquest and partition of the continent. within the subsequent bankruptcy, we reflect on this new part in Africa’s lengthy courting with the realm. yet we will be able to finish from the 4 topics defined the following that Africans have been greatly a part of international historical past lengthy sooner than the violent imposition of colonial rule. As all over, occasionally this was once all alone phrases, at different occasions no longer. ninety Chapter five Colonialism in Africa Colonial rule got here past due to Africa. It used to be additionally particularly short. in contrast to Latin the USA, which fell less than Spanish and Portuguese rule within the early sixteenth century and remained that approach for three hundred years, Africa was once conquered by way of ecu imperial powers simply within the overdue nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. via the Sixties, the colonial interval was once all yet over. in lots of components of the continent, it lasted slightly generations: Morocco, for instance, turned a French protectorate in 1912 and was once back autonomous in 1956 – the period of colonial domination now shorter than that of renewed sovereignty. whereas accomplishing study within the north of Ghana within the overdue Nineteen Nineties, one of many current authors interviewed outdated women and men who as teenagers remembered the army crusade that during 1911 introduced their groups less than British overrule. Forty-six years later, in 1957, the British have been long past. In extra distinction with the Americas, whose indigenous peoples suffered catastrophic demographic cave in and in a few areas cultural annihilation, such a lot African civilizations have been strong adequate to outlive the event of colonial conquest mostly intact. eu rule, underpinned through the continent through coercion and racism, used to be usually violent, exploitative, and anxious. yet its impression assorted tremendously: throughout time, from zone to area and colony to colony, among women and men and old and young, and based on a mess of social, political, and fiscal components ninety one African heritage that have been usually formed as a lot by way of Africans themselves as by way of their colonial masters. For a few Africans, colonial rule represented a chance; for others, a chance. for plenty of, it used to be most likely either. Reconstructing those advanced styles is without doubt one of the maximum demanding situations dealing with historians of Africa at the present time. while the systematic research of the African prior all started within the Nineteen Sixties, historians weren't rather attracted to the interval of colonial rule that was once then drawing to an in depth.

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