Immigrant Song

Why do so many African leaders die in office?

14 African Countries Pay France Colonial Tax

Colonial projects did not begin with nation-states but as joint-stock company ventures with private stock sold to private investors (aristocracy).

Using the capital raised from the joint-stock company, the company would assemble a crew of prospectors.

The prospectors only goal was maximizing profits for the shareholders in the joint-stock company.

The most common methods are:

convert agriculture to a cash-crop, exploit resources and exploit labor.

A colonial mission nearly always includes all three.

Before colonization, most of these economies were food sovereign, meaning, they could grow enough food to feed the population.

During the process of colonization, all the variety of crops and produce are replaced by the single cash-crop or a small group of cash crops that maximizes profit for the colonizing entity.

850 AD Benin's inner wall, a 7 mile earthen rampart girded by a moat 20 feet deep, is built.

1200 Benin City and Timbuktu have thriving economies based on trading salt, gold, spices and dyes.

As the wealth of Timbuktu grows it becomes a center of learning attracting Muslim scholars.

1440 36 known Ogiso are accounted for as rulers of Benin when Oba Ewuare, also known as Ewuare the Great, takes power.

1485 Portuguese Joao Afonso de Aveiro visits Benin City.

1553 Significant trading developed between England and Benin based on the export of ivory, palm oil, pepper, and slaves.

1578 Morocco successfully repells an attempt by Portugal to conquer it at the Battle of Alcácer Quibir.

With Morocco, on the verge of bankruptcy, Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi turns his attention to looting the Songhai Empire.

Sultan Ahmad I al-Mansur Saadi commands Judar Pasha, a Spanish eunuch, to take the salt mines at Taghaza and advance on the capital Gao.

1591 Judar Pasha sacks and loots Gao but finding few riches moves on to the richer trading centers of Timbuktu and Djenné.

The looting of the three cities marked the end of the Songhai Empire.

1593 Ahmad I al-Mansur citing "disloyalty" arrests and subsequently kills or exiles many of Timbuktu's scholars, including Ahmad Baba al Massufi.

1606 Virginia Company begins as a joint-stock company.

1661 Compagnie des aventuriers d'Afrique, a joint-stock company was given exclusive rights to exploit Africa by the "Sun King", Louis XIV of France.

The Sun King consolidated a system of absolute monarchical rule in France that endured until the French Revolution, a direct result of absolutism.

1691 “Great Benin, where the king resides, is larger than Lisbon. all the streets run straight and as far as the eye can see. The houses are large, especially that of the king, which is richly decorated and has fine columns. The city is wealthy and industrious. It is so well governed that theft is unknown and the people live in such security that they have no doors to their houses.”

1701 Ashanti king Osei Tutu and his adviser Okomfo Anokye establish the Ashanti Kingdom, with the Golden Stool of Asante, conquer Denkyira.

early 1800s Search for ivory, often used in the production of luxury goods, led many white traders into the interior of Africa.

With the exception of trading posts along the coasts, the continent is essentially ignored.

1876 King Léopold II of Belgium, founds and controls the International African Association, inviting Henry Morton Stanley to join him in researching and 'civilizing' the continent.

1878 International Congo Society is formed, with economic goals but still closely related to the former society.

Léopold secretly purchases foreign investor stock in the Congo Society, which turn to imperialistic goals, with the Society serving as a philanthropic front.

1884 The Berlin Conference ushers in a period of heightened colonial activity by European powers, eliminating and overriding most existing forms of African autonomy and self-governance.

Before the conference, European diplomacy treated African natives in the same manner as New World natives: by forming trading relationships with the indigenous chiefs.

1897 German colonialists and missionaries arrived in Rwanda.

In pre-colonial times, Rwanda's rich farmland grows an assortment of fruits, vegetables as well as cassava and yam as their staple carbohydrate.

With colonization, first by the Germans and then by the Belgians, the land is converted to a large industrial coffee farm.

Rwanda, no longer able to feed itself, is forced to import basic foodstuff from the mother country.

Many of the vegetables that once grew in Rwanda are now extinct.

Benin City is captured by Admiral Sir Harry Rawson, who razes and burns the city, stealing and destroying treasured art.

The "Benin Bronzes" - stolen portrait figures, busts, and groups created in iron, carved ivory, and especially in brass - are now displayed in museums around the world.

1899 United Fruit Company (UFCO), the merger of Minor C. Keith's banana-trading concerns with Andrew W. Preston's Boston Fruit Company., Manuel Estrada Cabrera

1900 Spain lacks the wealth and interest to develop its African colonies during the first half of the 20th century.

However, through a paternalistic system, particularly on Bioko Island, Spain develops large cocoa plantations with thousands of imported Nigerian laborers.

1931 Following the fall of the monarchy, the Spanish African colonies including Spanish Guinea and Spanish Morocco became part of the Second Spanish Republic.

1936 Francisco Franco, a general of the Army of Africa, rebels against the republican government and starts the Spanish Civil War which lasts until 1939.

Bill Gates Thinks There are Too Many Africans

1956 When French Morocco becomes independent, Spain surrenders Spanish Morocco, but retains control of Sidi Ifni, the Tarfaya region and Spanish Sahara.

1959 Spanish territory on the Gulf of Guinea is established with a status similar to the provinces of metropolitan Spain.

1968 Under pressure from nationalists and the United Nations, Spain announces it will grant Equatorial Guinea independence.

1969 Under international pressure, Spain returned Sidi Ifni to Morocco.

1975 Green March prompts withdrawal from Spanish Sahara under Moroccan military pressure.

natural resource expropriation

In Nigeria, a Strongman Tightens the Vise

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