Slavery, Colonialism and Economic Growth in Dahomey, by Patrick Manning

By Patrick Manning

The small yet very important quarter of Dahomey (now the People's Republic of Benin) has performed an energetic function on the planet economic climate in the course of the period of mercantile and business capitalism, starting as an exporter of slaves and turning into an exporter of undeniable oil and palm kernels. This e-book covers a span of 3 centuries, integrating right into a unmarried framework the pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial fiscal heritage of Dahomey. Mr Manning has pieced jointly an in depth physique of latest proof and new interpretations: he has mixed descriptive facts with quantitative info on overseas alternate, slave demography and colonial govt finance, and has used either Marxian and Neoclassical strategies of monetary research. He argues that, regardless of the serious pressure on inhabitants and monetary progress brought on by the slave exchange, the economic climate persisted to extend from the 17th to the 19th century, and the colonial nation acted as an monetary depressant instead of a stimulant.

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Extra info for Slavery, Colonialism and Economic Growth in Dahomey, 1640-1960 (African Studies)

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Assuming that exports averaged 15% of the level of domestic product, the fiscal drain averaged 3% of domestic product per year. 20 But French economic and social policies ultimately took their toll, and the effects of the Depression 18 The capitalist era, since 1930 and World War II completed the processes of taming the bourgeoisie, bleeding the peasantry, and undermining economic growth. THE CAPITALIST ERA, SINCE 1930 The capitalist era in Dahomey thus opened not with robust growth, but in an atmosphere of restrictions, calamity and ambiguity.

With the French conquest (1890-3) of what became the Colony of Dahomey, and with conquests by Britain and Germany in adjoining areas, the issue of political power was resolved. Colonial conquest failed, however, to bring about the immediate opening of a new economic era. 16 The importance of the colonial conquest was that now the French state, rather than African states, would govern the disposal of wealth produced in the economy. The colonial state, far from being based on or allied to social classes in Dahomey, was a foreign government, responsible only to foreign influences.

This 'early growth' thesis contrasts with the late growth' thesis which is still advanced occasionally by those who suggest 22 The mythic era, to 1660 Ethnic categories » " " AJA-EWE YORUBA —— VOLTAIC QDDDD NUPE TOGO HILLS Major states with dates of their greatest llllillllllll Ardra (1575—1724) brH ^ kwamu (1680-1720) fff\ 0-1727) Y,^, II111 Hnyn (1780-1820) Kv^l 0 i g O extent Danhome (1727-1892) N'kki ( ? -1895) Abeokl J«al1840-93) Ibadan (1840-93) Map 1 The Bight of Benin, 1640-1890 23 The Dahomean economy, 1640-1890 that the society of Dahomey took shape in the years after European contact.

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