Did the activities and character of global capitalism within Africa change markedly after the Scramble for Africa, and was that a consequence of colonialism if so?Did colonial authorities exercise meaningful political and social control over African societies after 1880, and if so, what kind of control?
I think I’ve hit on a catchy structure for a modest reshuffling of my Honors seminar in Colonial Africa.
Much of my reading list will remain the same, but this restructuring is designed to make the way I look at the historiography much more concrete and transparent to the students.
Classification into these categories was based on appearance, social acceptance, and descent.
For example, a white person was defined as ``in appearance obviously a white person or generally accepted as a white person.'' A person could not be considered white if one of his or her parents were non-white.
E.g., you could say in response to the question, “Why were European societies able to subject African societies to formal colonial rule with such rapidity?
” that they weren’t able to do so, that the colonial state had little real authority outside of administrative centers for twenty or thirty years after lines were drawn on the map in Berlin, save for occasional displays of spectacular violence.Are there any useful generalizations to be made in response to that question?What was the relationship between African societies and larger global economic and political systems in 1860? Why were European societies able to subject African societies to formal colonial rule with such rapidity?The more I think about it, the more I think that this list would also make a great premise for a catchy short book of essays. This is kind of my worst habit, thinking of rather than finishing almost-done ones, but I can’t really help myself.————— What was the state of African societies in 1860?Does the nature of colonial rule in Africa pose special historiographical or methodological problems for historical study?How did the content and character of cultural practice and everyday life change during the colonial era, and how much was colonialism responsible for that change?Non-compliance with the race laws were dealt with harshly.All blacks were required to carry ``pass books'' containing fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas. In 1951, the Bantu Authorities Act established a basis for ethnic government in African reserves, known as ``homelands.'' These homelands were independent states to which each African was assigned by the government according to the record of origin (which was frequently inaccurate).How did the social structure of African societies change during the colonial era?How much of that change was directly attributable to colonialism itself?