UNESCO General History of Africa, Volume 8: Africa since 1935
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This eighth and final volume of the UNESCO General History of Africa examines the period from 1935 to the present day. As liberation from colonial rule progresses, the political, economic and cultural dimensions of the continent are analysed.
For Africa, 1935 marked the beginning of the Second World War, with Mussolini’s invasion of Ethiopia. International conflict dominates the first section of this volume, which describes crises in the Horn and North Africa, and other regions under the domination of the European powers. The next three sections cover the ensuing Africa-wide struggles for political sovereignty, from 1945 to independence; undervelopment and the fight for economic independence, looking at nation-building and changing political structures and values.
Section five deals with socio-cultural change since 1935, from religion to literature, language to philosophy, science and education. The last two sections address the development of pan-Africanism and the role of independent Africa in world affairs. Acknowledging the original irony that it was the imposition of European imperialism that awakened African consciousness, the volume points up the vital and growing interrelation of Africa and the rest of the globe.
The volume is illustrated with black and white photographs, maps and figures. The text is fully annotated and there is an extensive bibliography.
in the French areas, the local people had few rights and were liable to a forced labour regime which was almost a continuation of slavery. T h e Portuguese colonies were particularly marked by a lack of innovation and intensification of exploitation. Outside the capitals of Bissau, Luanda and Lourenço Marques and a few other towns where some industrial development occurred, the hinterlands remained the main areas of extortion of labour recruitment, partly through the white merchants w h o bought
colonies received almost n o manufactured goods except through a black market. In rural farming areas, peasants were forced to supply grains. In forest areas, it was the demand for rubber which desolated the countryside. Since hevea trees were not grown, people were obliged to go deep into the bush to seek vine-rubber. M a n y died victims of snakes and diseases. Meanwhile in the towns, ration cards were issued to Europeans and acculturated blacks 'living in the European manner'. Consumer goods c
concealed a profound disapproval, on the part of the Hamallists, of the position of colonial subjects and of those w h o had collaborated with the administration or remained passive. In 1940, supporters and opponents of Shaykh Hamallâh clashed over pasture rights; there were 400 casualties. T h e colonial government became 12. ibid., p. 540; for a detailed study, see D . C . O'Brien, 1971. 70 Tropical and equatorial Africa under French, Portuguese and Spanish domination, 1935-45 alarmed and
of the Fourth Republic, afraid of being accused of treason if they even contemplated negotiations with the 'rebels', were incapable of doing anything but give more and more power to the generals on the spot. T h e strategy employed by the French 136 North Africa and the Horn military consisted of three main elements: the 'regrouping' of villages, intended to destroy the F L N ' s network of support; the psychological warfare of terror to isolate the F L N from the majority of the people; and
farmers were beginning to be motivated by more rational African policies of agricultural returns. T h e wider context will be revealed in the economic chapters of this volume. 3 With regard to the political stream of Africa's experience in this period, the major processes covered in the volume include: (1) liberation; (2) state formation; and (3) nation-building. There are chapters about liberation from European colonial rule proper, especially in the period up to the 1960s. T h e n there is