The Transition from Slavery
IntroductionThe history of Zanzibar in the nineteenth century is essentially a
history of the transition of a social formation in which a pre-
capitalist mode of production gave way to the capitalist mode of
production which nevertheless continued to contain pre-capitalist
elements. It is a history of economic, political and ideological
subjugation to expanding imperialism represented by British
consuls and traders. The period under study, 1873-1914, is
therefore only the culmination of the process of imperialist
expansion beyond its geographical area of origin in capitalist Europe.In studying this history, it is not enough to chronicle the various
events which have occurred over time and fill in the gaps with a
text. As Marx pointed out, history would not be a science if it were
reduced to recording events as they happened. It is not sufficient to
collect a series of facts and then assume that they will be
self-explanatory. The historian must investigate what lies behind the
events. That task will be carried out in this chapter within the
theoretical and conceptual framework of historical materialism.
This methodology will enable us to explain the history of Zanzibar
at three levels. First, we investigate the economic level at which we
|1. ||The transformation of a slave-based economy into one based on
the use of free labour;|
|2. ||The transition from a merchant-dominated formation to one
dominated by productive capital;|
|3. ||A process of peasantisation and proletarianisation where self-|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Zanzibar under Colonial Rule.
Contributors: Abdul Sheriff - Editor, Ed Ferguson - Editor.
Publisher: James Currey.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 1991.
Page number: 11.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may
not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.