The Road to ABA: A Study of British Administrative Policy in Eastern Nigeria

The Road to ABA: A Study of British Administrative Policy in Eastern Nigeria

The Road to ABA: A Study of British Administrative Policy in Eastern Nigeria

The Road to ABA: A Study of British Administrative Policy in Eastern Nigeria

Excerpt

Most of the territories which would later constitute Britain's dependent empire in Africa were acquired reluctantly in the two decades after 1880. The dominant imperial attitudes of British leaders of both major parties in the mid-Victorian period were vehemently opposed to the acquisition of territory. A large influential segment of British government opinion recommended the casting off of colonies such as Canada, New South Wales, New Zealand, Victoria, and Cape Colony. This did not imply an anti-imperial attitude as some later observers seemed to believe. Rather it reflected the successful businessman's view of empire. Britain, dominant in manufacturing, trade, and finance, did not need colonies or dependent territories to assure its prosperity and continued growth. The most important areas for British trade during this high period of free trade were not her colonies but independent states in Europe and North and South America. Briefly stated, all British governments prior to 1880 were concerned with increasing British profits. It was believed that colonies added nothing to the economic posture of Britain. On the contrary, their administration . . .

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