Government in Zazzau, 1800-1950

Government in Zazzau, 1800-1950

Government in Zazzau, 1800-1950

Government in Zazzau, 1800-1950

Excerpt

This book grew slowly out of a short essay which I wrote in 1952, on the principal changes which had taken place in the government of Zaria since the Fulani conquest. The essay was stimulated by the publication of two Hausa documents dealing with the history of the Habe government of Zaria.

I showed it to Professor Daryll Forde for his comments, and found that further material had to be included in the redraft. The essay was duly rewritten a number of times, expanding progressively without, however, losing its essay character. At this stage it lacked a theoretical viewpoint and a detailed history of the process of change; only the well-remembered salient factors and events were dealt with, and the relevant field materials remained unanalysed. But as the description of the differing governmental systems gradually filled out, I began to feel the need for some conceptual framework on which to base their analysis and comparison. The first draft of Chapter 2 -- a theory of governmentwas the result. Then, when the whole manuscript was lost shortly after, I found that I had either to abandon the work or to think of it afresh as a monograph on governmental change.

By this time I had become too involved with the subject to abandon it, and so I started afresh, indexing my notebooks and writing up all the data relevant to my theme. In this new version I included a detailed chronicle of the history of Zaria from 1804 to 1950, and equally systematic accounts of the alternative governmental forms. When this was done, I found that I had set out the materials for a study of governmental change, but had no theory or method of analysis for dealing with it. In Chapter 8, which was my solution of these problems, I was able to test the theory of government set out in Chapter 2 by application. From this history of the manuscript it will be seen that the two theoretical chapters with which it begins and ends arose at different times out of the problems presented by the materials when these had been set forth.

Hitherto, social anthropologists have tended to avoid historical studies, yet without this it is hard to see how an adequate theory of social change can be developed. As social anthropologists . . .

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