The Oxford History of the British Empire - Vol. 4

By Judith M. Brown; Wm. Roger Louis et al. | Go to book overview

23

East Africa

JOHN LONSDALE

British rule was the particular forcing house in which East Africa faced its trial by modernization, a process by which state power and capitalism have transformed societies the world over. Many have suffered, many have benefited by it. Rulers of modern states can use their unprecedented power to commandeer their subjects' blood and treasure and, if unchecked, their labour and their liberties. By widening markets beyond local control, capitalism has twisted moral economies of obligation and devalued statuses and skills. Yet modernity has also created unequalled opportunity, unequally shared, for social mobility, for collective solutions to natural disasters, for the access of the literate to new ideas, for the broader enjoyment of useful goods during longer lifetimes. Did British rule make these experiences more or less arduous or productive, more divisive or more widely liberating, than would any other regime, local or foreign?

The question grows no less insistent as more time passes since colonial rule ended in the 1960s, six decades after the first tax collections marked its effective birth. Independence has not delivered the growing welfare which, perhaps unrealistically, it was once hoped to bring. There is, however, no easy answer. Modernity was bound to be a harsh ordeal for East Africans, who came late to the world's market-place, with few resources, working old, eroded soils with simple tools. The colonial past must, none the less, bear some responsibility for failure. If empire was a necessary lesson in capitalism, it came too late to East Africa for Britain to be its best tutor. Before 1914 the British Empire was the world's pioneer development agency, with London the cheapest supplier of capital to apprentice producers and the best market for their primary products, but for East Africans the British were little more than recent conquerors. After the Great War, the Empire turned into a prop against Britain's decline; East Africa's high colonial period thus coincided with the least creative, most exploitative, era of British overseas rule. But there was no indigenous power to take command of change, unlike Meiji Japan; nineteenth-century East Africans, before colonial rule, had suffered political disintegration more often than they had forged wider alliances in face of economic

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Oxford History of the British Empire - Vol. 4
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 773

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.