By Richard J. Reid

Up-to-date and revised to stress long term views on present matters dealing with the continent, the recent 2<sup>nd</sup> variation of A background of contemporary Africa recounts the total breadth of Africa's political, monetary, and social historical past over the last centuries.
* Adopts a long term method of present concerns, stressing the significance of nineteenth-century and deeper indigenous dynamics in explaining Africa's later twentieth-century challenges
* locations a better concentrate on African company, in particular in the course of the colonial encounter
* contains extra in-depth assurance of non-Anglophone Africa
* deals extended insurance of the post-colonial period to take account of modern advancements, together with the clash in Darfur and the political unrest of 2011 in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya

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Extra info for A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present (Blackwell Concise History of the Modern World)

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As the nineteenth century dawned, the Nyamwezi had already developed trade routes which linked Buganda at the north end of Lake Victoria, Katanga to the south, and Zanzibar at the coast; they dominated this commercial network until the middle decades of the nineteenth century, when coastal traders began to penetrate the interior with their own caravans, discussed above. Many Nyamwezi became porters for the wealthy Arab and Indian merchants; but conflict was inevitable with the newcomers, especially as the movement of large coastal caravans inland placed strains on local communities in terms of food supply, while antagonism also arose by the 1840s and 1850s over the establishment of customs duties by chiefs through whose territories the commercial highways ran.

Buganda’s relations with its neighbors, for example, were pragmatic: trade and economic influence where possible, conflict when necessary, as the kingdom sought to build both a territorial and an “informal” empire. Despite recurrent conflict, Buganda depended on healthy economic relations with Bunyoro, the Soga to the east, the pastoral states to the west, and a host of smaller states and societies to the south. However, inter-state relations across the region became rather more volatile, more intense, and – in general – more violent with the expansion of long-distance, coastal-oriented commerce, the commercial network directed by Zanzibar.

In addition to slaves, gold, ivory, skins, and spices were exported from the Ethiopian region, in exchange for firearms in particular; yet unlike in central-eastern Africa, firearms generally strengthened extant Amhara and Tigrayan political elites, largely through their ability to maintain commercial monopolies and control of trade routes between the coast and plateau; even so, as the nineteenth century progressed and commerce fanned out to some extent, a range of groups were better able to challenge states than previously.

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