By Moses E. Ochonu

Historians of colonial Africa have principally appeared the last decade of the nice melancholy as a interval of excessive exploitation and colonial state of being inactive. In Colonial Meltdown, Moses E. Ochonu demanding situations this traditional interpretation by way of mapping the made up our minds, every now and then violent, but instructive responses of Northern Nigeria's chiefs, farmers, employees, artisans, girls, investors, and embryonic elites to the British colonial mismanagement of the good melancholy. Colonial Meltdown explores the unraveling of British colonial energy at a second of worldwide monetary crisis.

Ochonu exhibits that the industrial downturn made colonial exploitation all yet most unlikely and that this dearth of gains and surpluses pissed off the colonial management which then approved a brutal regime of grassroots exactions and invasive intrusions. the results have been as harsh for Northern Nigerians as these of colonial exploitation in increase years.

Northern Nigerians faced colonial monetary restoration measures and their brokers with various strategies.ColonialMeltdownanalyzes how farmers, ladies, workers, laid-off tin miners, and northerly Nigeria's emergent elite challenged and rebelled opposed to colonial monetary restoration schemes with evasive trickery, defiance, strategic acts of revenge, and felony self-help and, within the approach, uncovered the susceptible underbelly of the colonial system.

Combined with the commercial and political paralysis of colonial bureaucrats within the face of trouble, those African responses underlined the elemental weak spot of the colonial nation, the brittleness of its monetary undertaking, and the bounds of colonial coercion and violence. This surroundings of colonial cave in emboldened critics of colonial guidelines who went directly to craft the rhetorical phrases on which the anticolonial fight of the post-World battle II interval used to be fought out.

In the present weather of world financial anxieties, Ochonu's research will improve discussions at the transnational ramifications of financial downturns. it is going to additionally problem the pervasive narrative of imperial financial luck.

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Extra info for Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression (New African Histories)

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22 From Empire to Colony w 33 The collapse of agricultural produce prices undermined the revenue projections of the government and forced authorities to craft new solutions, approaches, and rationalizations. Both familiar problems exacerbated by the Depression and unforeseen problems brought on by the downturn needed solutions. This was the premise of the state’s economic recovery policy. Revenue generation and financial tinkering gradually came to constitute the core activities of colonial officials in Nigeria.

Addressing the session, the governor of Nigeria, Sir Donald Cameron, laid out the bleakness of the financial situation for the gathered European and African members of the legislative council. ”23 He took the delegates through the balance sheet of 1930 and 1931, lamenting the shortfall in collected revenue but praising the reduction of infrastructure and recurrent spending, which saved the government £267,000. He criticized the current budget, which had a built-in deficit of £1,565,000, and declared the need for “drastic action” to defeat deficit budgeting.

The onset of the Depression, in 1929, had focused new attention on Japanese competition with British textile exports to African colonies. Aided by a combination of cheap labor, the devaluation of the yen in 1931, and export-promoting fiscal policies, the Japanese could produce cotton and silk textiles more efficiently than did British factories. From about 1911, Japanese merchants flooded the markets of British West Africa with a variety of cheap products that became popular with Nigerian consumers.

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