By Allen F. Isaacman, B. Isaacman

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Extra info for Mozambique: From Colonialism to Revolution, 1900-82

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The conflict in northern Mozambique centered on the commitment of the ruling class of the coastal Swahili sheikhdoms of Angoche, Qui tanghona, Sancul, and Sangage and of adjacent Makua and Yao states to THE PRECOLONIAL PERIOD, 1500-1880 perpetuate the slave trade and retain their independence. Before the scramble Lisbon had fostered a modus vivendi with the coastal aristocracy, who, in return for acknowledging Portugal's nominal rule, were free to engage surreptitiously in slaving. Intensified international pressure, especially from Great Britain, compelled Portugal to give up this arrangement.

31 As late as 1961 less than 1 percent of the African population had been legally assimilated. Under Salazar the settler community lost the relative autonomy it had enjoyed during the republican era. The high commissioner's office, which had been responsive to their interests, was replaced by a governor general who merely administered policies formulated by the Overseas Ministry, while the local municipal governments and the Mozambican Provincial Assembly became rubber stamps for the Portuguese dictatorship.

During the next decade a number of inconclusive battles were fought in which the colonial army was generally kept on the defensive. In 1910 a Portuguese force of more than 4,600 men, supported by heavy artillery, simultaneously attacked the positions of Angoche and its Makua allies. The unprecedented commitment of manpower and the deployment of the most sophisticated weapons in the colonial arsenal clearly indicated Lisbon's commitment to impose its rule after nearly thirty years of failure. By the end of the year the Makua had surrendered.

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