Tag Archives | Africa

The Liberated Africans Project has been launched!

The Liberated Africans Project provides historical resources and data related to transatlantic slave trade. Between 1808 and 1868, officers, primarily from the British navy, captured hundreds of slave ships and brought them into this network of mixed commissions. During the six decades known as the ‘illegal slave trade era’, these international courts liberated upwards of 200,000 people. However, this united effort had a limited impact on the overall suppression of the trans-Atlantic slave trade because an estimated 2.6 million people still crossed the Atlantic in this period with the majority landing in Brazil (1.8 million), followed by Cuba (685,000). According to the treaties, the mixed commissions could condemn a slave ship for re-sale, but the courts could not exact penalties on the owners, captains, and crew, who in many cases returned to the lucrative business on the same ship. Although Great Britain emancipated slaves in their colonies in 1834, most other nations did not abolish slavery in the Americas until much later: this included France and Denmark in 1848, the Netherlands in 1863, the United States in 1865, Cuba in 1886, and Brazil in 1888. These courts produced extensive documentation about tens of thousands of people victimized by the trans-Atlantic […]

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British post-colonial relations with Kenya – not so different from the French?

Post-colonial policies of France and Britain are often described as different. Poppy Cullen qualifies this with a short case study on Kenya. Dr Poppy Cullen is a lecturer in Commonwealth history at the University of Cambridge. Her research examines post-colonial imperial history and British engagement with Africa, and especially Kenya, during the final years of decolonisation and into the post-colonial period. She explores the multiple and multifaceted economic, military, personal and diplomatic networks which were sustained well beyond formal independence.  Much of the research on France’s post-colonial relations with Africa has found that these are particularly close. These have been based on a common currency zone (the CFA Franc), military commitments, economic aid, and a strong network of personal contacts; France also intervened militarily in the continent more than other former European colonial powers. By contrast, Britain has typically been seen to disengage more completely at independence, not having formal military agreements or the same level of personal connections and very rarely intervening militarily. The emphasis these European countries placed on Africa within their post-colonial foreign policies also differed substantially, as Africa remained a key region of French focus in a way it did not for British governments. Africa played […]

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