Collaboration or Resistance to Colonial Rule

Collaboration or Resistance to Colonial Rule

Collaboration or Resistance to Colonial Rule African responses were diverse and took many forms. Majority vehemently opposed the changes taking place in their societies. Various theories have been advanced by scholars. Robinson and Gallagher Primary resistance was reactionary and fruitless and foolhardy with negative impact. Examine examples of Samori Toure, Lobengula and the Nandi of Kenya. Roland Oliver and J. D.Fage

Argue that collaborators were well informed leaders who saw futility of resisting. Hence they agree with Robinson and Gallagher. Oliver and Fage saw resisters as ill-advised people who jeopardized peace of the people. Analysis There were serious issues at stake ,the Africans lost authority, cattle, minerals and land. African resistance proved that they did not give up their sovereignty easily. African rulers were divided and used to conquer others, but some were smart to exploit the foreign domination e.g.

Buganda was able to gain a lot of land. Revisionist Historians Believed that drawing up a line between collaborators and resisters was artificial and wrong. Gives the example of the Majimaji rebellion where the people of Tanganyika resisted knowing the bullets were fatal

Hargreaves one of the revisionists challenges Robinson and Gallagher and gives example of Samori who tried to collaborate with the British but discovered it could not work. . The Maasai of Kenya also tried to collaborate but lost land instead In Benin, Nana tried to collaborate but was deported by the British.

Theories Others used diplomacy such as King Tofa of Porto Novo but still lost. So even the strategy of cooperation did not work Africans still lost land and political rule. Hargreaves argues that Africans did not resist modernization as postulated by Robinson and Galagher but resisted to protect their political sovereignty and there is nothing savage about self-determination T. O.Ranger

Challenges Robinson and Gallagher and refutes the idea that conquest of Africa was easy. He demystifies the notion that Africans were helpless and passive. He argues that Africans were participants who took their stand during conquest. He gives another example of Europeans who believed they could do as they wished Such as the Germans in Tanganyika which led to the bloody majimaji rebellion, John Iliffe shows that the resistance and rebellions

indicate that if Africans are pushed too far,they would strike back A.G.Hopkins Looks at the response from Economic point of view. That African rulers struggled to maintain their middleman position in trade e.g. Jaja of Opobo and other states of Bonny that engaged in palm oil trade. Edward Steinhart- looked at it from political point of view he argues that centralized societies with strong traditions resisted e.g. Asante and Ndebele- not always, since Buganda was highly centralized but collaborated

Closing statement collaborators and resisters were one and the same. It is tactics adopted to achieve their objectives that differed. It is not important what method were used. All were interested in self-determination and self- preservation, both lost at the end.

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