Nationalism, as an ideology coupling self-conscious peoples to fixed territories, is often seen as emerging from European historical developments, also in postcolonial countries outside Europe. André van Dokkum’s
Nationalism and Territoriality in Barue and Mozambique shows that this view is not universally true. The precolonial Kingdom of Barue in what is now Mozambique showed characteristics generally associated with nationalism, giving the country great resilience against colonial encroachment. Postcolonial Mozambique, on the other hand, has so far not succeeded in creating national coherence. The former anti-colonial organization and now party in power Frelimo has always stressed national unity, but only under its own guidance, paradoxically producing disunity.
Commercial Transitions and Abolition in West Africa 1630–1860 offers a fresh perspective on why, in the nineteenth century, the most important West African states and merchants who traded with Atlantic markets became exporters of commodities, instead of exporters of slaves. This study takes a long-term comparative approach and makes of use of new quantitative data.
It argues that the timing and nature of the change from slave exports to so-called ‘legitimate commerce’ in the Gold Coast, the Bight of Biafra and the Bight of Benin, can be predicted by patterns of trade established in previous centuries by a range of African and European actors responding to the changing political and economic environments of the Atlantic world.