Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression by Moses E. OchonuColonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression by Moses E. Ochonu

Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression

byMoses E. Ochonu

Paperback | October 20, 2009

Pricing and Purchase Info

$44.56 online 
$48.95 list price save 8%
Earn 223 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store

Quantity:

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores

about

Historians of colonial Africa have largely regarded the decade of the Great Depression as a period of intense exploitation and colonial inactivity. In Colonial Meltdown, Moses E. Ochonu challenges this conventional interpretation by mapping the determined, at times violent, yet instructive responses of Northern Nigeria’s chiefs, farmers, laborers, artisans, women, traders, and embryonic elites to the British colonial mismanagement of the Great Depression. Colonial Meltdown explores the unraveling of British colonial power at a moment of global economic crisis.

Ochonu shows that the economic downturn made colonial exploitation all but impossible and that this dearth of profits and surpluses frustrated the colonial administration which then authorized a brutal regime of grassroots exactions and invasive intrusions. The outcomes were as harsh for Northern Nigerians as those of colonial exploitation in boom years.

Northern Nigerians confronted colonial economic recovery measures and their agents with a variety of strategies. Colonial Meltdown analyzes how farmers, women, laborers, laid-off tin miners, and Northern Nigeria’s emergent elite challenged and rebelled against colonial economic recovery schemes with evasive trickery, defiance, strategic acts of revenge, and criminal self-help and, in the process, exposed the weak underbelly of the colonial system.

Combined with the economic and political paralysis of colonial bureaucrats in the face of crisis, these African responses underlined the fundamental weakness of the colonial state, the brittleness of its economic mission, and the limits of colonial coercion and violence. This atmosphere of colonial collapse emboldened critics of colonial policies who went on to craft the rhetorical terms on which the anticolonial struggle of the post–World War II period was fought out.

In the current climate of global economic anxieties, Ochonu’s analysis will enrich discussions on the transnational ramifications of economic downturns. It will also challenge the pervasive narrative of imperial economic success.
Moses E. Ochonu is an assistant professor of African history at Vanderbilt University. He is the author of many journal articles and book chapters. His op-ed articles on African affairs have been published in The Chronicle Review and on Tennessean.com.
Loading
Title:Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great DepressionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:272 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:October 20, 2009Publisher:Ohio University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0821418904

ISBN - 13:9780821418901

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Ochonu has written a widely ranging and richly detailed history of how colonial officials and Northern Nigerians responded to the economic and political challenges posed by the Great Depression."
- International Journal of African Historical Studies