Taxing Colonial Africa: The Political Economy of British Imperialism

Hardcover | November 18, 2012

byLeigh A. Gardner

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How much did the British Empire cost, and how did Britain pay for it? Taxing Colonial Africa explores a source of funds much neglected in research on the financial structure of the Empire, namely revenue raised in the colonies themselves. Requiring colonies to be financially self-sufficientwas one of a range of strategies the British government used to lower the cost of imperial expansion to its own Treasury. Focusing on British colonies in Africa, Leigh Gardner examines how their efforts to balance their budgets influenced their relationships with local political stakeholders as well as the imperial government. She finds that efforts to balance the budget shaped colonial public policy at every level,and that compromises made in the face of financial constraints shaped the political and economic institutions that were established by colonial administrations and inherited by the former colonies at independence.Using both quantitative data on public revenue and expenditure as well as archival records from archives in both the UK and the former colonies, Gardner follows the development of fiscal policies in British Africa from the beginning of colonial rule through the first years of independence. Duringthe formative years of colonial administration, both the structure of taxation and the allocation of public spending reflected the two central goals of colonial rule: maintaining order as cheaply as possible and encouraging export production. Taxing Colonial Africa examines how the fiscal systemsestablished before 1914 coped with the upheavals of subsequent decades, including the two World Wars, the Great Depression, and finally the transfer of power.

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How much did the British Empire cost, and how did Britain pay for it? Taxing Colonial Africa explores a source of funds much neglected in research on the financial structure of the Empire, namely revenue raised in the colonies themselves. Requiring colonies to be financially self-sufficientwas one of a range of strategies the British g...

Leigh Gardner received her doctorate from the University of Oxford. Before joining the London School of Economics and Political Science, she taught at the University of Cape Town and worked as a researcher with the British Museum's 'Money in Africa' project. Her research focuses on the fiscal history of the British Empire, focusing on...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pagesPublished:November 18, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199661529

ISBN - 13:9780199661527

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Table of Contents

Preface1. An Introduction to the Problem of Colonial TaxationPart I: Building A Self-Sufficient Empire in Africa, 1885-19132. Building Colonial States in Africa3. Fiscal Foundations of the African Colonial StatePart II: Crisis Management in Colonial Public Finance4. From Complement to Conflict: Trade Taxes, 1914-385. Collective Action and Direct Taxation, 1918-19386. The Failure of Africa's 'New Deal'?Part III: From Self-Sufficiency to Nation-Building7. 'Cash, Competence and Consent': Building Local Governments8. Fiscal Policy and Regional Integration, 1945-639. Fiscal Consequences of DecolonizationBibliography