Colonialism by Proxy

Colonialism by Proxy

Hausa Imperial Agents and Middle Belt Consciousness in Nigeria
Moses E. Ochonu
Distribution: World
Publication date: 02/14/2014
Format: Paperback 5 maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-01161-9
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Finalist, 2015 African Studies Association Herskovits Award

Moses E. Ochonu explores a rare system of colonialism in Middle Belt Nigeria, where the British outsourced the business of the empire to Hausa-Fulani subcolonials because they considered the area too uncivilized for Indirect Rule. Ochonu reveals that the outsiders ruled with an iron fist and imagined themselves as bearers of Muslim civilization rather than carriers of the white man's burden. Stressing that this type of Indirect Rule violated its primary rationale, Colonialism by Proxy traces contemporary violent struggles to the legacy of the dynamics of power and the charged atmosphere of religious difference.

Author Bio

Moses E. Ochonu is Associate Professor of African History at Vanderbilt University and author of Colonial Meltdown: Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression.


“Without exaggeration, this book has transformed the way I think about Northern Nigeria and the Middle Belt. It will reshape how I teach British indirect rule.”
 — Douglas Anthony, Franklin and Marshall College

“Changes the ways in which we understand the practice of indirect rule and balances the formal structures of colonial power against less formal correlates such as trade. A fundamentally new reading of colonialism in the region.”
 — Steven Pierce, University of Manchester

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by John Gakau Date Added: Friday 31 January, 2014
Reframing the past, opening new doors to understanding and expanding possibilities! I found the author's first book, Colonial Meltdown, to be enlightening and powerful for its re-framing of British colonialism (goals, achievements and how things played out on the ground). I can't wait to read Dr. Ochonu's second book, Colonialism by Proxy, as I have to assume it is a must read for anyone interested in richer and fuller explorations of Nigerian history and past...

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars [5 of 5 Stars]

Table of Contents

Introduction: Understanding "Native Alien" Sub-colonialism and its Legacies
1. The Hausa-Caliphate Imaginary and Ideological Foundations of Proxy Colonialism
2. Zazzau and Southern Kaduna in Precolonial and Colonial Times
3. Emirate Maneuvers and "Pagan" Resistance in the Plateau-Nasarawa Basin
4. Hausa Colonial Agency in the Benue Valley
5. Fulani Expansion and Sub-colonial Rule in Early Colonial Adamawa Province
6. Non-Muslim Revolt Against Fulani Rule in Adamawa
7. Middle Belt Self-Determination and Caliphate Political Resurgence in the Transition to National Independence
Conclusion: Sub-colonialism, Ethnicity, and Memory

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