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date: 02 December 2021

p. 112. Pre-colonial political systems and colonialismlocked

p. 112. Pre-colonial political systems and colonialismlocked

  • Ian Taylor


Pre-colonial Africa had a wide diversity of politics and government, all related to the type of economic systems practised. Hunter-gatherers practised a form of primitive communism, while elsewhere three broad systems may be identified: large centralized kingdoms and empires; centralized mid-sized kingdoms; and widely scattered chiefdoms. ‘Pre-colonial political systems and colonialism’ explains that political and social identities were generally more related to affiliations, such as sharing a common language, than to being an inhabitant of a particular territory. It also outlines the impact of the slave trade, which began in the 15th century, and the different types of late-19th-century colonial rule on the African people and their politics.

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