Economic and Political Integration 1850–1920

  • Ellen HillbomEmail author
  • Erik Green
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Economic History book series (PEHS)


In 1850 most parts of Africa was untouched by foreign conquest. Fifty years later almost the entire continent had been colonized by European powers. Although colonization market a significant political break, Hillbom and Green show that from the point of view of writing economic and social history, 1850 to 1920 was also a period marked by significant continuity. Based on the production of raw materials and agricultural products, the continent was already on a path to further integration into the world economy. There were both winners and losers from these processes of change, but in general it was African agency and pre-colonial legacies that drove much of the developments in the late pre-colonial and early colonial eras.


  1. Akyeampong, Emmanuel, Robert H. Bates, Nathan Nunn, and James A. Robinson (eds.) (2014) Africa’s development in historical perspective, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Austin, Gareth (2005) Labour, land and capital in Ghana—From slavery to free labour in Asante, 1807–1956, Rochester: Rochester University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Austin, Gareth (2009) ‘Cash crops and freedom: Export agriculture and the decline of slavery in colonial West Africa’, International Review of Social History, 54(1): 1–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Berry, Sara (1993) No condition is permanent: The social dynamics of agrarian change in sub-Saharan Africa, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Google Scholar
  5. Boahen, A. Adu (1987) African perspectives on colonialism, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cain, P. J., and A. G. Hopkins (2014) British imperialism: 1688–2000, London: Routledge. Google Scholar
  7. Cameron, R. E. (1993) A concise economic history of the world: From Paleolithic times to the present, New York: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  8. Feinstein, Charles (2012) An economic history of South Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Fourie, J., R. Ross, and R. Viljoen (2014) ‘Literacy at South African mission stations’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 40(4): 781–800.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Frankema, E., E. Green, and E. Hillbom (2016) ‘Endogenous processes of colonial settlement. The success and failure of European settler farming in sub-Saharan Africa’, Revista de Historia Economica-Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History, 34(2): 237–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Frankema, Ewout, Jeffery Williamson, and Pieter Woltjer (2015) ‘An economic rationale for the African scramble: The commercial transition and the commodity price boom, 1845–1885’, NBER Working paper no 21213.Google Scholar
  12. Freund, B. (1984) The making of contemporary Africa: The development of African society since 1800, London: Macmillan Press Ltd.Google Scholar
  13. Gardner, L. (2012) Taxing colonial Africa: The political economy of British imperialism, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Google Scholar
  14. Gardner, Leigh (2018) ‘From cowries to mobile phones: African monetary systems since 1800’, in E. Frankema, E. Hillbom, U. Kufakurinani, and F. Meier zu Selhausen (eds.) The history of African development. An online textbook for a new generation of African students and teachers, African Economic History Network. Google Scholar
  15. Hibbert, C. (1982) Africa explored: Europeans in the dark continent, 1769–1889, London: Allen Lane. Google Scholar
  16. Hochschild, A. (1999) King Leopold’s ghost: A story of greed, terror, and heroism in colonial Africa, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Google Scholar
  17. Iliffe, J. (1979) A modern history of Tanganyika, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar
  18. Inikori, Jospeh (2002) Africans and the Industrial Revolution in England: A study in international trade and economic development, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Law, Robin (ed.) (1995) From slave trade to “legitimate” commerce: The commercial transition in nineteenth-century West Africa, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Lovejoy, Paul E., and Toyin Falola (eds.) (2003) Pawnship, slavery and colonialism in Africa, Trenton: Africa World Press.Google Scholar
  21. Mandala, Elias (1990) Work and control in a peasant economy, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Google Scholar
  22. Marsden, P. (2007) The barefoot emperor: An Ethiopian tragedy, London: HarperPress. Google Scholar
  23. McCann, J. (2005) Maize and grace: Africa’s encounter with a New World crop, 1500–2000, Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Google Scholar
  24. Meier zu Selhausen, F. (2014) ‘Missionaries and female empowerment in colonial Uganda: New evidence from Protestant marriage registers, 1880–1945’, Economic History of Developing Regions, 29(1): 74–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Pakenham, T. (1991) The scramble for Africa, London: Abacus.Google Scholar
  26. Parsons, N. (1993) A new history of Southern Africa, London: Macmillan. Google Scholar
  27. Parsons, N. (1998) King Khama, emperor Joe, and the great white queen: Victorian Britain through African eyes, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Google Scholar
  28. Schapera, I., and J. L. Comaroff (1991) The Tswana (revised edition), London and New York: Kegan Paul International. Google Scholar
  29. Spear, Thomas (2003) ‘Neo-traditionalism and the limits of invention in British colonial Africa’, Journal of African History, 44(1): 3–27. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tosh, John (1980) ‘The cash crop revolution in tropical Africa: An agricultural reappraisal’, African Affairs, 79(314): 79–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Van Waijenburg (2018) ‘Financing the African colonial state: The revenue of imperative and forced labour’, The Journal of Economic History, 78(1): 40–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Lund UniversityLundSweden

Personalised recommendations