Transformation and Administration—1920–1950

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


1920 to 1950 was the period when European colonialism in Africa peaked in terms of economic and political strength. Fairly coherent administrative systems were established and the colonial authorities increasingly intervened in the local economies to extract revenues. Nevertheless, Hillbom and Green show that despite increased intervention, the colonial authorities’ ability to govern the African societies was limited. They became gate-keeping states, i.e. states that because they lacked the means to govern African production instead opted for extracting revenues from taxing trade. This was also a period when spatial and economic inequality within the indigenous population increased and it was primarily the educated and/or commercialised African elites who gained from colonial policies.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

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

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