Chapter

Challenges of the African Voice: Autonomy, Commerce, and Resistance in Precolonial Western Africa

JOSÉ LINGNA NAFAFÉ

in Brokers of Change

Published by British Academy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265208
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197265208.003.0004

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Challenges of the African Voice: Autonomy, Commerce, and Resistance in Precolonial Western Africa

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Many kings of Western Africa were strong allies in commerce and trade with the Portuguese crown. However, in the late 17th century, some of their successors adopted policies of free trade as a form of counter-resistance to the Portuguese. This challenged the monopoly of Western trade policies and constituted a call for recognition of their autonomy in the Atlantic world. This chapter examines these Negro-Atlantic challenges to trade and monopolistic views of the Atlantic market, focusing first on the Portuguese trade policies applied in the 17th century. Second, it examines the case of ‘free trade’ policies pursued by a second wave of West African rulers who challenged the monopolism of the Portuguese trade policies in the late 17th century after two centuries of relations. Third, the chapter critically examines the role of the Luso-Africans, and how they related to both side of their complex, hybrid identities.

Keywords: Africans; Europeans; Portuguese; Negro-Atlantic; political challenges; resistance

Chapter.  7557 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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