West Africa: ° Benin ° Cameroon ° Congo ° Cote d'Ivoire ° Gabon ° (Republic of the) Gambia ° Ghana ° Guinea ° Liberia ° Mauritania ° Mozambique ° Nigeria ° Sao Tome and Principe ° Senegal (Dakar) ° Sierra Leone
East Africa (The Horn of Africa): ° Djibouti ° Kenya ° Eritrea ° Madagascar ° Somalia ° Sudan ° Tanzania ° Zanzibar
Little is known of the earliest history of Nigeria. By c. 2000 B.C.E. most of the country was sparsely inhabited by persons who had a rudimentary knowledge of raising domesticated food plants and of herding animals.
From c. 800 B.C.E. to c. A.D. 200 the neolithic Nok culture (named for the town where archaeological findings first were made) flourished on the Jos Plateau. The Nok were an extremely advanced society, with one of the most complex judicial systems of the time, and the earliest producers of fine life-sized terracotta in the Sub-Sahara.
Their work has been decribed as "extraordinary, astonishing, ageless, timeless, and almost exterterrestrial."
The figures, which date back to at least 500 BC, are almost always people with large, mostly elongated heads with almond-shaped hollow looking eyes are parted lips. These unusual features are particularly perplexing considering that the statues have been constructed accurately with relative proportions of the head, body and feet, leading some to use the term "extraterrestrial-looking" when describing them. Archaeologists have also found stone tools, rock paintings and iron implements, including fearsome spear points, bracelets, and small knives.
The construction of life-sized statues isn t the only evidence of the advancement of their society. Research has revealed that the Nok people had a highly developed system of administration to ensure law and order.
Virtually all the native races of Africa are represented in Nigeria.
It was in Nigeria that the Bantu and Semi-Bantu, migrating from southern and central Africa, intermingled with the Sudanese. Later, other groups such as Shuwa-Arabs, the Tuaregs, and the Fulanis, who are concentrated in the far north, entered northern Nigeria in migratory waves across the Sahara Desert. The earliest occupants of Nigeria settled in the forest belt and in the Niger Delta region.
Today there are estimated to be more than 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Major internal changes occurred in Nigeria in the 19th century. In 1804, Usuman dan Fodio (1754 1817), a Fulani and a pious Muslim, began a holy war to reform the practice of Islam in the north. He soon conquered the Hausa city-states, but Bornu, led by Muhammad al-Kanemi (also a Muslim reformer) until 1835, maintained its independence. In 1817, Usuman dan Fodio's son, Muhammad Bello (d.1837) established a state centered a Sokoto, which controlled most of Nigeria until the coming of the British (1900 1906). Under both Usuman dan Fodio and Muhammad Bello, Muslim culture, and also trade, flourished in the Fulani empire. In Bornu, Muhammad al-Kanemi was succeeded by Umar (reigned 1835 80), under whom the empire disintegrated.
In 1807, Great Britain abandoned the slave trade; however, other countries continued it until about 1875. Meanwhile, many African middlemen turned to selling palm products, which were Nigeria's chief export by the middle of the century. In 1817 a long series of civil wars began in the Oyo Empire; they lasted until 1893 (when Britain intervened), by which time the empire had disintegrated completely.
Africa. Mapmaker: Johnson. 1862.
In order to stop the slave trade there, Britain annexed Lagos in 1861. In 1879, Sir George Goldie gained control of all the British firms trading on the Niger, and in the 1880s he took over two French companies active there and signed treaties with numerous African leaders.
The British established their rule in SW Nigeria, partly by signing treaties (as in the Lagos hinterland) and partly by using force (as at Benin in 1897). Goldie's firm, given (1886) a British royal charter, as the Royal Niger Company, to administer the Niger River and N Nigeria, antagonized Europeans and Africans alike by its monopoly of trade on the Niger.
The Diary of Antera Duke: An Eighteenth-Century African Slave Trader
Stephen D. Behrendt, A. J. H. Lathma, David Northrup
In his diary, Antera Duke (ca.1735-ca.1809) wrote the only surviving eyewitness account of the slave trade by an African merchant. A leader in late eighteenth-century Old Calabar, a cluster of Efik-speaking communities in the Cross River region, he resided in Duke Town, forty-five miles from the Atlantic Ocean in what is now southeast Nigeria. His diary, written in trade English from 1785 to 1788, is a candid account of daily life in an African community at the height of Calabar's overseas commerce. It provides valuable information on Old Calabar's economic activity both with other African businessmen and with European ship captains who arrived to trade for slaves, produce, and provisions.
Basil Davidson states that by examining three important areas of Africa in the history of slavery against a general background of their time and circumstance he was taking "a fresh look at the oversea slave trade, the steady year-by-year export of African labour to the West Indies and the Americas that marked the era of forced migration." (Africans were joined by abused laborers from China, "indentured servants" from Ireland, and Britain's hideous prison hulks.)
The Middle Passage: White Ships/ Black Cargo
Alex Haley's Roots awakened many Americans to the cruelty of slavery. The Middle Passage focuses attention on the torturous journey which brought slaves from Africa to the Americas, allowing readers to bear witness to the sufferings of an entire people. 64 paintings.
The Counter-Revolution of 1776:
Slave Resistance and the Origins of the United States of America
The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity. But the Africans then residing in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with London. In this trailblazing book, Gerald Horne complements his earlier celebrated Negro Comrades of the Crown, by showing that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt.
Middle Passages: African American Journeys to Africa, 1787-2005
James T. Campbell
Many works of history deal with the journeys of blacks in bondage from Africa to the United States along the middle passage, but there is also a rich and little examined history of African Americans traveling in the opposite direction. In Middle Passages, award-winning historian James T. Campbell recounts more than two centuries of African American journeys to Africa, including the experiences of such extraordinary figures as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Richard Wright, Malcolm X, and Maya Angelou. This series is under presiding editor Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
1899. World's Fleet. Boston Daily Globe
Lloyds Register of Shipping gives the entire fleet of the world as 28,180 steamers and sailing vessels, with a total tonnage of 27,673,628, of which 39 perent are British.
|Great Britain||10,990 vessels, total tonnage of 10,792,714|
|United States||3,010 vessels, total tonnage of 2,405,887|
|Norway||2,528 vessels, tonnage of 1,604,230|
|Germany||1,676 vessels, with a tonnage of 2,453,334, in which are included her particularly large ships.|
|Sweden||1,408 vessels with a tonnage of 643, 527|
For Historical Comparison
Top 10 Maritime Nations Ranked by Value (2017)
|Country||# of Vessels||