Empire in Africa
Angola and Its Neighbors
Publication Year: 2006
Published by: Ohio University Press
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Angola’s imperial age spanned ﬁve centuries, from 1500 to 2000. In some respects the experience resembled Hispanic colonization in America, with battalions of conquistadores and cohorts of mission friars and pastors bringing European customs and beliefs to Angola’s peoples. In other respects, as outlined in the eleven essays presented here, Angola’s experience was closer to that of its ...
1. The Idea of Empire
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The concept of empire and the associated spread of cultural and economic inﬂuence is a very old one. In Africa imperial ideas have ﬂowed and ebbed for more than two thousand years, linking African peoples with their fellows all the way from China in the far east to Brazil in the far west. In some cases the ﬂow has been accompanied ...
2. Wine, Women, and War
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In the early 1880s a small band of Dutch-speaking farmers, the Boers, made their way across the Kalahari Desert to settle in the southern highlands of Angola. Over the next ﬁfty years they provided one of the links, and also comparisons, between Portuguese West Africa and British South Africa. The trekkers also created a ...
3. Merchants and Missionaries
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The assumption is often made that Protestants in the Portuguese world were subversive of the imperial agenda. This assumption is not invariably correct; some foreign missionaries supported the imperial agenda. Conﬂict and mutual suspicion did sometimes erupt in the early days of formal colonialism, as when the Baptist ...
4. A Swiss Community in Highland Angola
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The concept of establishing self-sufficient Christian communities in Angola did not die out immediately when Bishop Taylor’s Malange mission, which Héli Chatelain had helped to create, was converted into an officially sponsored Methodist ﬁeld of proselytizing. Ten years after he had visited Benguela as a convalescent, ...
5. The Case of Belgium and Portugal
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In the year 1908 the colonial empires in Central Africa underwent a severe crisis brought on by the growth of a humanitarian movement which challenged the way in which some European powers had disregarded the human rights of their colonial subjects. The forces behind the humanitarian protest included the ...
6. Race and Class in a “Fascist” Colony
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Angola has its own very speciﬁc amalgam of social forces derived from Portugal’s Atlantic empire as well as from Central Africa’s deep past. Several centuries of cultural, religious, and genetic blending created a social nucleus around the twin cities of Luanda and Benguela. In the Angolan interior, distinctive creolized ...
7. The Death Throes of Empire
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The normal explanation for Angola’s fractured nationalist movement and subsequent civil wars is that they arise from ethnic divisions rooted in a thousand years of incompatible linguistic, cultural, and political evolution. This “tribal” explanation, much favored by the media at the time, can be called into question. Did not the ...
8. Destabilizing the Neighborhood
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Nation building would have presented quite enough difficulties in Angola and its sister colony of Mozambique if the new generation of black leaders had been left to attend to their task unhindered by outside inﬂuence. Instead, outside powers became increasingly involved in forcing their choices and undermining their actions. ...
9. Carnival at Luanda
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On Friday, March 27, 1987, Luanda celebrated its carnival on the magniﬁcent palm-fringed boulevard that sweeps along the bay past the pink Grecian dome of the Bank of Angola. The date was a political one, unrelated to the Lenten calendar, but the festival was deeply imbued with rich symbols of Angola’s history. For ...
10. The Struggle for Power
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When Angola emerged from the cold war in 1991, it was a different country from the one that had emerged from the colonial war in 1974. In 1974 the major export had been coffee, efficiently carried by truck on asphalted highways built for strategic purposes. In 1991 one of the exports that exceeded coffee was scrap metal, ...
11. A Journey through Angola
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The most unexpected aspect of postwar Angola in May 2003 is the vibrancy of the free press. Every Saturday the streets of the cidade asfaltada (asphalt city) are alive with runners selling no less than ﬁve titles. The competition is ﬁerce as editors struggle to devise ever more eye-catching stories ofﬁnancial malfeasance ...
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Publication Year: 2006