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Pio Kur rated it it was amazing Sep 11, Purna Kammar rated it liked it Sep 16, Charlie Taylor rated it really liked it Aug 21, Mauricio Santoro rated it really liked it Jan 06, Saskia rated it really liked it Jun 05, Steven rated it it was amazing Jan 13, Sam Ratner rated it really liked it Jun 18, Emma rated it liked it Nov 07, Sarah rated it really liked it Apr 02, Kevin Snow rated it liked it May 15, Bloodtree Rebel rated it it was amazing Jun 21, Carl rated it really liked it Jun 20, Lawrence rated it really liked it Mar 26, Nicholas rated it really liked it Feb 27, Tom O'Mealia rated it really liked it Aug 20, Samantha rated it liked it Nov 01, Brendan McSherry rated it liked it Jun 18, Jacob T.

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The Portuguese government ended colonial slavery in stages with a final decree in that outlawed slavery in the overseas empire. The gradual pace of abolition was due to the strength of pro-slavery forces in Portuguese politics, Brazil and in Africa, they interfered with colonial administrators who challenged long-established and powerful commercial interests. The Napoleonic Wars added a new force to the Portuguese political scene—republicanism—introduced as an alternative to the monarchy by French troops in The French invasion induced the Portuguese royal family to make the controversial decision to flee to Brazil on English ships , from where they ruled until During Joao VI's reign — and that of his successors—Peter IV — , Maria — , Peter V — , Louis I — , and Carlos — —there was a civil war that lasted from to , a long period characterised by what one author called "ministerial instability and chronic insurrection" from to , and finally the end of the monarchy when both Carlos and his heir were assassinated on February 1, Under those circumstances, colonial officials appointed by governments in Lisbon were more concerned with politics at home than with administering their African territories.

As it did everywhere else, the Industrial Revolution stimulated change in Portuguese Africa. It created a demand for tropical raw materials like vegetable oils , cotton , cocoa and rubber , and it also created a need for markets to purchase the expanded quantity of goods issuing from factories.

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In Portugal's case, most of the factories were located in England, which had had a special relationship with Portugal ever since Philippa , the daughter of England's John of Gaunt , married John of Avis, the founder of the Portuguese second dynasty. At times, that caused friction, such as when both British and Portuguese explorers claimed the Shire Highlands located in modern Malawi , but for the most part Great Britain supported the Portuguese position in exchange for incorporating Portugal's holdings into the British economic sphere.

With neither a large European population nor African wage earners, the Portuguese colonies offered poor markets for manufactured goods from the private sector. Consequently, industrialisation arrived in the form of government programs designed to improve internal communications and increase the number of European settlers. Between and , the European population of Angola rose from 1, to only about 9, European migration to Mozambique showed slightly better results—about 11, in —but many were British from South Africa rather than Portuguese.

The other major force for change was the rivalries that developed between European nations in the century between the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the outbreak of World War I. Forbidden from fighting each other by the "balance of power" established by the Treaty of Vienna , they competed in other ways including scientific discoveries, athletic competitions, exploration and proxy wars.

Although not a major power anymore, Portugal participated in the competition, especially by sending out explorers to solidify their claim to all of the land between Angola and Mozambique. That bought them into conflict with men like Cecil Rhodes , whose own vision of an empire from "Cape to Cairo" required that the British gain control over the same land see British Ultimatum.

European rivalries appeared most often as commercial competition, and in 19th century Africa, that included the right to move goods by steamboat along rivers. The British had a head start thanks to their early adoption of steam technology and their supremacy on the high seas. They became the strongest proponents of the principle of " free trade " which prohibited countries from creating legal barriers to another country's merchants.

Occasionally, Portuguese leaders resisted, but the British alliance provided sufficient benefits to convince various administrations to go along although they faced revolts at home and in their colonies. It was Portugal's claim to the land on either side of the mouth of the Congo River that triggered the events leading up to the Congress of Berlin.

The British eyed this arrangement with suspicion for years, but paid tariffs like everyone else for the right to trade there, mostly for slaves. After the abolition of slavery got underway, the Portuguese dragged their heels, so in the British government declared its right to inspect Portuguese ships for evidence of slave trading with or without Portuguese consent.

That stirred the Portuguese to action, and in a subsequent series of agreements made in the s, the British acquired the right to land their ships to land where no Portuguese authorities were present.

Warfare in Independent Africa: New Approaches to African History

When the Portuguese refused to renew the agreement in , the British ceased paying tariffs at the ports on either side of the Congo River mouth, claiming that Portugal's claim had expired because they had left the area unoccupied for too long. Portugal reoccupied the ports of Cabinda and Ambriz in , and relations with Great Britain improved after that. The dispute set a precedent, however, that effective occupation was a prerequisite for recognition of colonial claims. The question continued to reappear until when it was enshrined in the agreements that emanated from the Congress of Berlin.

The final straw was the Anglo-Portuguese Treaty signed on February 26, It granted exclusive navigation rights on the Congo River to Britain in exchange for British guarantees of Portugal's control of the coast at the mouth of the Congo River. Most significantly, it prevented the French from taking advantage of treaties signed by one of its explorers Savorgnan de Brazza with Africans living along the north side of the Congo River.

International protests forced the two countries to abandon the treaty in June , and Bismarck used the controversy to call the Congress of Berlin later that year. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to claim territory in sub-Saharan Africa, and their example inspired imitation from other European powers. For the British, the Portuguese were acceptable proxies in the competition with France, Russia and Germany for world domination. For Portuguese governments, the British alliance gave them influence that they could not command themselves, while the idea of a Portuguese empire offered something with which to distract domestic opponents from the struggles initiated by the Napoleonic Wars.

The issues that were raised by Portugal's claims in Africa and the efforts of other countries to whittle them down became the fundamental issues of the Congress of Berlin.

The Destruction of Africa: Travel, History, Politics, Economics, Foreign Aid, and Religion (1990)

In the end, the Congress settled more than the future of Portugal's African holdings—it also set the rules for any European government which wished to establish an empire in Africa. In the s, after World War II, several African territories became independent from their European rulers, but the oldest Europe-ruled territories, those ruled by Portugal, were rebranded "Overseas Provinces" from the former designation as Portuguese colonies. This was a firm effort of Portugal's authorities to preserve its old African possessions abroad and refuse any claims of independence.

This was followed by a wave of strong economic and social developments in all Portuguese Africa, in particular the overseas provinces of Angola and Mozambique.

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By the s, several organisations were founded to support independence's claims of the Portuguese overseas provinces in Africa. They were mostly entirely based and supported from outside Portugal's territories. Headquartered and managed in countries like Senegal , Tanzania , Algeria , Guinea and Ethiopia , these guerrilla movements sought weapons, financing and political support in Eastern Bloc 's communist states and the People's Republic of China.

A Cold War conflict in Portuguese Africa was about to start.

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Marxist-Leninist and Maoist ideologies, backed by countries like the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China were behind the nationalist guerrilla movements created to attack Portuguese possessions and claim independence. The USA and other countries, in order to counter communist growing influence in the region also started to support some nationalist guerrillas in their fight against Portugal. The series of guerrilla wars involving Portugal and several armed nationalist groups from Africa in its overseas provinces of Angola , Guinea , and Mozambique , become known as the Portuguese Colonial War Guerra Colonial or Guerra do Ultramar.

On March 15, , the UPA, in a tribal attack, started the massacre of white populations and black workers born in other regions of Angola. This region would be retaken by large military operations that, however, would not stop the spread of the guerrilla actions to other regions of Angola, such as Cabinda , the east, the southeast and the central plateaus. Its guerrilla fighters attacked the Portuguese headquarters in Tite , located to the south of Bissau , the capital, near the Corubal river.

The African warlord revisited: Small Wars & Insurgencies: Vol 26, No 5

Similar actions quickly spread across the entire colony, requiring a strong response from the Portuguese forces. By that time, the PAIGC started receiving military support from the Socialist Bloc , mainly from Cuba , a support that would last until the end of the war. In Guinea the Portuguese troops mainly took a defensive position, limiting themselves to keeping the territories they already held. This kind of action was particularly devastating to the Portuguese troops who were constantly attacked by the forces of the PAIGC.

They were also demoralised by the steady growth of the influence of the liberation supporters among the population that was being recruited in large numbers by the PAIGC. This book surveys the history of armed conflict in Africa in the period since decolonization and independence.


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The number of post-independence conflicts in Africa has been considerable, and this book introduces to readers a comprehensive analysis of their causes and character. Tracing the evolution of warfare from anti-colonial and anti-apartheid campaigns to complex conflicts in which factionalized armies, militias, and rebel groups fight with each other and prey upon non-combatants, it allows the readers a new perspective to understand violence on the continent.


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The book is written to appeal not only to students of history and African politics, but also to experts in the policy community, the military, and humanitarian agencies. Professor Reno's research focuses on the politics of conflict in Africa. Table of Contents 1.


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The evolution of warfare; 2. Anti-colonial rebels; 3.

Majority rule rebels; 4. Reform rebels; 5.