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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:War and Economic Underdevelopment? State Exploitation and African Response in Kenya, 1914-1918
Author:Overton, John
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:Kenya
Great Britain
economic policy
World War I
History and Exploration
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/220031
Abstract:This paper examines the impact of World War I on African peasant production in Kenya and shows that State economic policy during the war was of critical importance in determining relative levels of development in the colonial economy. The colonial State formulated and implemented new policies with regard to the control and exploitation of African produce, livestock, and cash, as well as labour resources. To avoid the worst consequences of contact with the colonial State yet also profit from wartime economic expansion, many learned that two opposite, but not mutually exclusive, responses were suitable. One was to be closely incorporated with the colonial economy in sectors that were seen as indispensable; the other was to attempt to isolate oneself as much as possible from the State (by squatting, desertion, tax evasion, black market trading.) Successful incorporation or isolation were the processes that helped lead to a greater degree of both regional and social differentiation in African economies. Wartime changes in the social relations of African production resulted in a weaker, more complex and more dependent peasantry. Notes, ref.