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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'In a Casual Way with a Blue Pencil': British Policy and the Partition of Kameroun, 1914-1919
Author:Yearwood, Peter J.
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic terms:British Cameroons
Northern Cameroons
Great Britain
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/486060
Abstract:The repartitions of 1916 and 1919 were the last stage of the process by which the European powers tried to impose on Africa lines which they had drawn on maps to create and define their areas of control. In Kamerun, the repartition lines were determined primarily by a consideration of European diplomacy, the British willingness to give way to France in West Africa in the vague hope of possible gains elsewhere. Secondarily, they reflected the wish to strengthen colonial control by enhancing both British prestige and the position of the main Islamic rulers, particularly the Shegu of Borno and the Lamido of Fombina. The border, as finally drawn, reflected those priorities rather than the complex realities of the area across the map of which it was pencilled. This meant that it has given rise to longstanding problems. In particular, it defined a relation of subordination of 'pagan' peoples to Islamic rulers which has been a continuing cause of tension. Moreover, because it was a repartition, replacing an earlier border, it had less apparent legitimacy than other African frontiers which had remained essentially unchanged from the beginning of the colonial period. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.