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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:International Relations of Imperial Benin: Dawn to Dusk, 1450-1897
Author:Orobator, S.
Periodical:Afrika Zamani: revue annuelle d'histoire africaine = Annual Journal of African History (ISSN 0850-3079)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Benin
West Africa
Subjects:international relations
Benin polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
History, Archaeology
Abstract:Benin as an empire maintained relations with other States between 1450 and 1897. These international relations were organized at two levels, notably with Benin's immediate neighbours, in what is today Nigeria, and with a number of European countries, including Portugal, Spain, Italy, Holland, France and England. Benin's relations with its neighbours, both those who were more or less under the political domination of Benin (Ekiti, Akure, Ikare, Owo, Lagos, Dahomey, Onitsha, Itsekiri) and those who retained their independence despite the fact that Benin had at one time or another seized their territories (Idah, Oyo, Ibadan), were characterized by national interest. Benin used its relatively superior military and political organization to develop an empire. In imperial Benin's relationship with the outside world, trade was the most prominent element. Benin's relations with Portugal, Holland and England were essentially commercial. Benin's relations with Spain, Italy and France, however, concentrated mainly on the spread of the Christian faith. Moreover, Portugal combined commercial interests with a determination to introduce Christianity to Benin, both with limited success. The British invasion in 1897 marked the end of Benin both as an empire and as a free and independent nation. Bibliogr., notes, ref.