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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Arms and ammunition, and their embargo in British West African history, 1823-1874
Author:Mbaeyi, P.M.
Periodical:Ikenga: Journal of African Studies
Geographic terms:West Africa
Great Britain
Subjects:colonial conquest
arms embargo
Abstract:Arms and ammunition have always been important for the military strength and wars of most states. In West Africa, by the nineteenth century, the weapons of war used by the indigenous Africans included bows, arrows, spears, cutlasses, clubs, and swords. But the most formidable were muskets or 'Dane' guns. These and the gun-powder that worked them were normally obtained at or from the coast, from foreign, mainly European, mercantile houses. Trade to the coast and the control of a port or stretch of coast were therefore important for the acquisition of these munitions of war. The denial of such munitions was something that could influence wars, conflicts, and the powers of states. Wherever they were involved or established on the seaboard between 1823 and 1874, the British made efforts to deminish or cut off the supplies of the munitions that could reach their African opponents. Naval blockades occasionally enforced or helped British embargoes. The arms trade and the embargoes of them from time to time thus forms a distinctive aspect of importance in the history of West Africa in the nineteenth century, and this paper seeks to look at the subject. Notes.