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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Military Recruitment and Social Mobility in Nineteenth Century British West Africa
Author:Ukpabi, Samson C.
Periodical:Journal of African Studies (UCLA)
Geographic terms:English-speaking Africa
West Africa
Subjects:military recruitment
social mobility
History and Exploration
Military, Defense and Arms
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:At the beginning of the nineteenth century when British possessions were small and restricted to the coastal areas of Sierra Leone and the forts along the Gold Coast littoral, the use of European troops for their defense minimized the difficulties encountered in enlisting West Africans. The increase in British territories in West Africa during the course of the century made it impractible to rely for defense on purely European forces, and efforts were made to form colonial forces made up of the indigenous inhabitants of the territories. This called for the organization of recruitment depots, the setting up of adequate facilities, and sufficient encouragement to induce the indigenous inhabitants to enlist. But unforeseen problems often compelled the British colonial governments to vacillate between a clearcut recruitment policy and a haphazard one dictated by expediency. The purpose of this article is to examine these problems and their political, social and military consequences. Notes, table.