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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:World War One and the Rise of African Nationalism: Veterans as Catalysts of Change
Author:Matthews, James K.
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
World War I
History and Exploration
Military, Defense and Arms
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/160529
Abstract:By September 1919, when Nigeria's military recruitment drive ended, 17,000 combatants, 2,000 enlisted carriers, and some 35,000 non-enlisted carriers had participated in the Southern Cameroons and German East Africa 'campaigns. In addition, the British recruited thousands of Nigerians for military service along Nigeria's northern and eastern borders, and for related duties inside the country. These tens-of-thousands of Nigerian veterans acted as catalysts of change on their return home. Their experiences had altered ideas, attitudes, and habits during the war, and made them not only receptive to additional changes in the post-war years - especially socio-economic, military, and political - but also inclined to compel others to follow suit. The returned soldiers and carriers were, however, more accelerators of changes already under way in pre-war Nigeria than a force for new directions. World War I brought the Nigerians a knowledge of European weaknesses and an understanding of being colonised. Many acquired a new and fundamental. awareness that they belonged to a larger political unit. This conflict, in which the military man played the protagonist, was Nigeria's first national experience. Notes.