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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The Rupee Disease': Taxation, Authority, and Social Conditions in Early Colonial Uganda
Author:Tuck, Michael W.
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:Uganda
colonial policy
indirect rule
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40033859
Abstract:This article argues that the social and administrative changes which took place in Uganda in the first decade of the twentieth century in the wake of the Uganda Agreement of 1900 had a dramatic effect on the Protectorate. The author chooses to highlight these effects by concentrating on the lives of the peasant cultivators, the 'bakopi', especially by examining them through the lens of one of the core provisions under the Uganda Agreement: taxation, and the concomitant monetization of society. The first effects were felt as the deadline for the 1901 tax season approached. The whole area was plunged into economic hardship and some Ugandans attributed this to a new affliction: the 'rupee disease'. The author disagrees with the idea of this 'rupee disease' spreading itself through early colonial Uganda. Although monetization had an undoubted economic impact, far-reaching sociopolitical changes were ushered in as well. The relationship between the ordinary people and the government changed. The British administered through African intermediaries and this generated a complex web of relationships. The once fluid relationship between the 'bakopi' and their chiefs hardened into a more formal, hierarchical structure, verging on exploitation. The chiefs no longer needed their followers to legitimize their authority, they had the British. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]