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Title:Critical convergence: the Great Depression and the meshing of Nigerian and British anti-colonial polemic
Author:Ochonu, MosesISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:economic recession
economic policy
colonial administration
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2010.9707572
Abstract:This article explores the salient, often ignored, convergence between the discourse of colonizers and the colonized in Africa. Using Nigerian elite criticisms of British colonial handling of the Great Depression of the 1930s, and a similar critique of British colonial economic recovery measures penned by the British colonial statistician in Nigeria, S.M. Jacob, the article contends that, in spite of stylistic and motivational differences, both sets of critics desired similar colonial reforms and were grounded in a common desire to compel British colonialism to fulfill its paternalistic promises to Nigerians during a time of economic crisis. The article argues that the two bodies of anticolonial criticism wittingly or unwittingly sought to salvage colonial enterprise by compelling the colonial State to avert public outrage that might threaten British rule. Although Nigerian critics recognized the imperative of eventual self-government, their critiques and those of Jacob were united in their common conviction that the best way to avert a further discrediting of British colonial rhetoric was for the State to provide relief to Nigeria's economically beleaguered peoples. Both sets of critics desired a colonial system that functioned effectively for the benefit of Nigerians. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]