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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the history of state formation in Nigeria before the colonial era. It explores the various forms that statehood took and the many different factors which influenced how and when states emerged. The chapter examines the importance of geography and its role in decentralized states, the transition to agriculture and the emergence of the Nok culture, international trade and its role in the Kanem-Bornu empire, the importance of military technology in the rise and eventual fall of the Old Oyo empire, and the importance of the transatlantic slave trade. Using different examples, the chapter discusses the mosaic of states across precolonial Nigeria and explores how these factors could have led to their rise and eventual downfall.

Keywords: precolonial, Nigeria, colonial, British Empire, Nok culture, Hausa states, Kanem–Bornu, Oyo, Fulani

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