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date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the transformations brought about by British colonial rule in Nigeria, which began with the annexation of Lagos in 1861 and ended with the independence of Nigeria on October 1, 1960. Colonial rule transformed political, economic, social, and cultural dynamics among indigenous peoples. Indirect rule bound “traditional” rulers to British authority. The economy became increasingly dependent on exports. European education created a middle class of Nigerian civil servants and social activists both indebted to the colonial project and resistant to its racialist underpinnings. Resistance to colonial rule took a number of forms, incrementally moving Nigeria toward independence. However, decolonization also brought regionalization and a hardening of ethnic identities. British colonialism created Nigeria, but did little to make it a viable, stable, self-sustaining national entity. The historiography of colonial rule in Nigeria has been shaped by efforts to grapple with the antecedents of postcolonial crisis.

Keywords: colonialism, development, economy, education, ethnicity, independence, indirect rule, nationalism, religion, resistance

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