Lines upon a map: an analysis of the imposition of the western concept of dividing political space in Tanganyika, 1884-1961
Ford, Neil Alexander
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This is a study of the international boundaries of Tanganyika: of the means by which they were implemented, of the effects upon the peoples of the region, and of the interaction between the two. Lines were indeed drawn on maps in Europe relating to the political division of Africa. This did not, however, bring about the boundaries in reality. For these lines to become tangible they had to be imposed. Policy differences became sharply demarcated and restrictions were applied, thereby making the boundary real. The effects were by no means entirely negative. Tax differentials and playing one colonial authority off against another allowed Africans to exploit the colonial partition of their continent. Many works have considered the making of Tanganyika with regard to the growth of a national consciousness and the campaign for independence. Little attention, however, has been paid to the making of Tanganyika as a territorial entity. This is the first substantive effort to fill that gap. This thesis assesses the role of colonialism in imposing the western system of political space upon Africa and Africans. It also considers the impact of the partition upon African political, economic and cultural systems before discussing the extent to which the actions of the European colonialists and African borderlanders influenced each other. Its conclusions have some relevance to colonial Africa as a whole but cannot be transfered automatically to the rest of the continent.