ABSTRACT

There is a great deal of good historical writing on how West African peoples rebelled against the French and British. The bulk of this literature-in French and English-consists of minute descriptions of military campaigns and the complicated analysis of diplomacies to end armed rebellions. The picture that emerges from this literature is a complex one characterized by much contestation and debate. Officials in the various colonial regimes heatedly debated the wisdom of military intervention and governance. West Africans themselves had a wide range of beliefs about the colonial administrations that sought to regulate them. As should be expected, there was a wide range of opinions and actions about active collaboration, passive resistance and armed rebellion. Usually a group's decision on how to react to the French or the British had more to do with the dynamics of local politics than with the quality of EuroAfrican relations.'