The study of the cultures of tribal society – the assumed province of social anthropology – has been, perhaps unjustly, accused of naive realism, a charge that might well be levelled at history generally. The English established a series of chartered companies to exploit the new found possibilities of the 'dark continent', and soon other European states wanted a share of the action: the Danes who later sold out to the English, and the French, who settled mainly in the west. Exploration of the African interior can be conveniently dated to the epic journeys of Mungo Park in the Sudan and Rene Caillie from the Gambia through the Sahara to Morocco. Colonialism was an attempt to implement radical changes on an often unwilling and frequently uncomprehending population. Colonial rule, in its fully developed phase, presents us with unrivalled examples of planned social change and control, the imposition of one way of life on another of a very different kind.