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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Revolutionary Mahdism and Resistance to Colonial Rule in the Sokoto Caliphate, 1905-1906
Author:Lovejoy, Paul E.ISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History
Geographic terms:Niger
Northern Nigeria
Sokoto polity
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/182766
Abstract:The Mahdist uprising of 1905-1906 was a revolutionary movement that attempted to overthrow British and French colonial rule, the aristocracy of the Sokoto Caliphate and the 'zarmakoy' (Zarma rulers) of Dosso. The insurrection began at Kobkitanda in French Niger late in the year 1905 and spread to Satiru in British northern Nigeria early in 1906. The Mahdist supporters of the revolt were disgruntled peasants, fugitive slaves and radical clerics who were hostile both to indigenous authorities and to the colonial regimes. There was no known support among aristocrats, wealthy merchants or the 'ulama. Thus the revolt reflected strong divisions based on class and, as an extension, on ethnicity. The pan-colonial appeal of the movement and its class tensions highlight another important feature: revolutionary Mahdism differed from other forms of Mahdism that were common in the Sokoto Caliphate at the time of the colonial conquest. The suppression of the revolt was important for three reasons: the British consolidated their alliance with the aristocracy of the Caliphate, while the French strengthened their ties with the zarmakoy and other indigenous rulers; the brutality of the repression was a message to slave owners and slaves alike that the colonial regimes were committed to the continuation of slavery; and 1906 marked the end of revolutionary action against colonialism. Notes, ref.