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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Change and Innovation in the Administration of the Kingdom of Dahomey
Author:Obichere, Boniface I.
Periodical:Journal of African Studies (UCLA)
Geographic term:Benin
Subjects:Dahomey polity
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The central administration of Dahomey had its origins in the traditions of the Fon who founded the kingdom. The division of administrative and political responsibilities began in a systematic way during the reign of Wegbaja and continued under the reign of kings that succeeded him. The wars of expansion and the annexation of conquered territories contributed to the growth of the central administration. The contact with other African states as well as with Europe contributed to the development that is described in this article. Elasticity and ability to develop new mechanisms for dealing with changing conditions enabled Dahomey to survive and grow until it was conquered in 1894 by France. Dahomey was able to adopt foreign institutions, including those of conquered peoples, and adapt them to suit its needs. Adaptation to changing economic, political, and social conditions produced new institutions. The spiritual force and unity of Dahomean culture prevented chaos and multiplicity from making inroads into system. Notes, table.