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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:European Models and West African History: Further Comments on the Recent Historiography of Dahomey
Author:Ross, David
Periodical:History in Africa
Geographic term:Benin
Subjects:Dahomey polity
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3171699
Abstract:Pre-colonial Dahomey's two most recent historians, Isaac A. Akinjogbin and John C. Yoder, have argued that Dahomey was a progressive nation that had much in common with the states of the modern West. Akinjogbin and Yoder have laid particularly heavy emphasis on this point when describing the kingdom's system of government, Their account of that system appears to be generally accepted. It has, at any rate, been repeated in the more important textbooks and works of synthesis. In this article the evidence on which Akinjogbin and Yoder have based their writings is examined. Several points are indicated which have been neglected by these authors. By giving Dahomey a modern constitutional system - thereby implying that Dahomey resembled a modern European system - Akinjogbin and Yoder have diverted attention from the evidence that suggests that Dahomey was a military state whose warrior leaders did very well, for themselves, by cooperating enthusiastically with the European buyers of slaves and slave-grown products. Notes.