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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Dahomean Economic Policy under Ghezo, 1818-1858: A Reconsideration
Author:Soumoni, E.A.
Periodical:Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria
Geographic terms:Benin
Subjects:colonial conquest
economic history
Dahomey polity
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Abstract:Historians have depicted Ghezo's reign as spanning a period of fundamental mutation of the coastal economy from slave trading to trade in palm oil. The received version is partial or incomplete to the extent that it is based on the questionable notion that the Dahomean economy relied exclusively on the slave trade and sees Ghezo as a revolutionary king who substituted palm oil for slaves in the country's commercial exchanges. It is biased in that it mainly reflects the influence of French writings on the subject. Aim here is to point out, firstly, that the assessment of Ghezo's economy policy tends to neglect the traditional basis of this policy; secondly, that his economic measures were pragmatic rather than revolutionary; and finally, that his encouragement of the palm oil trade, imposed by external factors, consolidated the French position and interests in Dahomey. Notes.