Slavery and Colonial Rule in French West Africa
- Publication date:August 1998
- 9 b/w illus. 7 maps 21 tables
- Dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
- Weight: 0.56kg
Martin Klein's book is a history of slaves during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in three former French colonies. It investigates the changing nature of local slavery over time, and the evolving French attitudes towards it, through the phases of trade, conquest and colonial rule. The heart of the study focuses on the period between 1876 and 1922, when a French army composed largely of slave soldiers took massive numbers of slaves in the interior, while in areas near the coast, hesitant actions were taken against slave-raiding, trading and use. After 1900, the French withdrew state support of slavery, and as many as a million slaves left their masters. A second exodus occurred after World War I, when soldiers of slave origin returned home. The renegotiation of relationships between those who remained and their masters carries the story into the contemporary world.