This book uses money as a lens through which to analyze the social and economic impact of colonialism on African societies and institutions. It is the first book to address the monetary history of the colonial period in a comprehensive way, covering several areas of the continent and different periods, with the ultimate aim of understanding the long-term impact of colonial monetary policies on African societies. While grounding an understanding of money in terms of its circulation, acceptance and impact, this book shows first and foremost how the monetary systems that resulted from the imposition of colonial rule on African societies were not a replacement of the old currency systems with entirely new ones, but were rather the result of the convergence of different orders of value and monetary practices. By putting histories of people using money at the heart of the story, and connecting them to larger imperial policies, the volume provides a new and fresh perspective on the history of the establishment of colonial rule in Africa.
This book is the result of a collaborative and interdisciplinary research project that has received funding by the Gerda Henkel Foundation. The contributors are both junior and senior scholars, based at universities in Europe, Africa, Asia and the US, who are all specialists on the history of money in Africa. It will appeal to an international audience of scholars and educators interested in African Studies and History, Economic History, Imperial and Colonial History, Development Studies, Monetary Studies.
Karin Pallaver is Associate Professor of African History in the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna, Italy, where she teaches Modern African History and Indian Ocean History. Her research interests lie in the social and economic history of 19th-century and early colonial East Africa, and especially in the history of money and currency. On this topic, she has published several articles and book chapters and is collaborating with various international research groups and networks.
Section 1: Early colonial transitions: commodity, international and colonial currencies.- 1. "Here there is no gold standard. Cows are the standard". Currencies, wealth accumulation and the monetary transition in the Northern Territories of the Gold Coast (1896-1936); Domenico Cristofaro.- 2. Multiple currencies at Zanzibar, 1860-1900: how and why did the Rupee become the currency of East Africa?; Katherine Eagleton.- 3. Spheres of money, payment, and credit systems in the colony of Senegal and its protectorates in the long nineteenth century; Toyomu Masak.- 4. The Maria Theresa thaler in Italian Eritrea: the Impact of Colonial Monetary Policies during the First Word War; Alessandro De Cola.- Section 2: Forms of colonial money.- 5. The Creation and issue of the West African Sterling notes in West Africa (1914-1947); Bamidélé Aly.- 6. Spheres of exchange and the disruption of money uniformity in early colonial; Kenya Karin Pallaver.- 7. Currency Politics in Southern Africa, c. 1890-1920; Admire Mseba.- 8. The Transition to Instability: the Italian Lira in Eritrean History; Steven Serels.- 9. Temporary Currencies, Forced Savings and Cultivator Stabilization Funds in Sudan; Alden Young.- Section 3: Global and international dimensions of African monetary transitions.- 10. The British Sterling Area and Southern Rhodesia's State and Public Bank Ordinance, 1896- 1907: Currency shortages and a nascent colonial state's attempts at economic autonomy; Tinashe Nyamunda.- 11. Money for Africa and empire: colonial policy designs and economy building in Europe, 1890s to 1930s; Gerold Krozewski.- 12. Locate Colonial Africa in the Global Monetary History Viewed from the Ground; Akinobu Kuroda.