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Africa during the Scramble: The Great Lakes Kingdoms

Charles EP M.

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Woooooof, that's a big history of mess on top of mess leading to one bigger mess. The churning alliances and betrayals just in Buganada are amazing.

Noticed "Classe" becomes "Class" a few times, which is understandable when:
the two tier education system Class had established
 

Gary Oswald

Old and Foolish now
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Woooooof, that's a big history of mess on top of mess leading to one bigger mess. The churning alliances and betrayals just in Buganada are amazing.

Noticed "Classe" becomes "Class" a few times, which is understandable when:
Thanks for the catch. A man named Classe reinforcing a brutal class system is great news for fans of normative determinism but terrible news for proof readers.

One thing I decided not to talk about but I perhaps should have done is the way a Hutu/Tutsi equivalent divide didn't develop in such a brutal way in Uganda when the same background for it was still there. I think it's relatively easy to diagnose why but it offers a bit of a window into AH versions of Rwanda and Burundi.
 

Alex Richards

Did Macavity the Mystery Cat commit Warcrimes?
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I'd been aware of some of this- mostly the 1890s Hutu-Tutsi situation- but the complexities in Buganda and their impact on the historiography were new. It's amazing how much the whole continent suddenly became very interconnected very suddenly in that period.
 

Gary Oswald

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It's amazing how much the whole continent suddenly became very interconnected very suddenly in that period.
This is an aspect that is fascinating me as I reread the materials needed to write these articles. You have some Africans with centuries of contact with Europeans, the Nama reading Cape Town newspapers and drinking coffee being one examples and others have never seen a white man before. And then when the Scramble starts not only are the latter suddenly introduced to the Europeans, they're also suddenly introduced to all the other Africans.

There's a line in 'Buried my Heart at Wounded knee' that always struck me about rumours coming to I think the sioux about an indian tribe they'd never heard of at the other end of the plains surrendering and the awareness that 'no, this actually matters to us because it frees up more american troops'. And Africa in this time period is a bit like that. Madagascar gets conquered by the French because the British wanted to take Zanzibar because the germans had taken Dar es Salaam, etc. What happens somewhere else effects you.

I'm writing the Sudan series now, I think it'll be 3 articles, maybe even 4, and I think the first one won't even get to the Mahdi, it'll be about the ways the Sudanese Wars effected what became French Africa from the fall of Bornu to the Voulet-Chanoine Mission (which I may need to ask @Redolegna about because English language sources aren't brilliant on it).
 

Redolegna

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I'm writing the Sudan series now, I think it'll be 3 articles, maybe even 4, and I think the first one won't even get to the Mahdi, it'll be about the ways the Sudanese Wars effected what became French Africa from the fall of Bornu to the Voulet-Chanoine Mission (which I may need to ask @Redolegna about because English language sources aren't brilliant on it).
Those two were so infamous they actually were mentioned in middle school, I think.

What if Aguirre got mixed with The Man Who Would be King and it ended up worse than in either case.
 

Gary Oswald

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Those two were so infamous they actually were mentioned in middle school, I think.

What if Aguirre got mixed with The Man Who Would be King and it ended up worse than in either case.
Yeah, like the Wikipedia level summary is one of the Sudanese warlords retreating from the chaos there, sets up in Niger and wipes out a french patrol.

A large column of men under Voulet is sent after him but ends up fighting an entirely different army under the command of a warrior queen. She angers him in such a way that he decides to punish her by massacring huge ammounts of civilians.

When another French officer finds Voulet and his men, voulet terrified of being court martialed kills the other officer and attempts to lead a mutiny before being shot himself.

Voulet's remaining men redeem themselves by defeating the Sudanese warlord and upon their return to France say Voulet in his final moments claimed to want to set up his own kingdom and said he was a black African now. The inquiry blamed the whole thing in sudanese air that made him turn native.

But I can't find much beyond that summary, in English at least, and like how much of that do modern historians actually buy? It feels awfully convenient that the french officer who ordered you to commit war crimes gave a long speach about how he felt no loyalty to France now shortly before you shot him.
 

Redolegna

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It gets weirder. Their tombs were later excavated and found empty. Some also claim it wasn't turning 'native' but extremely advanced syphilis making their brains rot.

The claim about that speech are apparently repeated in a 2012 book overviewing colonial societies. But this might just be repeating unchecked sources for a book not specifically about the column.
 

Gary Oswald

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Do those 600 cut-off men that Lugard recruited have something to do with Emin Pasha, or was that a different thing?
Yeah, these were men who'd been with Emin Pasha but didn't come with him when he left. I'll deal with the incident in more detail soon.
 

Geordie

Big Ol' Sviet Deltic
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These articles are fascinating. They also need with my understanding of African geography rather a lot. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan occupy very different places in my head. The fact that a column from the latter retreated to the former confuses my little brain.

Which, if nothing else, shows my limited understanding of African geography.
 

Redolegna

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These articles are fascinating. They also need with my understanding of African geography rather a lot. The Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan occupy very different places in my head. The fact that a column from the latter retreated to the former confuses my little brain.

Which, if nothing else, shows my limited understanding of African geography.
Want your mind blown? Mali was called the French Sudan.
 

Gary Oswald

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I've enjoyed this series a lot. Just wanted to say that. Another great read as usual.
These articles are fascinating.
Thanks guys, means a lot. I love writing them and I feel very grateful that this is the kind of site which provides an audience for this sort of thing.

I'm especially grateful that people still read them given the scheduling is so scattershot for these.
 

Redolegna

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Africa does feel like the go-to example of "names which can mean either a very big or a very small place, or completely different places, in different eras of history". Besides Sudan, there's "Ethiopia", "Libya", "Congo" and arguably "Africa" itself.
You missed all the Guineas.
 
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