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Samir Amin Underdevelopment And Dependence In Black Africa Notes

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Samir Amin: Underdevelopment and Dependence in Black Africa - Origins and Contemporary FormsCan periodise African history in the following way:
o Pre-mercantilist period: from earliest days to 17 th century
-Relations and commodity trading between African societies and Old World

Mercantilist period: 1600s - 1800
-Characterized by the slave trade in two areas - Atlantic and

1800 - 1880-90
-attempts (albeit with limited backing) to establish new forms of dependence with industrialised capitalist world

-Successful attempts to make Africa the periphery of the world capitalist systemMercantilist period

In this period Africa served as the 'periphery of the periphery' (cf
Wallerstein) as it supplied slave labour to the Americas

'The mercantilist slave trade had similar devastating effects on all the regions of Africa where it took place'
-disintegration of central authority (in Waalo and Kongo
-wars and anarchy all over the continent
-flight of population to regions that were isolated and poor
-alarming decrease in population
-'incredible fragmentation, isolation and entanglement of peoples'
th 19 Century: integration into the full capitalist system

with the advent of industrial capitalism, mercantilism lost its importance
-focus no longer on the primitive accumulation of wealth

the old peripheries of plantation and Africa gave way to new peripheries whose function was to provide products
-these products would tend to reduce the value of both constant and variable capital used at the centre: raw materials and agricultural produce

but it wasn't really until the end of the C19 that central capital was concentrated enough for large scale export (i.e. to Africa); until then Britain et al relied on spontaneous developments in the periphery
-there were experiments with production in Africa, but they were largely unsuccessful until the colonial powers returned with greater resources
-there were also 'spontaneous' efforts
-e.g. Rodney discusses slaves being put to work in
Africa producing the exports Europe demanded
(African Slavery and other Forms of Social

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