Saturday, September 30, 2006

History of Niger

History of Niger. This is a brief history of the African nation of Niger.

The Encyclopædia Britannica notes, "Landlocked western African country. The republic has an area of 458,075 square miles (1,186,408 square kilometres). It is bounded on the northwest by Algeria, on the northeast by Libya, on the east by Chad, on the south by Nigeria and Benin, and on the west by Burkina Faso and Mali. The capital is Niamey. The country takes its name from the Niger River, which flows through the southwestern part of its territory."

From the site:

Considerable evidence indicates that about 600,000 years ago, humans inhabited what has since become the desolate Sahara of northern Niger. Long before the arrival of French influence and control in the area, Niger was an important economic crossroads, and the empires of Songhai, Mali, Gao, Kanem, and Bornu, as well as a number of Hausa states, claimed control over portions of the area.

During recent centuries, the nomadic Tuareg formed large confederations, pushed southward, and, siding with various Hausa states, clashed with the Fulani Empire of Sokoto, which had gained control of much of the Hausa territory in the late 18th century.

In the 19th century, contact with the West began when the first European explorers--notably Mungo Park (British) and Heinrich Barth (German)--explored the area searching for the mouth of the Niger River. Although French efforts at pacification began before 1900, dissident ethnic groups, especially the desert Tuareg, were not subdued until 1922, when Niger became a French colony.

Niger's colonial history and development parallel that of other French West African territories. France administered its West African colonies through a governor general at Dakar, Senegal, and governors in the individual territories, including Niger. In addition to conferring French citizenship on the inhabitants of the territories, the 1946 French constitution provided for decentralization of power and limited participation in political life for local advisory assemblies.

1 comment:

Theo E. Korthals Altes said...

Dear mr Brown,
I am in search of people who, like me (and I think: like you), are interested in history and who wish to share their thoughts or endeavors in this field. Please visit my Blog to get an impression of my interests and background.

I am at present working on - what many people would call: - a familyhistory, which in my own mind will be a pars pro toto for 20th century social history. As my background is in part American, my history of the 20th century will in the end be a Dutch-American record of family life, against the background of key events in this era.

If you are interested to share thoughts etc., please let me know.