The period covered in this volume is one which begins with the emergence of anti-slave trade attitudes in Europe, and ends on the eve of European colonial conquest. But except for white conquests in Algeria and South Africa, and colonies of free Blacks on the west coast, the theme is that of African independence, initiative and adaptation in the last phase of its pre-colonial history. Under greater external pressures than ever before, from European trade, exploration, missionary and political activity, African history in this period moved with greater momentum and larger scale than in past ages, with rapid changes in economic and political life. In general the approach in this volume is through chapters focusing on regions of Africa, each written by an established authority in his field. Concluding chapters sruvey the activities of Europeans in Africa, and those of Africans and their descendants overseas.
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