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Akinjogbin, I. A. (1963) Dahomey and its Neighbours 1708-1818. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The aim of this study is to trace the 18th century political developments in the kingdom of Dahomey, and its central theme is Dahomey's attempt to create a politically stable and economically viable state. Economic questions are therefore important, but they have been treated mainly as contributory factors to the main question of political development. The introduction of the trans-Atlantic slave trade into the Aja country had, by the end of the 17th century, weakened the Aja institutions and created a political vacuum. Before the process had reached an incurable stage however, a group of Aja had founded a new state, later called Dahomey, designed to withstand the corrosive influences of the new economic system. By the bedining of the 18th century, Dahomey had grown sufficiently strong to fill the political vacuum being created by the decay of the traditional system. Between 1724 and 1727, Agaja, King of Dahomey, conquered and incorporated all the ancient Aja states. The Oyo immediately rose up in defence of the traditional system and the Europeans in defence of their economic activities. In 1730, Agaja submitted to Oyo and agreed to co-operate with the slave traders. After that Dahomey was forced to concentrate on economic and administrative reconstruction, rendered necessary by the Oyo ravages and practicable by the pax imposed by Oyo. By 1751 the reconstruction was virtually completed. After a brief period of prosperity, the inadequacies of the slave trade economy started to appear. Neither the European ships nor the supply of slaves were available in sufficiently large numbers. A deep economic depression started from about 1767 and despite all efforts, remained incurable in 1818, producing widespread dissatisfaction which finally led to the deposition of Adandozan in 1818 and the replacement of the Tegbesu line by another headed by Gezo.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:27

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