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African Colonial Underdevelopment INTRODUCTION This research considers the

This research considers the proposition that the European colonial powers underdeveloped the countries of SubSaharan Africa. Most of the colonies of SubSaharan Africa gained their political independence subsequent to the end of the Second World War. As newly independent nations, their relative levels of economic development varied widely; however, all could be considered to have been underdeveloped. In this research, Kenya is used as the focal point for the exploration of the issue.

Precolonial development, as used in this research does not refer to the subsistence agricultural system developed by the peoples of Kenya. Rather, it refers to that period in the history of Kenya subsequent to the arrival of European explorers, traders, resource developers, and soldiers, and prior to the time the British Foreign Office transferred its Kenyan administrative responsibilities to the British Colonial Office in 1905, and prior to the time (about 1920) when the Colonial Office developed coherent agricultural development policies. The Foreign Office itself did not assume administrative responsibilities until 1895. Prior to that time, the Europeans

1 2on the scene had a free hand, insofar as they were able to either persuade or compel the peoples of Kenya to do their bidding.1

Agriculture is possible in Kenya from altitudes ranging from sealevel to more than ninethousand feet, in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates. A wide variety of crops, thus, may be grown. Fourfifths of the country's area is range land, which is conducive to live stock production.

The Kikuyu people of Kenya did not live in villages. Rather, they lived in dispersed households.2 Thus, the early subsistence agriculture in Kenya tended to be highly individualized, and use of its output was restricted to the producing family. This system was subject to almost immediate change with the arrival of the Europeans. The Europeans were not ...

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