History Flashback: The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa

The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa

Frederick Lugard

Frederick John Dealtry Lugard, the colonial administrator of Hong Kong and Nigeria for Britain, pushed for indirect rule in colonial Africa. Lugard outlined the reasons and methods that should be employed in the colonization of Africa by Britain. It included spreading Christianity and saw state sponsored colonization as a way to protect Christian missionaries and foreign powers. Although the Protestants Christian faith was brought by the British into Africa other European powers adopted some of these principals to convert Africans into Catholic Christians.

British in Nigeria

Nigeria 1914


Nigeria’s mother

Flora Shaw

Flora Louisa Shaw was Colonial Editor for The Times in London.

Flora Shaw, Lady Lugard (1852–1929) was the first female reporter for The Times, and colonial editor from 1893 to 1900. She traveled widely, and wrote hundreds of articles promoting the British Empire and in favor of its expansion as a world power. She became very involved in South African politics as a friend of Cecil Rhodes, and on January 8, 1897 coined the name ‘Nigeria’ in The Times for the British colony under the administration of the Royal Niger Company. The new name “Nigeria” worked better than “Central Sudan”. Flora Shaw thought that the term “Sudan” at this time was associated with a territory in the Nile basin (Nubia or Upper Egypt), the current countries of Sudan and South Sudan.

In 1902 Flora Shaw married Sir Frederick Lugard.

Lord Frederick Lugard and his wife Dame Flora Shaw



A Tropical Dependency

In 1905 Flora Shaw published A Tropical Dependency, her most extensive work. Although expressing views which assume European superiority, she stressed the fact that the vast majority of the British Empire was not white, and the book is valuable for its information on pre-colonial northern Africa.

Tropical Dependency

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Tropical Dependency

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The Western Soudan (or Sudan) is a historic region in the northern part of West Africa. Traditionally, the Western Sudan extends from the Atlantic Ocean across to the basin of Lake Chad

Tropical Dependency

Tropical Dependency

Tropical Dependency

Tropical Dependency
Impact of European colonialism on the religions of Africa

1913 Africa map showing the impact of European Christian missionary locations and the location of Traditional African Religion and Islam
Europeans referred to Traditional African Religion by the name Heathens and referred to Islam by the name Mohammedans.

Christianity arrived in Africa by non-black Africans
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians
Coptic Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox, Eritrean Orthodox
St. Frumentius

Ethiopia (Axum) was converted to Christianity through the efforts of a non-black African by the name of St. Frumentius around 380 AD (or CE/Common Era)
Frumentius was a Syrophoenician (Syria and Phoenicia) Greek born in Tyre. Tyre became a Roman province in 64 BC (or BCE/Before Common Era).

Cathedral of the Holy Cross – Images of non-black Africans
Lagos, Nigeria

The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
The joint British and Egyptian government that ruled the eastern Sudan from 1899 to 1955.
Anglo-Egyptian Condominium 1934–1956
The Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
Similar to Nigeria under British rule the colony was divided into a “north” and “south” division
The British found an overwhelmingly black Muslim but highly stratified society in the north. Wealth, power and high social status were concentrated amongst the black Africans called “Arabs” by the British, who were primarily located around the Nile Valley and centered on Khartoum, and whose identity was marked not only by the fluency in Arabic and immersion in Arab culture, but also by affiliation to “Arab” lineages, clans and ethnic groups; all others were part of a sudani, “a black people” (Sharkey 2008, 25, 29).

Sudan British Rule

Sudan Religion
Source: Durham University Library -Special Collections -The Sudanese under Anglo-Egyptian rule
Post impact of European colonialism on the religions of Africa
Africa Religions Today


Africa European administrative divisions 1950
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Africa administrative divisions 1950

Africa European administrative divisions 1960
Africa administrative divisions December 1960

Africa European administrative divisions 1965
Africa administrative divisions December 1965

Africa today
Africa 2014

Video: Traditional African Religion and Culture

Video: Traditional African Religion and Culture part 2

Read “A Tropical Dependency” by Flora Louise Shaw Lugard

A Tropical Dependency – By Flora Louise Shaw Lugard
Read “The Religious Instruction of the Negroes In the United States” -By Charles Colcock Jones


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