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Introduction

  • L. J. Butler
Chapter
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Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)

Abstract

In discussions on the economic changes wrought in Africa under colonial rule, particular interest has attached to the growth of mining, described by Frankel as the ‘touchstone’ of development in the continent.1 It has been seen as one of a group of industries which, ‘for good or ill’, have exercised a powerful influence over Africa’s economic destiny.2 The single most important field for external investment in colonial Africa, mining represents arguably one of the most dramatic examples of the impact of large-scale expatriate enterprise under colonial conditions. Of the countries which experienced this impact, Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) offers a particularly striking example. Within a remarkably short period — little more than a decade — Northern Rhodesia emerged as one of the world’s leading suppliers of copper, a material of growing importance to the industrialised world as the twentieth century progressed. The purpose of this book is to explore the development of the copper mining industry in Northern Rhodesia, from its early stages in the late 1920s until the independence of Zambia in 1964. Its focus is the response of the British colonial state, and of the imperial state to which it was answerable, to this development. It therefore aims to provide a case study of business-government relations under colonial rule in a dynamic and volatile economic sector.3

Keywords

Mining Industry Copper Mining Imperial State Colonial Period Colonial Rule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 8.
    W.A. Lewis, ‘Economic development with unlimited supplies of labour’, in Manchester School 22, 2 (1954).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 12.
    C. Harvey and J. Press, ‘Issues in the history of mining and metallurgy’, Business History, 32, 3 (1990), 2.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    A.G. Hopkins, ‘Imperial business in Africa. Part II: Interpretations’, Journal of African History, XVII, 2 (1976), 279–80.Google Scholar
  4. 24.
    A.D. Roberts, ‘Notes towards a financial history of copper mining in Northern Rhodesia’, Canadian Journal of African Studies, 16 (1982), 347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 26.
    A.G. Hopkins, ‘Big business in African studies’, Journal of African History, 28, 1 (1987), 131.Google Scholar
  6. 28.
    Cain and Hopkins, British Imperialism, esp. 34–61. A useful early summary of the original thesis can be found in D.K. Fieldhouse, ‘Gentlemen, Capitalists, and the British Empire’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 22, 3 (1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 30.
    While it is not possible to rehearse here the many ramifications of the ‘gentlemanly capitalist’ thesis, or the diverse responses to it, it is appropriate to note that the model has undergone continuing refinement at the hands of its creators. Inspired by the work of Susan Strange, Hopkins, for example, has distinguished between’ structural’ power (which enables those possessing it to enjoy a predominant influence on the conventions governing international relations, and particularly to promote the British state’s traditional interests, including free trade, low taxation and’ sound money’) and ‘relational’ power, exercised in the negotiations and disputes arising from particular situations within this broad context. In this reading of the ‘gentlemanly order’, it was perfectly feasible for differences over means to be resolved within a broad framework of agreed ends: see A.G. Hopkins, ‘Informal Empire in Argentina: an alternative view’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 26 (1994), 469–84CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 38.
    N.J. White, ‘The business and the politics of decolonization: the British experience in the twentieth century’, Economic History Review 53, 3 (2000), 550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 42.
    N.J. White, ‘Government and business divided: Malaya, 1945–57’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 22, 2 (1994), 252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© L.J. Butler 2007

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  • L. J. Butler

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