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Title: 'Headlight' theology : the rise and fall of legitimate commerce in Yorubaland 1839-1893
Author: Abimbola, Johnson Olajide
ISNI:       0000 0001 3391 1079
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2008
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The study examines the history, operation and growth of Legitimate ('lawful') Commerce in Yorubaland, and its utilization as a missionary strategy for abrogating the Slave Trade and empowering indigenous Christians in Yorubaland. It examines also the decline of Legitimate Commerce after some three decades. This study hence explores theory and practice from the neglected angle of theology and argues that the absence of such consideration has given too negative an image to modern mission in Africa. The traditional idea of portraying the missionaries' commercial experiment as a continuity of British enterprise in Africa, or as a prelude to imperialism, is here rejected on the basis of the documentary evidence. Rather, although Legitimate Commerce lost its vitality as an economic alternative for Africa, its operation shows that it stood out as a missionary strategy for abrogating the unlawful Slave Trade. This thesis critically examines the experiment from the period of the influence of Legitimate Commerce in the 1840s to the time of its decline from the 1870s. Such an evaluation of the vital missionary economic emancipation strategy in Yorubaland is the main concern of this thesis. This research uses primary materials in missionary archives to investigate three key issues that distinguish missionaries' economic initiative from the indiscriminate enterprises of nineteenth-century traders in Yorubaland. It fills some of the missing links in missionary sources with information from resolutions and minutes of selected English Chambers of Commerce, the Liverpool Journal of Commerce, the Manchester Guardian, the Liverpool Daily Courier, the John Holt Papers and some official papers of the Foreign and the Colonial Offices. Contrary to the popular view that missionaries were agents for advancement of imperial nations' social, economic and political interests, it is argued that Legitimate Commerce was genuinely beneficial to those to whom it was directed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available