By John D. Hargreaves
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Extra resources for West Africa Partitioned: Volume II The Elephants and the Grass
82 These schemes were not intended to force the hand of the Colonial Department, but to mobilize financial and political support for sympathizers within the administration. As its President soon ruled, "the Committee would exceed its proper role if it claimed to dictate a line of conduct to the government, whose efforts it ought rather to be supporting". 83 The formation of the Comite de l'Afriquefranr;aise heralded the emergence of a broader parti colonial, whose membership has been closely scrutinized by scholars seeking to identify the true source of French colonial imperialism.
Groundnuts produced in these territories accounted for half the colony's domestic exports, and during the 1880s production fluctuated violently, in response to unstable market prices, variable weather, and political unrest. 102 Merchants had often differed as to whether military intervention against Wolof and Serer rulers who defaulted on their political or financial obligations did more harm than good; but now the soldiers began to argue that the colony's future required action against the Tokolor empire also.
22. R. E. Dumett, "The rubber trade of the Gold Coast and Asante in the nineteenth century: African innovation and market responsiveness", }AH, XII, 1971, pp. 79--101. 23. See P. N. Davies, The Trade Makers (1973); Sir Alfred Jones (1978). 24. ]. M. Muffett, Empire Builder Extraordinary (Douglas, 1978) p. 66. 25. In the words of West Africa's first economic historian: L. C. A. Knowles, The Economic Development of the British Overseas Empire ( 1924) pp. 138-52. 26. British projects are usefully catalogued in 0.
West Africa Partitioned: Volume II The Elephants and the Grass by John D. Hargreaves