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Navigating African Maritime History$
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Carina E Ray and Jeremy Rich

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780986497315

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780986497315.001.0001

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State Control and Regulation of Commerce on the Waterways and Coast of Senegambia, ca. 1500-1800

State Control and Regulation of Commerce on the Waterways and Coast of Senegambia, ca. 1500-1800

Chapter:
(p.57) State Control and Regulation of Commerce on the Waterways and Coast of Senegambia, ca. 1500-1800
Source:
Navigating African Maritime History
Author(s):

Ousmane Traoré

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9780986497315.003.0004

This chapter examines the trade relationship between the Senegambian Wolof government and European maritime traders between 1500 and 1800. It analyses the separate approaches each side took during diplomatic relations over the rights to African waterways. It demonstrates that where European states considered Africa a ‘discovery’ and recognised it in terms of possession, monopolies, and exclusive rights over other European nations, Senegambian sovereigns considered the market free, and traded with Europe out of economic interest without willingness to give up dominion of their lands to maritime traders. In particular, it examines the reign of Lat-Sukaabe Faal, king of Kajoor-Bawol between 1696 and 1720, and how he undertook commercial relations with European maritime powers. By analysing how these two economically incompatible cultures interacted over trade, it determines that African leaders used military advantages to protect their interests, and that despite the Eurpoean ‘mastery of the sea’, African nations used their own maritime skills, especially navigation, to maintain control of their waterways and thereby control the terms of trade with Europe.

Keywords:   Senegambian Trade, Senegambian Diplomacy, Afro-European Trade, Wolof Government, Lat-Sukaabe Faal, Maritime Navigation

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