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ERIC Number: EJ824471
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Nov
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2745
Coastal East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean: Long-Distance Trade, Empire, Migration, and Regional Unity, 1750-1970
Gilbert, Erik
History Teacher, v36 n1 p7-34 Nov 2002
In this article, the author looks closely at the recent history of the East African coast and the Swahili people who live there. In doing so he hopes to highlight the inadequacy of the area studies/continentalist approach to studying and teaching the Swahili and to propose a different way of considering their past. His contention is that one can better understand the history of the coast by dropping the traditional Africa/Arabia and Africa/Asia dichotomies and instead view the coast and islands of western Indian Ocean as a region. Further he argues that this historical region existed at some times in the past, but not at all times. He also argues that for the period between 1750 and 1960 the western Indian Ocean makes a valid and useful geographical unit of analysis. 1750 serves as the starting point in this essay for several reasons. The decades following 1750 saw the rise of new patterns of imperialism as the English East India Company, and, to a lesser but still significant extent the Omanis, became more assertive in the region. Those same decades also saw new economic developments as the industrial revolution in Europe began to call for new types of goods to be brought from the Indian Ocean to Europe. These economic and political developments in turn triggered large-scale movements of people within the region. After 1960, the commercial and imperial structures that lent the region its coherence collapsed. (Contains 41 notes.)
Society for History Education. California State University, Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Boulevard, Long Beach, CA 90840-1601. Tel: 562-985-2573; Fax: 562-985-5431; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa