TOPIC 2: SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION IN PRE-COLONIAL AFRICA – HISTORY FORM TWO
1. SOCIAL ORGANIZATION
Refers to the mode of production existing in a particular place at particular time. Modes of production involve productive forces that are human labor, instrument of labor, economic activities and objects of labor and production.
2. Modes of production:
Is the relationship between production and productive forces include the following; human labour, surplus production, instrument of labour, objective of labour and population.
3. Human labor:
Is the consciousness and purposeful activity of people to produce material wealth
Is a major in the series of economic processes that brings goods and services to people. It includes creation, distribution and consumption.
5. Means of labor:
Are the things used in production such as hoes, machines, roads, buildings e.t.c
6. Object of labor:
Are things upon which man’s labor is applied (mostly land).
7. Productive forces:
These are means of production created by a society especially objects and instrument of labor.
8. Relation of production:
Are simple and direct relations which people enter to one another in actual production process either exploitive or exploited class.
9. Class struggle:
Are conflicts that developed between exploitative mode and non –exploitative modes example capitalism and socialism
TYPES OF SOCIAL ORGANISATION PRODUCTION
There were mainly three types of social organizations or mode of production by 1850s.
A: COMMUNALISM (COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION).
This was the first mode of production in which the major means of productions were owned and shared by all members of the community. Communalism existed for a much longer period than any other mode of production in Africa.
ORIGIN OF COMMUNALISM
Communalism is believed to have originated during the early stage of human evolution.
<> It ranged from the emergence of man more than one million years ago.
<> It existed during the stone and iron age
<> People depended on nature and failed to control their environment.
<> People lived on hunting and gathering
<> People lived in groups about a dozen families
EXAMPLES OF SOME OF AFRICAN SOCIETIES IN THE PRESENT DAYS ARE STILL PRACTICING COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION. THESE INCLUDE;
<> The Tindiga and Hadzabe of Singida and Lake Manyara and Central Tanzania.
<> The Dorobo (Okiek) of Maumau forest and Tesoin Uganda.
<> The Mbali found in the equatorial rain forest of the Congo DRC.
<> The bushman (san) of South Africa.
<> The KhoiKhoi of Kalahari desert of Botswana
<> The Tur of Ghana.
CHARACTERISTICS OR FEATURES OF PRIMITIVE COMMUNALISM
1. Absence of exploitation.
There was no exploitation among the people in a community. All the able bodied members of the society worked hard and shared what they produced.
2. Low level of production.
The level of productive forces were low hence none or very little surplus was produced. The implements used in food procurement were crude and simple.
3. Life was dependent on nature.
In communalism life was entirely dependent on nature therefore the environment dictated how man lived. Man was given by nature and subjected to famine, epidemics and harsh weather.
4. Communal ownership.
The communal ownership of properties was a major characteristic of communalism. The major means of production like land, tools and minerals were owned by the community.
5. Major economic activities were hunting and gathering.
These activities were done in form of division of labor based on sex. Men joined hunting while women gathered fruits and cared for children at home.
6. Subsistence economy/Little surplus
Due to low level of development of science and technology people produced enough food for their consumption.
7. Lack of specialization.
Because of limitation of their science and technology (knowledge) these people learnt to perform all types of jobs. They worked together in marking roots, hunting and looking for food later on very simples division of labor based on gender occurred.
8. Existence of equality among the community member’s.
There were no standing armies and ruling classes; even elders were not lords or rulers.
9. Learning by doing.
People in communal societies shared knowledge this was acquired through learning by doing, youth and children obtained knowledge and skills from their elders.
DECLINE OF THE COMMUNAL MODE OF PRODUCTION
FACTORS FOR TRANSITION FROM PRIMITIVE COMMUNALISM TO SLAVERY AND FEUDAL MODE OF PRODUCTION.
1. Neolithic revolution
Neolithic revolution is the term for the first agricultural change describing the transition from nomadic, hunting and gathering to permanent settlement. Neolithic revolution brought socioeconomic changes such as establishment of permanent settlement, extension of division of labor based on age and sex, emergence of specialization, surplus production and spread of diseases due to permanent settlement.
2. Advanced in science and technology.
This was the turning point that gave improvement in agricultural production. The tools produced were sharper and stronger than the older ones. The improvement of tools led to the expansion of socioeconomic activities above and beyond hunting and gathering.
3. The reliable rainfall and fertile land.
Allowed the expansion of agriculture especially the cultivation of permanent crops such as banana in Uganda.
4. Population growth
Population growth by either natural increase through giving birth or artificial means through immigration which was associated with transformation of the social organization and forming of strong empire.
Therefore Communal mode of production gradually began to decrease which gave to development of slavery mode of production
B: SLAVERY MODE OF PRODUCTION
Slavery mode of production was the second mode of production and the first exploitative mode in which the owners of the means of production owned people as their laborers and used in economic production. It based on the ownership of man by his fellow man as slaves.
Slavery refers to a situation in a society where a person is owned by another purposely as an instrument of production.
Slaves were people who were bought and sold in the market as commodities.
The emergence of surplus production created two different classes these were the rich and the poor. Under slavery systems slaves could not acquire wealthy and could not cultivate own land.
SLAVERY IN AFRICA EXISTED IN
<> Egypt where they constructed dams and pyramids.
<> Chagga, Haya, Ganda, Hehe. Kerewe and Sambaa in East Africa interior.
<> Along the coast of East Africa slaves were used in carrying loads buildings, cities, constructing dams and irrigation scheme.
FEATURES OR CHARACTERISTICS OF SLAVERY MODE OF PRODUCTION
1. Existence of two classes that is the slave masters who were exploiters and the slaves who were exploited group.
2. Private ownership of the major means of production. The slave masters owned slaves, cattle and all implements of production.
3. Low productive force under the slave mode of production, the productive forces were still low though more advanced compared to those used during communalism.
4. Existence of surplus production. There were extra products due to the use of advanced tools and improved skills of man to control his environment. The slave masters owned surplus production produced by slaves.
5. Existence of political institutions; these began to emerge and existed in various areas example slave masters had state apparatus such as army, prisons and police which were employed in exploiting and suppressing slaves.
6. Class struggle existed between slaves and slave masters; the slaves started to resist in form of strikes, rebellions, idling and running away.
USES OF SLAVES
i. Slaves used as domestic workers
ii. Slaves used for public works such as building roads, mining or working in communal plantations
iii.Female slaves were kept as concubines by their masters
iv. Slaves were used as tax collectors in some communities’ examples Among Nyamwezi.
v. Slaves served in the military examples The Ngano
vi. Slaves were used as the status and prestige in the society
THE DECLINE OFSLAVERY MODE OF PRODUCTION
i. Growth of productive forces and emergence of more advanced instrument of labor
ii. Development of severe exploitation and humiliations
iii. The contradictions between slaves and their masters
iv. The slaves resisted against masters hence their military power were weakened
Therefore slavery gradually began to decrease which gave to development of feudalism.
C: FEUDAL MODE OF PRODUCTION (FEUDALISM).
The term feudalism originated from the Germany word “feud” which means fees. In this context fees refer to payment of tax.
Hence Feudalism was the third mode of production and second exploitive pre-capitalist mode of production based on exploitation of man by man.
The economy of feudal society was based on private ownership and renting of land and livestock by the ruling classes.
THE SOCIETIES IN AFRICA THAT PRACTICED FEUDALISM
Nupe, Huasa, Rwanda, Ankole, Buganda, Busoga, Buhaya and Karagwe.
CHARACTERISTICS OF FEUDALISM
1. Agriculture became the major economic activity: Following the discovery of iron technology productive forces were improved drastically.
2. Payment of rent to the land lords; rent was paid in various forms.
i. Labor rent; existed in form of labor or service in which peasants (serf) were required to work for three days in week for the land lords.
ii. Rent in kind: The serfs regularly had to deliver the quantities of his products to the land lords. The products could be in form of grain, cattle or vegetables.
iii. Money rent: Was the system in which money used as a major means of paying rent.
3. Exploitation of man by man example peasants (serf) were exploited by land lords and the distribution of production was not equal.
4. Private ownership of major means of production such as land, mining sites, houses and cattle all these belonged to feudal lords.
5. Division labor.This based on age and sex where men specialized in military while women specialized in farming and taking care of children.
6. Existence of classes; landlords as exploiters and serfs as exploited class.
7. Little surplus enjoyed by feudal lords.
8. Existence of strong political institutions in form of kingdoms and empires example Bunyoro, Buganda and Karagwe.
9. Improved productive forces. Especially tools applied in agriculture and military warfare, this was brought about by iron technology.
FEUDAL RELATIONS/FORMS OF FEUDALISM AMONG THE AFRICAN SOCIETIES
1. Interlacustrine region of East Africa
It had a number of societies who practiced feudalism by mid 19th Century. The feudal system were:
(a) Nyarubanja system. Is the form of feudalism where the major means of production was land
<> In Buhaya and Karagwe: There were two classes that are the Batwazi (ruler) and Batwana (serfs). These two classes had to pay rent in kind and rent in labour services to the land lords.
<> In Buganda Nyarubanja system known as Mvunjo and Busulo. Kabaka owned land and allocated it to the chiefs. The peasant had to cultivate the land and pay part of their produce (Obusulu) to the landlords.
They also rendered labour services (Akasamvu) in the land that was directly controlled by Kabaka. The Kabaka received more crops like bananas and local brew while the serfs fewer products for their families.
(b) Ubugabire system was another form of feudalism practiced among the Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda, Burundi and Buha. The Tutsi (donor) also known as SEBUJA could transfer their cattle to the Ifutu (recipient) as sometimes known as BUGABIRE.
The Omugabire and his family were obliged to perform several duties for the masters including house building cultivating.
2. The coastal societies along the East African Coast.
They developed a feudal system known as “Umwinyi” system in which the Mwinyi Mkuu owned land and allocated it to his officials known as Sheha in Unguja and Diwani in Pemba to control it on behalf.
Then they appointed tax collectors called Shakua. They collected tax from peasants in form of millet, mangrove poles, and recruited labour services for Mwinyi Mkuu palace and landlords.
3. In the central and western Tanganyika in East Africa.
Ntemi system this was practiced among the Nyamwezi, Kimbu, Gogo and Sukuma. The power of ruler was based on the control over the producers themselves.
The Mtemi organized his people to open up new land wherever it was available. The process of opening up new land was known as Kutema.
4. In North Africa and horn of Africa
Such as Egypt, Ghana, Mali, and South Africa (Zulu King dom). In Egypt exploited the serfs (peasants) known as the Fellahin before 19th century.
5. In West Africa
Feudalism developed in the Western Sudanic states in Ghana, Mali and Songhai between the 5th Century A.D and 16th Century A.D. Also in the forest states of Benin, Oyo, Dahomey and Asante in the 18th Century.
MERITS OF FEUDALISM
1) The weaker people in the society were protected by the king or the rich land owners. For example, among the Rwandans, the Tutsi had an obligation to protect their tenants, the Hutu.
2) The land owners gave all poor people in the society a piece of land to cultivate. This way, everyone had a means of earning a living.
3) There was a peace in the state as the rich class’s maintained law and order.
4) The rich supported the poor with food during drought and famine.
5) The societies were highly stratified and organized. Each class of people knowing their position and role.
DEMERITS OF FEUDALISM
1) The rich exploited labour force of the poor.
2) Only a few people in society owned land.
3) There was inequality in society between the rich and the poor.
4) The peasant was forced to undertake military duties and endanger their lives for their landlords.
5) It encouraged inter-community warfare as landlords fought in order to increase their land and vassals.
POWER SHARING UNDER FEUDALISM
What is power sharing?
Power sharing is a ruling system in which two or more communities or government rule the same territory and people.
During feudal mode of production this system was practiced so as to decrease the power of kings or land lords
They shared some responsibilities with other classes such as Chiefs.
EXAMPLES OF AREAS IN AFRICA WHERE POWER SHARING PRACTICED
Bunyoro, Buganda, Karagwe and Buhaya. In Buhaya and Karagwe during the 19th century the royal family (Batwezi) and Kings Favorites were given land by king to control production.
MERITS OF POWER SHARING DURING AFRICAN FEUDALISM
i. It brought about equality among the respective communities hence managed to succeed each other.
ii. It maintained and strengthened the supremacy of kingdoms
iii. It broadened participation among the leaders
iv. It brought about the sharing of cultural practices as well as their presentations
v. It maintained the existence of Kingdoms.
DEMERITS OF POWER SHARING
i. It encouraged the kings to monopolize lots of power.
ii. In power sharing privileges rested on a small group of people (minority).
iii. It caused classes especially who has power and those who has not power
iv. It led to rebellion among the chiefs who struggled for powers like their kings.
1. Explain the term social organization and production
2. Identify the types of social organizations and production that existed in Africa up to the19th century
3. What is communalism mode of production?
4. Identify the characteristics of communalism
5. Show examples of the societies that had communalism up to the 19th century
6. What is slavery and slave mode of production?
7. Explain the features of slavery in Africa
8. Show areas where slavery was practiced in Africa
9. What is feudalism as mode of production?
10. Explain the characteristics of feudalism
11. Show societies in east Africa that had feudalism up to the 19th century
12. Explain the feudal relation (forms of feudalism) that existed in the following areas’
- Interlacustrine region of Lake Victoria
- Indian Ocean coast of East Africa
- Buhaya and Karagwe
- Rwanda and Burundi