Ninetieth Century Economic Change and the Crisis in the Southern Senegambia: Islamic Militancy and the British Intervention in the Lower Gambia Region of Jarra, Kiang and Foni 1860-1888


  • Ensa Touray Department of History University of Gambia


The global economic realities in the middle of the 19th century was characterized by the intense search for viable areas of cost effective production to facilitate the expansion of the capitalist world economy and the rate of accumulation. This period of transformation coincided with the period of industrialization of Western European countries and the introduction of cash crops in the southern Senegambia region. In this paper, I critically examine how capitalist economic advancement and transformation led to the rise of socio-political crisis in the southern Senegambia region.  It is evident that the new emerging global capitalist economic expansion in the middle of the 19th century generated competition between the Muslims and non-Muslims in the entire southern Senegambia region. It explores the consequent large scale socio-political crisis resulting from the nineteenth century capitalist economic advancement that lead to the clash between the theocratic Muslim regime of Futa Jallon and non-Muslim Empire of Kabu. It further sets out to examine how global economic change and cash crop production in the middle of the nineteenth century created intense political consolidation and power struggle in Kiang, Jarra and Foni that necessitated the intervention of the British administration.