Warfare in the Sokoto Caliphate: Historical and Sociological Perspectives (African Studies)

  • Publish Date: 2008-11-03
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Joseph P. Smaldone
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The successful jihad of 1804 in Hausaland - perhaps the most important Islamic revolution in West African history, with consequences still apparent in Nigeria today - resulted in the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate, the largest and most enduring West African polity in the nineteenth century. The book is a full length study of traditional Sudanic military history, and an authoritative analysis of warfare in its most prominent Islamic state. After a brief survey of the evolution of Sudanic warfare and military organisation before 1800, Dr Smaldone examines the historical development and sociological implications of the two important revolutions in military technology which occurred in the nineteenth century: the adoption of cavalry during the jihad period and the introduction of firearms in the latter half of the century. He argues that these two revolutions were causal factors in producing two structural transformations in the emirates of the Caliphate, first from relatively egalitarian combatant communities to feudal systems, and then to centralised bureaucratic state organisations.