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History, Native Resistance

Bakongo, educational neglect, royal governors, Jaga, political repression

The Portuguese, meanwhile, had extended their reach southward to the area around and south of present Luanda, over which they soon claimed colonial authority; it was the title of the local ruler, ngola, that became the name of the country. Portugal appointed royal governors who tried to impose their will on the population, but foreign rule was stubbornly resisted. Prolonged warfare ensued, while slave raids helped to keep the country in continuous turmoil. In addition, the Jaga overran the area after they had devastated the Bakongo, and in the middle of the 17th century, Luanda, founded by the Portuguese in 1575, was temporarily taken by the Dutch. Practically no European settlement was attempted during this time, owing to the much greater profits to be made in the slave trade; by 1845 there were still only 1800 Europeans in all of Angola. The slave trade went on almost uninterrupted throughout the 19th century. By the end of that time an estimated 3 million people had been taken and sold off across the Atlantic to North and South America.

Portugal did not gain full control over the country’s interior until the early 20th century. After that it was governed under the so-called regime do indigenato, an invidious system of economic exploitation, educational neglect, and political repression that remained in force until 1961. In 1951 Angola’s official status was changed from colony to overseas province; soon after, a policy of accelerated European settlement was adopted—the futile attempt of the colonial power to stave off the inevitable. During the 1950s a nationalist movement grew rapidly, and in 1961 a guerrilla war against the Portuguese was initiated.

Article key phrases:

Bakongo, educational neglect, royal governors, Jaga, political repression, guerrilla war, nationalist movement, slave trade, colonial power, European settlement, Europeans, Angola, Portugal, South America, colony, Portuguese, Dutch, force, century, population, country, reach, end, area, people, title, addition, control, middle, time, policy


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