Full Text

Mozambique, worker protests

Beata Mtyingizana


Subject Social History » Labor History
Sociology » Social Movements

Place Africa » Southern Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899, 1900-1999

Key-Topics apartheid, colonialism, labor movements, nationalism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01049.x


Extract

Twentieth-century colonial and post-colonial regimes in Mozambique (formerly Portuguese East Africa) have been characterized by authoritarian labor relations that denied ordinary Africans the very modernity and progress they held out. Colonial labor, characterized not just by racially discriminatory laws, but also coercion, forced labor, and paternalism, left a deep imprint on the post-independence Marxist regime, hampering the rise of an independent labor movement before the liberalization of the 1990s. The roots of this striking continuity between Portuguese colonialism and radical nationalism can be argued to lie deep in the period of mercantilism dating back to the seventeenth century. Despite Portugal's early explorations in southern Africa, it failed to establish a modernizing colonial presence in East Africa before the late nineteenth century. Initial contacts at Delagoa Bay and along the Zambezi centered on trade, including slaving. There was very limited control over territory, and African intermediaries and allies were critical to the success of the colonial enterprise. A critical breakthrough was the agreement of the Monomatapa kingdom to pledge vassalage to the Portuguese throne in the mid-seventeenth century. The crown was then able to make semi-feudal land grants ( prazos ) to European lease holders ( prazeros ). The prazeros were meant to defend Portuguese interests, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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