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Cape Verde, independence struggle

Justin Corfield

Subject History
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Africa » Western Africa

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Fanon, Frantz

Key-Topics colonialism, imperialism, nationalism, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00303.x


The Cape Verde Islands, off the west coast of Africa, were taken over by the Portuguese from 1462, with governors appointed from 1698. When the Portuguese arrived, the islands were uninhabited and the Portuguese quickly established vineyards, bringing slaves from adjacent parts of Africa and turning the Cape Verde Islands into a transit point for the transatlantic slave trade. In 1585 the English buccaneer Sir Francis Drake attacked Riberia Grande, on the northernmost of the Cape Verde Islands. This, and the worry about possible slave revolts, led the Portuguese to fortify their bases on the islands. Portuguese rule then remained unchallenged until the twentieth century, with little unrest during most of the period. Even so, the harsh conditions caused by food shortages and a rapid depletion in arable land caused many Cape Verdeans to migrate to other parts of the Portuguese empire or the United States. In June 1951 the Cape Verde Islands became an overseas province of Portugal, which was trying to lock in its overseas territories more closely, economically and politically. Some nationalists on the Cape Verde Islands saw the future of the islands being with Portuguese Guinea (modern-day Guinea-Bissau), and in 1956 one of the leading African nationalists, Amilcar Cabral , formed the Partido Africano da Independencia do Guine e Cabo Verde (PAIGC). Five years later this group launched ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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