"On The Whole Their Work Has Been Very Well": Black Policemen And The Expansion Of Capitalism In Kenya, 1895-1913
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Type of WorkText
DepartmentHistory and Geography
ProgramMaster of Arts
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Black policemen in the British East Africa Police Force ameliorated the expansion of capitalism in Kenya. The use of black policemen in taxation and labor laws illustrates their deep involvement in the affirmation of capitalism, and it also demonstrates the integration of African countries into the western form of capitalist economy. Black policemen themselves appeared to accept their roles as tax collectors and labor enforcers. Based on their numerical strength and knowledge of the local topography, they emerged as the linchpin of capitalism, and paved the way for its firm entrenchment. This thesis explores the symbiotic relationship between black policemen and colonial capitalist economy in Kenya. It argues that black policemen were not so much involved with the prevention and detection of crime, but rather they focused on serving the exploitative economic interests of the colonial power. Without them the exploitation of Africa's resources would have been extremely difficult and this in turn would have made colonialism unsustainable, a situation that would have made the idea to colonize Africa an empty proposition. By examining the relationship between black policemen and colonial capital economy in Kenya, the thesis provides a space in which to understand the complexities of colonialism and capitalism in Africa. The period covered by the thesis is 1895-1913.