Colonialism Across Borders: Contested Jurisdictions and Colonial Consolidation in Congo and Angola 1899-1978
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries while the German, British, and French empires were trying to consolidate control over their claimed territories in Africa, the shipping corridor between Angola and the mineral-rich Katanga region of Congo was becoming a region of global interest: British concessionary companies, Belgian mining companies, an Anglo-Portuguese railway company, banks, and investors from around the world had all developed financial stakes in the region. At the same time, pre-existing traders and political authorities were not simply going to give up the control they had maintained over commercial activity. In this project, I throw into relief the multilateral, dialogical process of state formation, and I underscore the fundamental importance of concessionary companies, international investors, African authorities, and local traders to constructing a composite sovereignty in Africa. This project seeks to understand the historical processes of state formation in Congo and Angola and how they intersected with economic ideas and private interests.