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Cotton Is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961 (Social History of Africa) epub

by Allen F. Isaacman


Cotton Is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961 (Social History of Africa) epub

ISBN: 0852556217

ISBN13: 978-0852556214

Author: Allen F. Isaacman

Category: Other

Subcategory: Humanities

Language: English

Publisher: James Currey Ltd (June 1, 1996)

Pages: 288 pages

ePUB book: 1631 kb

FB2 book: 1805 kb

Rating: 4.6

Votes: 683

Other Formats: txt lit mobi lrf





ALLEN ISAACMAN is professor of history and director of the MacArthur Program on Peace and International .

ALLEN ISAACMAN is professor of history and director of the MacArthur Program on Peace and International Cooperation at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Mozambique: The Africanization of a European Institution, (1972), The Tradition of Resistance in Mozambique (1976), Mozambique from Colonialism to Revolution (1983), Cotton, Colonialism, and Social History in Sub-Saharan Africa (1995), and Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, (1995).

PDF On Dec 1, 1997, Frank Hirtz and others published Cotton is the Mother of Poverty - Peasants . July 1997 · The Journal of African History. London: James Currey; Portsmouth NH: Heinemann, 1996.

PDF On Dec 1, 1997, Frank Hirtz and others published Cotton is the Mother of Poverty - Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938 - 1961, by Allen Isaacman. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann,1996. MOZAMBICAN COTTON GROWERS Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938–1961.

in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961 (Social History of Africa Series) .

Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961 (Social History of Africa Series). 0435089781 (ISBN13: 9780435089788). In Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961, Allen Isaacman reminds readers that colonialism extended long into the twentieth century. Isaacman’s book provides a compelling narrative on the methods of coercion and terror the Portuguese government and companies used to enforce cotton production throughout Mozambique.

The Journal of African History.

Isaacman, AF 1996, Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants. Work and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique 1938-1961. Isaacman AF. Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants. Isaacman, Allen . Cotton is the Mother of Poverty : Peasants. 29be2a6ea07e, title "Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants.

--. Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938–1961. The Colonial Disease: A Social History of Sleeping Sickness in Northern Zaire, 1900–1940.

Chiefs, Rural Differentiation and Peasant Protest: The Mozambican Forced Cotton Regime 1938–1961. African Economic History 14 (1985): 15–56. --. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1995. Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Portuguese officials forced nearly a million African peasants to grow cotton in colonial Mozambique under a regime of. .

Portuguese officials forced nearly a million African peasants to grow cotton in colonial Mozambique under a regime of coercion, brutality, and terror. 3. Description this book Portuguese officials forced nearly a million African peasants to grow cotton in colonial Mozambique under a regime of coercion, brutality, and terror.

This volume contains thirteen essays on the social history of colonial Africa

This volume contains thirteen essays on the social history of colonial Africa. Their common thread is cotton production and its effects on those who grew it. The fields of African social history and colonial history are, of course, well tended areas of study. The colonial state sought to control almost every aspect of peasant life: growers were told not only what they should produce, but where they should live, how they should organize their labor, and with whom they should trade. A privileged few managed to prosper under the cotton regime, but the great majority were impoverished, as cotton cultivation earned them next to nothing and exposed them to hardship and famine.

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This study of the colonial Portuguese regime's economic policy in Mozambique shows how nearly a million African peasants were forced to grow cotton. It explores the lives of these coton producers, through interviews with former cotton growers and their families, as well as African policemen and overseers, and Portuguese settlers, merchants, missionaries and officials.
For most people, colonialism is something that happened centuries ago. They identify colonialism with the British, Spanish, and French settling North America and South America, and those colonies eventually fighting for their independence. In <i>Cotton is the Mother of Poverty: Peasants, Work, and Rural Struggle in Colonial Mozambique, 1938-1961</i>, Allen Isaacman reminds readers that colonialism extended long into the twentieth century. His depiction of the Portuguese colonial regimes in Mozambique are telling in how modern Europeans still clung to the ideas of how conquered territories should be made to support the mother country’s economy, often at the expense of the territory’s own people.

Isaacman’s book provides a compelling narrative on the methods of coercion and terror the Portuguese government and companies used to enforce cotton production throughout Mozambique. The African country was basically divided into three regions, each with differing climates and soils, and then the people were forced to begin planting cotton. The Portuguese were eager find a way to grow cotton cheaply in order to enhance the profitability of the textile production. Fortunately for readers and scholars alike, Isaacman and his staff were able to conduct detailed interviews from Mozambiquans who lived through the Portuguese cotton regimes. This perspective, from the growers’ point of view, makes the book a valuable chronicle of colonial times. Without this, the narrative would be dry and difficult to read.

The Portuguese cotton regime lasted for almost 25 years. During this time, peasants were forced to change their native planting schemes and add cotton to their regular crops. This reduced the amount of land available for planting food. The cotton policy was strict on many levels. The policy dictated a schedule for when seeds should be planted, how often the land should be weeded, when the cotton should be picked, and for how much the cotton would be sold. It attempted to regulate every part of cotton cultivation. Due to the large geographic area and the number of growers required to plant cotton, the policy went so far as to distribute identification cards to each grower so they could show how each step of the cultivation process had been carried out per the policy.

As peasants were forced to grow more and more cotton, they grew less and less food. With prices set by the cotton regime, more work was required to earn very little money. Most men worked outside of their villages, especially in South African mines. This left the women and children home to work the fields. Prior to the cotton policies, native farmers planted a variety of seeds in the same plot. This cut down on the labor intensity as many crops could be tended to simultaneously. Cotton policy forbade this practice of intercropping, which increased the overall labor needed on peasant farms since families now needed to work multiple fields to satisfy the regime and provide sustenance for their families.

Although they did not openly rebel, peasants often found ways to silently express their displeasure with the cotton regime system. Farmers continued the traditional practice of intercropping cotton plots with sustenance crops. Some peasants deliberately sabotaged the cotton seeds provided to them by boiling the seeds to ensure the crop would fail. Others simply abandoned their land and fled to neighboring countries not subject to the policies of the Portuguese cotton regime. For many years, peasants did not talk about these acts for fear of violent retaliation from the colonial government or from the companies who provided the cotton seeds. Even up to the time of the interviews conducted for this book, peasants were reluctant to provide information to the researchers fearing the repercussions.

Overall, the Portuguese government and the concessionary companies did not take a variety of factors into consideration when they chose to force cotton cultivation in Mozambique. The required rainfall for satisfactory cotton cultivation was not adequate in many parts of the country, and the soil in other areas did not have the necessary nutrient content or optimum cotton production. By forcing their will for cotton production onto the local peasantry, they also forced famine and violence on families who previously provided for themselves.

Isaacman’s analysis is thorough and provides readers with an accurate portrait of life under the Portuguese cotton regime in the mid-twentieth century. The narrative, especially with the interviews of those who experienced the cotton policies first hand, gives readers yet another example of the abuses of the colonial and neo-colonial regimes perpetrated on those they felt were uncivilized. Although the story does warrant its own narrative, a look at a similar policy structure such as the Soviets in Uzbekistan would have made for an interesting comparison.
To try and summarize this book in a few short lines would not do it justice. There are many aspects to this account of colonial regime in Mozambique whose sole reason for being was the extraction of raw resources from the land.
The reader is introduced to the physical landscape of Mozambique, which in itself was as responsible for the success or failure of the Cotton Regime in the differing regions as any human agency. More land under cultivation meant production so the Regime sought to extend the planting of cotton to new regions, irrespective as to whether these places could sustain intensive agriculture. In the north, under-development and isolation helped local residents to resist the Regime more effectively than those in the south. It was in the south where Cotton Regime was to alter the social customs of the local population by forcing out migration of males.
This exodus of men left the majority of work to be done by women and children. This started to blur the lines in regards to what had been gender specific jobs before the Regime. As Issacman says; women were perpetually on the front line in peasant struggles against the Cotton Regime.
There are many things that I am leaving out in this review. Issacman goes into detail about how the Regime tried to control peasant access to their own fields to produce food for survival. These moves inevitably lead to food shortages as cotton fields were moved further away from villages in order to more easily control peasants. In this the Portugeuse were aided by local chiefs who would be rewards with people to work their own cotton fields.
What I found to be one of the most interesting aspects of the book was Issacman's assertion that the peasants were not helpless victims of the regime. That they did indeed find ways to "cope", a term which is distinguished from "resisting" by the author. Coping strategies are seen to have the unintended affect of proping up the Regime. This can be seen as a strategy akin to a work slow-down in a contemporary labour environment. For the peasant growers in Mozambique these options were thus very limited, such as escaping the regime by fleeing to neighboring countries, holding back some of the labour, or by boycotting the system at strategic moments. Issacman saw these "Hidden" protests as the weapons of the weak.
Thus, there were to be no great rebellions or revolts. The structual position of the cotton growers was not to change. These forms of resistance are seen by Issacman as a type of safety valve, which perpetuated the system of exploitation.