The definitive defense of British colonial rule in Africa by its most eminent practitioner, this work catalogued the vast variety of administrative and development issues in the heyday of empire: systems of land tenure, direct and indirect administration through indigenous authorities, taxation, agricultural and mineral exploitation, education, transport, trade, legal development, and the eradication of indigenous forms of slavery. Lugard conceded that British methods had not produced ideal results everywhere, and that the time was not yet foreseeable when complete independence would be feasible for African colonies, but he argued with assurance, contrary to the skepticism expressed by the British Labour Party, that Britain's rule was fundamentally benign. Pure philanthropy, he wrote, could of course never be the motive of empire, yet the welfare and advancement of African peoples was a strong guiding principle of British rule, part of its "dual mandate" of reciprocal benefit. Where native races were becoming restive, he declared, it was precisely because of their exposure to British values of liberty: "Their very discontent is a measure of their progress."
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