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Slave Traders by InvitationWest Africa's Slave Coast in the Precolonial Era$
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Finn Fuglestad

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190876104

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190876104.001.0001

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The Dramatic and Decisive 1720S

The Dramatic and Decisive 1720S

(p.199) 1 The Dramatic and Decisive 1720S
Slave Traders by Invitation

Finn Fuglestad

Oxford University Press

From 1724, dramatic changes took place on the Slave Coast, with the Dahomean conquests of Allada (1724–6) and Hueda/ Ouidah-Glehue in 1727-30/33. It was, all told, a tremendously bloody affair. But those conquests did not go unchallenged; they provoked the intervention of the mighty northern (and Yoruba) polity of Oyo – not quite a newcomer on the local scene, since Oyo had since exported a considerable number of slaves through the Slave Coast. The redoubtable cavalry of Oyo inflicted an apparently shattering defeat on Dahomey in April 1726. Oyo had defeated Dahomey several times but was never able to conquer that polity, and the Dahomeans emerged apparently unscathed each time from the assaults of Oyo. Dahomey had, however, to become a vassal of Oyo and to pay a heavy tribute. Dahomey had also to face slightly later the surprisingly tough resistance of the exiled Huedans who had found refuge in the west. For the Europeans it was a dangerous time; those who opted for what turned out to be the “wrong” side at a particular moment, paid for this error with their lives.

Keywords:   Dahomean conquests, Allada, Hueda, Ouidah-Glehue, Oyo, Cavalry of Oyo, Exiled Huedans

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