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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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Near Disaster

Near Disaster

The First Years of the Tegbesu Era

(p.225) 3 Near Disaster
Slave Traders by Invitation

Finn Fuglestad

Oxford University Press

Tegbesu, king of Dahomey (1740–74), found himself at the helm of a polity on the brink of implosion and was also faced with formidable external foes. He managed to wade through by accentuating the regime of terror, possibly establishing something akin to a “totalitarian” state, complete with internal purges. Dahomey’s enemies (Oyo, the exiled Huedans, Glidji etc.) were unable to coordinate their efforts. The relationship with (and between) the Europeans remained strained, provoking their slow disentanglement. But Tegbesu did try to mend his relations with the Portuguese-Brazilians, even sending the first of what turned out to be many Dahomean embassies to the viceroy in Brazil.

Keywords:   Tegbesu, King of Dahomey, Totalitarian state, Oyo, Heudans, Glidji, Dahomean embassies, viceroy in Brazil

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