By Emrys Chew (auth.)
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Extra resources for Arming the Periphery: The Arms Trade in the Indian Ocean during the Age of Global Empire
35 From clusters of workshops to chains of factories, state-led initiatives spearheaded military innovation and industry across the Western hemisphere, pushing arms trade and technology by stages into higher gear. New technologies in metallurgy and steam power were applied to weapons and warfare, with devastating consequences. 36 For small arms production, the changes would be far-reaching even if the transition from ﬂintlock to percussion ignition occurred only on paper in 1836, and the changeover from smoothbore to riﬂe was delayed for nearly two more decades.
Europeans in Africa became increasingly anxious about Africans acquiring the newer riﬂes to ﬁght their local wars and soon acted to prevent this. Various arms control arrangements ensued, all of which showed limitations. The Sand River Convention of 1852 typiﬁed the many unsuccessful local initiatives falling short of concerted international action. In southern Central Africa, missionaries and explorers like David Livingstone continued to supply Tswana chiefs with guns for self-defence against encroaching whites, while many white traders and farmers—Boers and English—openly ﬂouted the regulations.
The collapse of imperial rule in Southwest Asia, the ambitions of local chiefs, and Britain’s growing dominance in the emerging industrial world economy opened a period of profound upheaval for the Persian Gulf region. The Gulf trade witnessed a mercantile renaissance, in which pearls, dates, cotton, wool, and opium were exchanged for imported foodstuffs, dyes, manufactured goods, and ﬁrearms. But labour shortages also occurred, generating fresh demand for imported manpower in the Gulf ports, coastal villages, and local militia.
Arming the Periphery: The Arms Trade in the Indian Ocean during the Age of Global Empire by Emrys Chew (auth.)