A History of Nigeria 1

What’s in it for me? Uncover the history of Africa’s most populous country – Nigeria!

Did you know that after the United States and India, Nigeria is the largest producer of films in the world? And that Nigeria is home to over 500 different languages spoken by 200 million people, or that it’s the seventh most populous country? Sadly, these phenomenal facts aren’t household knowledge in the Western world. For many in Europe or North America, an often Eurocentric view of history focuses on things closer to home. But the region that would become Nigeria has a long, shared history with Europe and the United States. However, this relationship hasn’t always been equal – during the late seventeenth century, 42 percent of the total number of slaves shipped out of Africa came from Nigeria, with many of them destined for European colonies such as British America. Later in the nineteenth century and through to the present day, British colonialism in the region would go on to be the source of much sorrow and violence. But Nigerian history is defined by much more than its slave-trading and colonial past. The incredibly diverse nation is an important center of two of the world’s major religions: Christianity and Islam can number their adherents at about 100 million each. So let’s dive in, and learn all about Nigeria’s rich history. In these readims, you’ll discover how slavery in Africa was different than in the United States; why the discovery of massive oil reserves in Nigeria drove fuel corruption; and the route that Nigeria took back to democracy, after decades of authoritarian rule.

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