Between Diplomacy and Imperialism: The Vestiges of Portuguese Influence on Benin Kingdom
The contacts African had with the Europeans presented several sides of experiences. For most of them, it led to loss of independence which commenced with a violent attack on their cultural beliefs. The fore bearers of these contacts were the explorers and missionaries whose ultimate objectives were the exploitation of the economic resources of the Africans. Thus, trade and religion were major instruments of the imposition of alien rule. The people of the Old Benin Kingdom were known for cherishing their cultural values. They had experiences with the Portuguese and the British. While the Portuguese were their trading partners who exchanged ambassadors with Benin, the British on the other hand, although cam as traders and missionaries, were more violent in their approach towards the Benin people. This paper therefore, is an attempt to assess the impact of the Portuguese in their relationship with the Benin Kingdom and the influence they were able to leave behind.