Meaning of SENEGAL, HISTORY OF in English

history of the area from prehistoric and ancient times to the present. Senegal has been inhabited since ancient times. Paleolithic and Neolithic axes and arrows have been found near Dakar, and stone circles, as well as copper and iron objects, have been found in the Sine-Saloum region. The Tukulor occupied the lower Sngal Valley in the 11th century. The name Senegal appears to be derived from that of the Zenaga Berbers of Mauritania and northern Senegal. Toward 1040 Zenaga Berbers established a Muslim monastery, perhaps on an island of the river; this became the base of the Almoravids, who converted the Tukulor, defeated the Soninke (Sarakole) empire of Ghana, conquered Morocco, and crossed into Spain. Between 1150 and 1350 the legendary leader Njajan Njay founded the Jolof kingdom, which in the 16th century split into four competing Wolof states: Jolof, Walo, Kajor (Cayor), and Bawol (Baol); while the Serer of Sine and Saloum also established independent kingdoms. Islamic influence spread throughout the region in variable strength; it gained a new impetus from the later 17th century, and after 1776 Tukulor Muslims established a theocratic confederacy in Fouta-Toro (Fouta). Portuguese navigators reached Cape Verde about 1444; they established trading factories at the mouth of the Sngal, on the island of Gore, at Rufisque, and along the coast to the south. In the 17th century their power was superseded by that of the Dutch and then the French. A French factory at the mouth of the Sngal River was rebuilt in 1659 at N'Dar, an island in the river that became the town of Saint-Louis, and in 1677 France took over Gore from the Dutch. As bases for French trading companies that bought slaves, gold, and gum in the Sngal Valley and along the coast, these two towns became homes of Francophone communities of free Christian Africans and Eurafricans. Hubert Jules Deschamps John D. Hargreaves After two periods of British occupation, Saint-Louis and Gore were returned to France in 1816. When attempts to grow cotton near Saint-Louis proved unprofitable, the colonial economy came to depend on trade for gum in the Sngal Valley, where an upriver station was founded at Bakel. In the 1830s two coastal factories, at Carabane and Sdhiou, were acquired in Casamance. In 1848 the ailing colonial economy was further disrupted when the Second Republic outlawed slavery on French soil. In 1854, at the request of local merchants, Napoleon III appointed as governor Commandant Louis-Lon-Csar Faidherbe, who began to establish French military hegemony. He soon came into conflict with al-Hajj 'Umar, a Tukulor from Fouta-Toro who, having become regional head of the Tijaniyah fraternity, was establishing an economic and military power base in the upper Niger Valley; but a military stalemate after 1857 led to a truce of coexistence. When Faidherbe retired in 1865, French power was paramount over most of the territory of modern Senegal; and growing exports of peanuts, through the new colonial port of Dakar, were providing some economic resources. In 1879 the French government approved a large program of railway construction. One line was designed to facilitate penetration of 'Umar's empire; another linked Saint-Louis with Dakar through the main peanut area in Kajor, where commercialization and indebtedness were already disturbing Faidherbe's system of collaboration. In 1886 the deposed damel (king), Lat Jor, died in battle against the French; Islamic legitimacy among the Wolof now passed to his kinsman Amadu Bamba Mbake; he became spiritual leader of a new fraternity, the Muridiyah, whose devotees were exhorted to discharge their religious obligations by diligent cultivation of peanuts. Meanwhile, France was consolidating direct control over the rest of Senegal and other African colonies. In 1895 Jean-Baptiste Chaudi became first governor-general of French West Africa, and in 1902 its capital moved to Dakar. Before this new autocratic empire had established its rigid administrative control over such traditional chiefs as it still tolerated, the Third Republic had recognized the inhabitants of Saint-Louis, Gore, Dakar, and Rufisque, regardless of race, as French citizens. In 1914 the African electors succeeded in sending to the National Assembly in Paris as their deputy a former colonial official, Blaise Diagne. In return for assistance in recruiting African soldiers in World War I (some 200,000 in all from French West Africa), Diagne obtained confirmation of the French citizenship of this urban minority, even if they chose to retain their status under Muslim law. These privileges were lost between 1940 and 1942, when French West Africa passed under control of the wartime Vichy government, but were restored under the Fourth Republic. Two socialist deputies elected in 1946, Lamine Guye and Lopold Sdar Senghor, at first concentrated on restoring these rights of full French citizenship and extending them to the whole Senegalese population. But political life was increasingly influenced by nationalist movements elsewhere in Africa and Asia, as well as by perceptions of strong internal tensions, notably those revealed by a sustained strike of railway workers in 194748. Senghor, a poet and philosopher who sought some synthesis between an authentic African identity and French civilization, built a strong political position upon partnership with the leaders of the Muridiyah and other socially conservative Muslim orders, but he was increasingly driven toward claiming political independence. In 1958 the Senegalese electorate accepted his advice to vote in favour of membership in Charles de Gaulle's proposed French Community; but two years later Senegal claimed and received independence (initially within the short-lived Mali Federation). As president, Senghor maintained collaboration internally with the grands marabouts and externally with France, which continued to provide economic, technical, and military support. The economy, however, remained vulnerable both to fluctuations in world prices for peanuts and phosphates and to the Sahelian droughts, and the government found it increasingly difficult to satisfy the expectations of the working class or of the rapidly growing student body. Although Senegal remained more tolerant and pluralist than many African states, there were nonetheless encroachments on political freedoms. In 1976, however, Senghor authorized the formation of two opposition parties; and under Abdou Diouf, to whom he transmitted presidential power in January 1981, these freedoms were tentatively extended. Under Diouf, the Socialist Party (PS) maintained Senghor's alliance with the Muslim hierarchies. When the PS secured more than 80 percent of the votes in the 1983 elections there were complaints of unfair practice, and the eight deputies returned by the Senegalese Democratic Party (PDS) of Abdoulaye Wade initially refused to take their seats. Nevertheless the framework of parliamentary democracy survived the continuing economic stringency of the 1980s. In 1988 Diouf's presidential majority dropped to 73 percent, and the PDS won 17 of the 120 parliamentary seats. Charges of inequity and fraud, and considerable violence, were followed by the declaration of a state of emergency. Wade was imprisoned; but he was subsequently pardoned. Diouf found it increasingly difficult to meet prescriptions for economic adjustment while trying to contain social pressures caused by falling export values, rising costs of living, and mounting unemployment. In 1981, when Senegalese troops entered The Gambia to defeat a coup, a Senegambian confederation had been proclaimed; but this was dissolved in 1989. During 1989 a long-standing border dispute with Guinea-Bissau aggravated the problem of regional discontent in Casamance, and disputes with Mauritania escalated, resulting in movements of refugees across the border in both directions. John D. Hargreaves Additional reading An overview is found in Harold D. Nelson et al., Area Handbook for Senegal, 2nd ed. (1974). Historical works include Eric Makdonsky, Le Sngal: la Sngambie, 2 vol. (1987); Philip D. Curtin, Economic Change in Precolonial Africa (1975); and Sheldon Gellar, Senegal (1982), on the period since independence. G. Wesley Johnson, Jr., The Emergence of Black Politics in Senegal: The Struggle for Power in the Four Communes, 19001920 (1971), is supplemented by Kenneth Robinson, Senegal: The Elections to the Territorial Assembly, March 1957, in W.J.M. Mackenzie and Kenneth Robinson, Five Elections in Africa (1960), pp. 281390. Lucie Gallistel Colvin, Historical Dictionary of Senegal (1981), is a useful reference. John D. Hargreaves

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