An Outline History of Benin for KS2


By Andrew Forson with drawings by Rosemary Forson., published 27th February 2015

This outline history of Benin gives a chronological picture of the history and society of Benin.  The period covered commences in the first millennium AD, or possibly earlier, and ends in the 1990s.  However, this document was written in response to the inclusion of Benin within the National Curriculum for England and Wales, so its main emphasis is on the pre-colonial history, prior to the 20th century.  For the reader who wants to study more recent history, the text recommended is ‘Benin under British Administration' by P. A. Igbafe.

The first section of this pamphlet discusses view of African history.  It highlights the importance of oral tradition and its relevance to African history in particular.  There is not the space for a detailed validation of oral techniques; the reader who requires this must look elsewhere [e.g. ‘Oral Tradition as History' by Jan Vansina].  The second section gives a brief overview of the geography of Benin.  There are many books on the geography of Nigeria and West Africa for the reader who requires more detailed information.  The pamphlet goes on to describe the history and society of Benin in five time periods; before 1440, 1440 - 1470, 1481 - 1606, 1606 - 1888 and 1888 - 1915 (this last section includes a short paragraph on 1915 - today).

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