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Literature on the History of West Africa
Senegal Guinea Bissau
First posted in April 2002, last revised on May 10th 2012

History of Cape Verde : Narrative . References : Online Secondary Sources . Online Primary Sources . Bibliographic and Print Sources

1456-1879 . 1879-1918 . 1918-1939 . 1939-1975 . Since 1975

In 1456 Italian navigator Luigi da Cadamosto, in the service of the king of Portugal, discovered the uninhabited Cape Verde Islands and claimed them in the name of the King of Portugal. In 1462 Portuguese colonists settled; slaves were soon brought in from continental Africa. The original settlers consisted of exiles, convicts, Jews and adventurers; due to the lack of women immigrants from Europe, they took African women, creating a mulatto society. Soon, slaves outnumbered the free settlers (among them a few freed blacks). The Cape Verde islands lacked cultural institutions; the first church was built in 1495, even elementary education was accessible only to a tiny minority. Thus, the Kriolu language emerged, combining elements of Portuguese and of West African languages.
The Cape Verde islands became a major station in the Transatlantic slave trade, which supplied Brazil's sugar plantations and gold mines with African slaves. The Portuguese acquired their slaves at ports on the African coast, such as Cacheu and Bissau in Portuguinese Guinea, an area which was administrated from Cape Verde until 1879. Slave trade was formally banned in 1830, a ban not enforced on the islands. Slavery was abolished in 1876.
Early on, a textile industry developed on Cape Verde; Verdean cloth was traded on Africa's west coast in exchange for slaves and for other goods. In the 1620es, English fishing vessels began to come to Cape Verde to pick up salt, vital for preserving fish caught in the North Atlantic; salt exports would become a vital part of the Verdean economy until into the late 19th century.
Cape Verde suffered from pirate raids, the first one during the Castilian War of Succession 1475-1479. French pirates struck in 1544, the British in the 1560es, 1582 and 1585, Dutch pirates in 1598. Only in 1596 were steps undertaken to fortify the island's main port.
The islands frequently suffered from drought and famine, at times from epidemic diseases and volcanic eruptions.
In the late 18th century, American whalers began to arrive; in 1818 the U.S. opened a consulate in Praia. Poverty on Cape Verde caused many young men to emigrate to the United States.

In 1879 Portuguese Guinea was separated from Cape Verde and made a distinct colony. The Scramble for Africa did not affect Cape Verde, as the island group was, for centuries, unquestioned Portuguese territory and had no frontier.
The abolition of slavery in 1876 had deprived the island group of a major source of income. In 1887, Brazil imposed import tariffs on salt - greatly affecting Cape Verde's salt exports. The Cape Verdean textile industry suffered from English competition. Poverty caused many Cape Verdeans to emigrate to the U.S., causing a considerable surplus of women in Cape Verdean society.

In 1926, Portugal became a rightist dictatorship which regarded the colonies an economic frontier, to be developed in the interest of Portugal and the Portuguese.
Under this aspect, Angola and Moçambique were in the focus of Portuguese colonial policy, while Cape Verde and Portuguese Guinea were peripheral. Frequent famine, unemployment, poverty and the failure of the Portuguese government to address these issues caused resentment. In 1922, he U.S. imposed restrictions against the immigration of non-Europeans, which discriminated against Cape Verdeans. In 1936 , a literary movement called Claridade was founded, exploring the native Kriolu language.
In 1935, the Cape Verde Islands had 158,930 inhabitants, 6,100 were listed as whites, 32,600 as blacks, 120,000 as of mixed origin. That year, the Cape Verde Islands had 318 km of telephone lines and 20 registered telephones.

After World War II, Portugal was intent to hold on to its former colonies, since 1951 called Overseas Territories. When most former African colonies gained independence in 1957/1964, the Portuguese still held on. Amilcar Cabral, head of the PAIGC, from Conakry/ Guinea organized a guerilla war with the aim to liberate both Portuguese Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands. The war lasted from 1961 to 1974, when, after a coup ousted Portugal's rightist dictator and independence was proclaimed.

since 1975
In 1975, the Cape Verde Islands were released into independence. The PAIGC was the only political organization in both Cape Verde and Guinea Bissau (the former Portuguese Guinea).
A coup d'etat in Guinea Bissau in 1980 ended the loose federation of both former colonies. The Cape Verde branch of the PAIGC was renamed PAIGV, a new constitution adopted.
Another new constitution in 1991 introduced multiparty democracy. In the 1991 election, a challenger, Antonio Mscarenhas Monteiro (1991-), defeated the incumbent, Aristides Maria Pereira (1975-1991).

Country Profiles . Links . Organizations . Accounts of History . Politics . Military History . Economic History . Social History . Ethnography
History of Religion . Regional History . Local History . Institutions . Culture . Biography . Environmental History . Others
Historical J.A. Martins, Madeira, Cabo-Verde e Guine (1891) in Portuguese, IA
Country Profiles Modern from BBC Country Profiles; from World Desk Reference ; from Nations Encyclopedia; from Wikipedia; from CIA World Factbook, countries - Cape Verde
Country Profile : Sierra Leone, from ISS
G.A. Pery, Geographia e estatistica geral de Portugal e colonias, com um atlas (1875) in Portuguese, posted on Internet Archive
Links General from Library of Congress, Portals to the World; from BUBL
Sierra Leone Page, from African Studies at UPenn; from Africa South of the Sahara at Stanford
on History
Historical Dictionaries
Timelines Timeline Cape Verde, from BBC News; by Raymond A. Almeida
Accounts of History Modern Cape Verde - History and Culture, from Cape Verde Home Page
History of Cape Verde, from World Rover
Article History of Cape Verde, from Wikipedia
Great Britain Foreign Office, Historical Section, Cape Verde Islands (1920), IA
Specific Periods
Politics Article Politics of Cape Verde, from Wikipedia; Political Resources on the Net : Cape Verde; Governments on the WWW : Cape Verde; For the Record : Cape Verde, from UN Human Rights System
Economy & Finances Global Currency History : Cape Verde
Social History
Ethnography Languages of Cabo Verde (2), from Ethnologue
Migration Information Source : Cape Verde
World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples : Cape Verde
Religion Chronology of Catholic Dioceses : Cape Verde, from Kirken i Norge
Richard Lobban, Jews in Cape Verde and and on the Guinea Coast, posted by Saudades
Cape Verde, from Jewish Virtual History Tour
Category Religion on Cape Verde, rom Wikipedia
History of Regions Organisaçao administrativa da provincia de Cabo Verde (1893) in Portuguese, IA
Local History History of Praia, from Praia Info
Institutions Cape Verde, from Airline History
Biographies Famous Cape Verdeans, from Nations Encyclopedia
African Women Bibliographic Database
Environmental History
Others Luso-Brazilian Books

Historical Data . Statistical Data . Documents Newspapers . Yearbooks . Image Databanks . Archival Deposits . Laws . Historiography
Document Collections . Historical Maps . Historical Encyclopedia Articles . Travelogues . Institutions . National Symbols
Historical Data Lists of Statesmen from World Statesmen (B. Cahoon); from Rulers (B. Schemmel); from Regnal Chronologies; from World Rulers (E. Schulz, illustrated)
Lists of Ambassadors Chinese Ambassadors to Cape Verde, from PRC MOFA
Statistical Data Responsible Institution Instituto Nacional de Estatistica, Cabo Verde
Population Figures Historical Population Statistics : Cape Verde, from Population Statistics at Univ. Utrecht
Election Results from Psephos (since 2001); from IFES Election Guide (since 2001); from African Elections Database, since 1975
Documents Historical Newspapers Official Gazettes
Selected Articles >
Modern Newspapers links from Online Newspapers, from World Newspapers
Cape Verde Archive, from Africa Online News, articles since 2003
Cape Verde News, from Africa Online News
Online Yearbooks - Cape Verde Entries UN Yearbook . UN Yearbook Collection, 1946-2007
The Situation in Territories under Portuguese Administration : Cape Verde 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
Image Databanks Systematic Collections
Systematic Collections
Accidental Collections
Universal Collections
Items on Cape Verde
License Plates : Sierra Leone, from Francoplaque, from License Plates of the World
Passport, from World Passports; scroll down
Airline Timetable Images : Cape Verde
Archival Deposits
Constitutions Constitution of 1992, from Cape Verde Islands
Laws Cape Verde, from Internet Law Library
List of Ratifications of International Labour Conventions by Cabo Verde, from ILO, 12 docs. since 1979
Document Surveys
Document Collections
Historical Maps responsible institutions Serviço Nacional de Geografia e Cadastro, National Mapping Agencies in Africa
collections : West Africa Historical Map Archive : Historical Maps of West Africa
collections : Cape Verde Cape Verde Maps, PCL, UTexas
David Rumsey Map Collection : Cape Verde
Heuijerjans, Overview of Historical Maps of the Cape Verde Islands
West Africa, Modern
West Africa, Contemporary d'Anville, Carte de la Cote de Guinee, 1729, Gallica
H. Moll 1729 : West Africa, Urhobo Historical Society
Imago Mundi, Carte de l'Afrique occidentale française, Vidal de la Blache c.1910
West Africa 1914, from Heritage History
Humtec, AOF c. 1930s
AOF 1936
Missions protestantes en A.O.F., 1950, Carte d'implantation des differentes societes de missions protestante, 1952, DEFAP
Carte des fuseaux horaires de l'Afrique occidentale française 1912, Gallica
Carte zootechnique de l'Afrique occidentale française 1906, Gallica
Repartition approximative des peuplements naturels de caoutchouc (AOF) 1906, Gallica
AOF 1936, Wikipedia
Guinea (i.e. most of French West Africa) 1936, Probert Encyclopedia
Carte de Soudan Occidental 1893, 1894, Gallica
Cape Verde, Modern
Cape Verde, Historical Cape Verde 1746, Wikipedia
Cape VFerde 1749, Cape Verde Holidays Guide
Jefferys, Cape Verde 1788
Detail, Modern
Detail, Contemporary U.S. Army Map Service, West Africa 1:250,000, 1955-, PCL, UTexas
Africa 1:2.000.000, U.S. Army Map Service, sheet 11 Dakar (1969), 16 Monrovia (1978), PCL, UTexas
Encyclopedia Entries
Secular Article Cape Verde Islands, from EB 1911
Religious Article Sao Thiago de Cabo Verde, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1912 edition
Tour Guides Archipel des iles du Cap Vert, pp.279-320 in C.P. de Kerhallet, Manuel de la navigation a la cote occidentale d'Afrique vol.1, 1857, in French, GB
Institutions Archives
Musea Cape Verdean Museum, Rhode Island
Libraries Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro, Republica de Cabo Verde
National Libraries of Africa : Cape Verde
Official Symbols Flags, Coats of Arms Flag, from FOTW; Coat of Arms, from International Civic Heraldry; National Anthem, from National Anthems Net
Coins, Banknotes Cape Verde banknotes, from World Currency Museum; from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
Stamps Stamps Cape Verde 1877-1921, from Stamps Catalogue 1840-1920 by Evert Klaseboer

Bibliographies . Online Libraries . Thesis Servers . Online Journals . General Accounts . Specific Topics . Historical Dictionaries . Statistical Data . Yearbooks
Bibliographies general Search ISBN Database
on Cape Verde survey of bibliographies
bibliographic database AfricaBib : Africana Periodical Literature, African Women, Women Travelers, Explorers and Missionaries to Africa
general bibliographies pp.120-165 in R. Lobban, M. Halter, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde, Metuchen NJ : Scarecrow 1988 [G]
annual bibliographies
specialist bibliographies
serial publications
general bibliographies
Cape Verde entries
J. Gay, Bibliographie des ouvrages relatifs a l'Afrique et a l'Arabie : catalogue methodique de tous les ouvrages français et des principaux en langues etrangeres traitant de la geographie, de l'histoire, du commerce, des lettres et des arts de l'Afrique et de l'Arabie 1875, in French, Gallica
Roots Institute, Bibliography of Published Primary Sources in African History (English Language)
Kapverden-Bibliographie, from Afrika-Handbuch, at Univ. of Vienna

Ch.12 : De Scriptoribus Rerum Africanarum et Americanarum, pp.263-273, in B.G. Struve, Selecta bibliotheca historica, 1705, in Latin, GB ; a catalogue of narrative historical sources
Scriptores de insulis Africae orientaliae adiacentibus : S. Helenae, S. Thomae, Promontoriae viridis, Canariis, Madera, Azoribus pp.211-220 in vol.3 pt.1 of B.G. Struve/J.G. Meusel, Bibliotheca historica 1787, in Latin, GB
Online Libraries general Google Books; Internet Archives; Gutenberg Library Online; HathiTrust; Gallica
International Boundary Studies
on Cape Verde Aluka, African Online Digital Library (AODL), African Digital Library (ADL)
Biblioteca Digital, Memorias de Africa e do Oriente
Thesis Server Open Access Theses and Dissertations
Online Journals full text online Directory of Open Access Journals
Table of Contents
General Accounts Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Macropaedia, Vol.29, pp.833-835 Article Western Africa : Cape Verde. KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862h v.29
Specific Topics Shubi L. Ishemo, Forced Labour and Migration in Portuguese African Colonies, pp.162-165 in : Robin Cohen, The Cambridge Survey of World Migration, Cambridge : UP 1995, KMLA Lib.Sign. 304.809 C678c
Historical Dictionaries Richard Lobban and Marilyn Halter, Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cape Verde, Lanham Md. : Scarecrow 1988 [G]
Statistical Data IHS : B.R. Mitchell, International Historical Statistics. Africa, Asia and Oceania 1750-2000, London : Palgrave 2003 [G]
Yearbook Entries Britannica Book of the Year Portuguese Colonial Empire, 1945 pp.560-561, 1946 pp.591-592, 1947 p.614, 1948 p.600, 1949 pp.532-533, 1950 p.558, 1951 p.565 [G]
Portuguese Overseas Territories, 1952 p.567, 1953 p.575, 1954 pp.574-575, 1955 pp.623-624, 1956 pp.561-562, 1957 pp.624-625, 1958 pp.557-559, 1959 pp.556-557, 1960 pp.557-558, 1961 pp.569-570, 1962 pp.558-561, 1963 pp.662-664, 1964 pp.677-678 [G]
Colonies and Other Dependencies, 1965 p.254, 1966 p.205, 1967 p.220, 1968 p.218 [G]
Dependent States, 1969 pp.273, 280, 1970 p.280, 1971 p.270, 1972 pp.238, 242, 1973 pp.229, 233, 1974 pp.244-245, 250, 1975 p.229 [G]
Cape Verde Islands, 1976 p.174, 1977 p.188, 1978 p.243, 1979 p.241, 1980 p.237, 1981 p.236, 1982 p.233, 1983 p.231, 1984 p.227, 1985 pp.462, 653, 1986 pp.457, 649, 1987 pp.425, 618, 1988 pp.386, 570, 1989 pp.386, 570, 1990 pp.403, 585 [G]
Cape Verde, 1991 pp.381-382, 570, 1992 pp.353-354, 570, 1993 pp.357-358, 580, 1994 pp.356, 580, 1995 pp.389-390, 580, 1996 pp.387, 580, 1997 pp.406, 578, 2002 pp.404, 575 [G]
Statesman's Yearbook Portugal : Dependencies, 1895 pp.841-843, 1898 pp.839-842, 1901 pp.938-942, 1905 pp.1019-1023, 1910 p.1118 [G]
Cape Verde Islands, 1919 p.1164, 1924 p.1221, 1925 p.1229, 1926 p.1191, 1928 p.1225, 1929 pp.1201-1202, 1932 p.120, 1937 pp.1252-1253 [G]
Portugal : Cape Verde, 1943 pp.1199-1200, 1970-1971 pp.1258-1259, 1975-1976 p.1263 [G]
Cape Verde, 1976-1977 p.887, 1978-1979 pp.319-320, 1979-1980 pp.318-319, 1980-1981 pp.321-322, 1981-1982 pp.325-326, 1983-1984 pp.329-330, 1984-1985 pp.327-329, 1985-1986 pp.329-331, 1986-1987 pp.333-335, 1987-1988 pp.333-335, 1988-1989 pp.335-337, 1989-1990 pp.337-339, 1990-1991 pp.336-337, 1991-1992 pp.336-338, 1992-1993 pp.337-339, 1993-1994 pp.336-339, 1994-1995 pp.326-329, 1995-1996 pp.314-317, 1996-1997 pp.325-328, 1997-1998 pp.329-332, 1998-1999 pp.358-362, 2000 pp.419-423, 2001 pp.408-412, 2002 pp.423-427, 2003 pp.422-426, 2004 pp.422-426, 2005 pp.418-422, 2006 pp.411-415 [G]
Americana Annual Cape Verde Islands, 1927 p.154, 1928 pp.137-138, 1930 p.152, 1931 p.142, 1932 p.141, 1933 p.136, 1934 p.133, 1935 p.127, 1936 p.119, 1937 p.108, 1938 p.107, 1939 p.115, 1940 p.109, 1943 p.135, 1944 pp.129-130 [G]
Portuguese Colonial Empire - Cape Verde Islands, 1945 p.591, 1946 pp.613-614 [G]
Portuguese Colonial Empire, 1947 pp.576-577 [G]
Portuguese Territories - Cape Verde Islands, 1957 pp.637-638, 1961 pp.604-605 [G]
Portuguese Territories, 1962 pp.610-612, 1963 pp.541-543, 1964 pp.538-539 [G]
Other Article : Cape Verde Islands, in : International Year Book 1898 p.163, 1899 p.164, 1900 p.177 [G]
Article : Cape Verde Islands, in : New International Year Book 1907 p.145, 1908 p.134, 1909 p.137, 1913 p.142, 1914 p.141, 1916 p.121, 1918 p.115, 1919 p.133, 1920 p.122, 1921 p.123, 1923 p.124, 1925 p.126, 1928 p.127, 1930 p.137, 1932 p.138, 1933 pp.131-132, 1934 p.120, 1935 p.123, 1938 p.128, 1939 p.118, Events on 1940 p.113, 1941 p.102, 1942 p.115, 1943 p.103, 1944 p.104 [G]

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