Nigeria stood as the biggest black country on the globe because of its estimated population of 190,000,00. On the coast of West African, an area of 356,669 square miles has been covered, which was known officially as the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 1963. { History Of Nigeria Before Independence From 1914 Till Date }.

History will not forgive if we failed to discuss Nigerian history before and after independence. Before independence, there was an increase of trade in agricultural produce from Africa to Europe, especially palm oil from the West African Coastal region which was prevalent after the removal of the slave trade.

In the year 1861, the coastal enclave of Lagos State became a British colony which leads to a massive increment in the section of British trade, influence of politics and missions in the country.

The emergence of Pan-Africanism, not forgetting the nationalism of Nigeria became the limelight because of the important function Lagos State played as its center for an educated West African elite during the late 19th century and 20th century.

An aggressive military expansion in the region by Britain was brought to an end in the 19th century. In the year 1900, the Northern area of Nigeria has Protectorate declared upon them.

The little change in Nigeria’s way of life that was brought in by a Nominal British Rule was enabled through the strong political and cultural primitive even though the sovereignty is lost.

The second half of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century marked the era Nigeria came under the colonial rule of the United States.

Although some areas were under the German Controlled is the Kamerun present-day Nigeria was captured and colonized by the British.

History Of Nigeria Before Independence From 1914 Till Date

History Of Nigeria Before Independence From 1914 Till Date


Nigeria as a nation shared the same boundaries with some notable countries. From the East, The Federal Republic of Cameroon, Cameroon has a contagious boundary with Nigeria, in the Northeast, The Republic of Chad, this country has a 54 miles border which stands as the longest border Nigeria has with other nations. Nigeria has the Niger Republic to the North, and to the East, the Benin Republic, and lastly from the West, there is a Gulf of Guinea Coastline being stretches for more than 500 miles.


Nigeria is divided into thirty-six states including The Federal Capital Territory of Abuja administratively today. In diversification, Nigeria is culturally, politically, and ethnically divided just as Africa as a whole is. There is a diversification in the areas of culture, physical, and ethnicity – because the residents are dominated by a large number of tribal groups, with over four hundred languages being spoken by over two hundred and fifty ethnic groups which have a different language according to the results from the Encyclopedia Britannica.

When it comes to its religious beliefs, eighty percent of the total population of Nigeria are mostly Muslims or Christians and the remaining twenty percent of the total population are known for indigenous beliefs. Because of the fact that Nigeria has a great diversification in its citizens, there is always a setback in its current economic and political struggles due to a difference in culture. What is currently referred to as Nigeria today has its ground been dated back to the empires and kingdoms of the latest seventeenth century which is extensively historical.


Nigeria has it is well known today has its story been dated back to more than two thousand years. There is an emergence of a government that is independent of contact with European making the country a sovereign country.

History will not be complete if we fail to write about the Yoruba empire of Oyo, The Great Kingdoms of Ife and Benin have been identified as one of the greatest kingdoms in the area of art which stand as the Guinea Coast powerful State. The Savannah of Northern Nigeria before it was overthrown by the United States for hundred years, has been ruled by the Fulani empire, also, for more than a thousand years historically, the Kanem-Borno stands as one of the great kingdoms in the North. There was an increase in demand for slaves by Europeans which received a great turn out by the City-States of the Niger Delta back then. Also, palm oil was culturally attributed to Eastern people from the Ibo part and the small area of the plateau tribe, but in politics, they are decentralized.


Ever since ancient times, different tribes and empires dominated the land in the country that made up what is known now as Nigeria. Nigeria became a territory and a part of West Africa about two hundred thousand years ago, the offspring of the Asuras and the distant ancestors of the latest pygmies entered the land of Eastern and Central Africa by the old tribe.

In Jos, Plateau state, which is the state that serves as a central part of the country was the place The Nok culture was formed in the middle of 1,000 BC which marked the passing period from the era of Stone Age to the Iron Age. The Terracotta Figurines stand as an important character of the Nok culture. Figurines of rides wheeled carts, and horses which are other characteristics of the Nok culture permit one to combine the appearance of the Nok with the Mediterranean old origin of civilization being influenced by the culture of the Nok.

The Benin Bronze which was used for beautification of the palace of the Benin kings is recently recommended as the main museum in Europe, and the main museum can be seen in the United States Museums where the Nok civilization and the Yoruba people presented origins created by the pre-state Unities, Ife, Oyo, and the Benin Kingdom has mysteriously vanished.

Until the year 1911 because of the unknown date of occurrence, the existence of the Igbo people since the 19th century in the southeastern part of Nigeria can be dated back to the Kingdom of Nri which made Nri City be considered to be the origin of Igbo culture.

The northern part of Nigeria developed the culture of the people of Tiv as traced back to the 6th century BC. Terracotta and Bronze that was made up of the heads of Sculpture. Still, in the pre-independence history of Nigeria, some of the facts to be noted are as follows:

  • Tarugi and Samum Dukhiya vicinities which were the settlements that belong to the Nok culture identified in Jos, Plateau state in Nigeria were the earliest places the metallurgical iron was produced before it was found later in Europe. Furnace for the iron production that has a shape of a cylinder and also made of clay was found and dated back to be formed at 450-500 years BC.
  • The vast country Kanem-Bornu reaching from Libya to Nigeria was created by the people of Zaghawa in nomadic Nilodic in the North-East of Nigeria by 700.
  • The Southwest part of Nigeria was formed recently as a nation by 850, it was also established as the basics of the Eastern Akan tribes. The northern outskirts of Nigeria were a place where Hausa state stood.
  • By 1150, the Northeast part of Nigeria joined with Kana, and Benin joined Nigeria from the southern part of Nigeria.
  • Under the influence of Arab traders, the rulers of Kanem-Bornu were converted to Islam in 1085.
  • The Portuguese which was the first European country to exist appeared on the shores of the Gulf of Guinea in the 15th century.
  • The Saharan Kanumi tribes entered the North-East part of Nigeria by 1600, and from the Western part of Nigeria, Fulani tribes entered. On the coast, in the southern part of Nigeria, tribes like Bonny, Calabar, and Brass surfaced by 1700. The surfaces of Igbomina and Ekiti were on the West end of Nigeria. Central Africa has Zaria.
  • Sokoto Caliphate in Northern Nigeria was a place of big settlement by 1849 with Bornu and Baguimi emerging to its East.
  • Part Coast of Guinea which was the coast of latest southern Nigeria was claimed by Britain due to Africa Partition in the year 1885. An Anglican form of Christianity that has Yoruba people in its large population was formed by the British colonizers.
  • Naming and amalgamation of Nigeria were colonized in the year 1914 by colonies of British. The first railways in Nigeria were constructed by the British in 1916 and the first oil well was drilled by them as well in 1958.



1st of October, 1960 was the year Nigeria bagged her freedom from the United States’ rule. It was also the year when the control of the military, territories, and politics are taken by Nigeria. The British system of government characterized by a Prime Minister and a ceremonial head of state was still adhered to by Nigeria.

The Nigeria ceremonial Head of States as of then was Nnamdi Azikiwe, while Sir Abubakar Tafewa Balewa was serving as the Prime Minister. Due to the agreement reached between the Northern People’s Congress and the National Congress of Nigeria and Cameron in 1959, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Abubakar Tafewa Balewa took positions of Head of States and Prime Minister respectively. During that meeting, the selection of the Head of state and the Prime Minister was done through the general election.

At the time of her freedom from British rule, the relationship between the two countries was still too strong. Until 1963 when Nigeria became a complete Republic, some elements of the dominance of the British colony still exists.

Nnamdi Azikiwe became the first official Head of State when Nigeria decided to elect her Head of State who still sees the affairs of the nation generally.

The constitution that was formed interim after her freedom from the British rule that stipulated how the nation would be governed was utilized between 1963-1966 during the leadership of Nnamdi Azikiwe when the First Republic was held under the agreement of the National Council of Nigeria and Cameron.

The Action Group which has its root in the southwest part of Nigeria was one of the other political parties that were very vibrant during that period. The other prominent parties are the Igbira Tribal Union, the Democratic Party of Nigeria and Cameron, and then the Borno Youth Movement which has its main location in Borno State.

Others include The Republican Party, The Niger Delta Congress with popularity among the people of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria and so many others.

The Economic System of Government On The History Of Nigeria Before Independence – From 1914 Till Date

In the fifteenth century, the Atlantic slave trade was introduced after the building of coastal bases between the Benin Kingdom now known as Nigeria, and African tradesmen on the coast called Ghana now.

Because of the growth of the Atlantic Plantation system, the Atlantic slave trade dominated during the period 1960-1800.

The part of the wider competition for trade and Empire in the Atlantic during the 17th century to the mid-18th century was established on the West African communities by Europe.

The Dutch in West Africa formed the National trading companies with the company of the Royal Adventures which was the effective English Enterprise and chartered in 1660 and by 1972 it was succeeded by the Royal African Company. Britain became the inhabitant of a Public power in West Africa after the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars ended between 1799-1875.

In the 19th century, the slave trade was the devastating cause of internecine strife in the southern part of Nigeria and Palm Oil was the only product that Britain used in expanding its market across West Africa.

Nigeria’s dependence mainly on petroleum which accounted for 87% of exports and the federal government’s current revenue which stand as 77% in 1988 was a major characteristic of Nigeria’s Economy during the period of the 1970s and 1980s.

The Political System of Government Of Based On The History Of Nigeria Before Independence – From 1914 Till Date.

The Northern Regions that is mostly inhabited by Hausa -Fulani and have Islamic religion as their belief, The Eastern part is majorly inhabited by Ibo and practice Christianity as their belief, and then the Western regions are largely dominated by Yoruba and Christians by religious belief are the three provinces in the year 1914  singly administered by the United States Rule. The Action Group in the West, the National Council of the Northern People’s Council in the North, and the National Council of Nigeria and Cameron in the East are the three main political groups for the fourteen years after the year 1914.

Nigeria was allowed to have control of its National affairs in the year 1963 which marked the year Nigeria was confirmed as the Republican after her Head of States by name Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe was only a ceremonial president in the year 1960.

Nigeria has seen different bad events in her leadership and administration. Conclusively, eight years out of the eleven years of leadership were characterized by military rule and only three years were civilian regime. There was also a problem of coup d’etat.


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Overview of Nigerian History has been discussed, political setup, a metamorphosis of the country from an unstable nation to more giant and the strong country she is currently.

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