It is not, I imagine, necessary to argue in this Journal (whose birth I welcome) that the study of African politics should never be separated from the study of African history. There was a time when the political institutions of African states (except in a few special cases, such as Ethiopia) meant ‘colonial political institutions, together with such indigenous African institutions as had been permitted to survive within the colonial framework’. For students of colonial government the study of African history had no obvious relevance. For those who wished to explain such institutions as Legislative Councils in British-controlled territories, Communes Mixtes in French-controlled territories, or the Conseil de Gouvernement in the Belgian Congo, the history of the European state which had imposed the institution was understandably more significant than the histories of the African peoples upon whom it had been imposed. As for such indigenous African political systems as had survived, in a modified form, within the colonial administrative structure, their study was—by a kind of unwritten convention—left to the social anthropologists, whose historical interests varied according to the character of the system and the approach of the anthropologist.