This book is a study of chieftaincy and political culture in Ibadan, the most populous city in Britain's largest West African colony, Nigeria. Examining the period between 1829 and 1939, it shows how and why the processes through which Ibadan was made into a civic community shifted from the battlefield to a discursive field. Concentrating on the early-to-mid colonial period, the book's focus on political discourse encompasses Ibadan's pre-colonial past, because forms of social action and political argument were always legitimated in terms of past precedents. This book offers a contribution to the social and cultural history of British colonial administration in Africa, as well as to the field of urban history. It should be of interest to anthropologists and social scientists for its innovative approach to the study of political culture.