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Uganda and Its Peoples; Notes on the Protectorate of Uganda, Especially the Anthropology and Ethnology of Its Indigenous Races (Paperback)

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1905 edition. Excerpt: ...were imposed as a hut tax, and a small tax was imposed for permission to carry a gun. The peasant who had a marriageable daughter, and who had to meet these taxes, thought it but fair that he should charge a suitor a higher price than formerly, when he had fewer calls on his finances. In previous years, the usual price was three or four rupees' worth of kauri shells; now it went up to fifteen or twenty rupees. The Muganda young man. not being very energetic, and being unwilling to exert himself to earn an increased "dowry," naturally fell into the only course open to a lazy man, and did not marry. In order to remedy this state of affairs the Native Council passed the law that no higher price than 13s. d. should be paid or asked. (Chiefs paid a higher price; but chiefs are a small proportion of the community.) The system is working smoothly, as far as an outsider can ascertain. But is it just? Why should legislation step in and arbitrarily fix a price, which should be left to the natural influences of supply and demand? In the English statute books there are various examples of attempts having been made to fix the price of labour, the price of bread, and other commodities, all of which resulted in failure, and all of which are now considered unjust. Why? Because when a man has anything to sell, he should be perfectly free to ask what he thinks is the fair value of it, because he will be guided by the demand; and when a man wishes to buy something, he should be free to offer what he thinks fair, because he will be guided by the supply, and by the quality of the article which is offered for sale. It is difficult not to sympathise with the missionary aspect of the matter. On the other hand, no one contends that it is sensible to rate girls...


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