African peoples fought back against overbearing colonial demands during the First World War. With few exceptions, Africans had played almost no role in the decisions and acts that started the war, in defining war aims, or in determining how it would be prosecuted. Yet European colonial powers expected African participation in the war effort. They also expected Africans to demonstrate absolute loyalty to imperial causes. The colonizers’ wartime priorities and the large-scale abuses they unleashed exposed the colonial state’s exploitative capacities on a new scale. Many African polities fought to challenge or overturn the colonial order. It is a mistake, however, to view the many acts of “resistance and rebellion” that occurred during the war as confined to the temporal boundaries of 1914-1918.The conditions that led African peoples to resist colonial rule often emerged from longstanding grievances against colonial labor exploitation, taxation, racist and paternalist practices, arbitrary violence, and political illegitimacy. Historical explanations of resistance during the war prioritize colonial fears about losing control of their colonies in the midst of war. But the roots of the often violent expressions of outrage that occurred between 1914 and 1918 are located in the diverse local and regional priorities of those who undertook actions later cast as “anti-colonial.” (Source: International Encyclopedia of WWI).