Collaboration with bybystarlight [link]
More information on the Hausa [link]
More information on the Fulani [link]
Storyline featuring the characters [link]
This is a simple representation of the beginnings of what would be the relationship between the Hausa tribes of Northern Nigeria and the Fulani that lived in Northern Nigeria using the format of Hetalia to introduce people to Nigerian and African history.
For some context the Caliphate began during the era in the late 1700s-early 1800s known as the Fulani Jihads which were taking place all over West Africa with the different Fulani subgroups taking over the regions each subgroup had settled in. The Fulani in Nigeria were the last subgroup to start their own Jihad, but not for reasons of pure conquest, but to in their opinion right wrongs and settle issues.
The Fulani for the most part had remained nomads up until the late 1700s where they began to settle down. The Kingdom of Kano and its area enticed the Fulani to settle there and engage in trade with the Hausa kingdom where the relationship initially flourished.
This changed when Usman dan Fodio a well respected Islamic Fulani scholar and preacher began to preach in Gobir one of the city states of what was called Hausaland. His student Yunfa, (the Hausa King of Gobir) resented him due to the influence he had and the religious reforms he wanted to make and attempted an assassination. He summoned Usman to his chambers and prepared to kill him at gunpoint but Yunfa's pistol backfired. Yunfa then exiled Usman to the region of Gudu and was surprised when the Fulani population left Gobir and the other regions in the Hausa Kingdom to join Usman in exile. Fearing his growing power he declared war on Usman in 1804.
For a time Yunfa attained many victories but he did not count of the resourcefulness of the Fulani and had to be forced to drag the other Hausa vassals such as Katsina and Daura and eventually Hausa-Kano into his war with Usman and the Fulani. The Fulani then moved on to defeat Katsina, Daura and the other vassals before conquering the Kingdom of Kano in 1807. After taking the empire Gobir was left on its own to face the might of the Fulani and was captured in 1808 with Yunfa killed at his seat.
Usman was then hailed as the defender of the faithful or Amir al-Mu'minin and founded the early settings of what was first called the Fulani Empire. Dan Fodio's son Muhammad Bello founded the new capital, Sokoto in 1809. What was notable about the Sokoto Caliphate was that it banished the concept of hereditary rule, deciding that a ruler should be made based on his morals and his knowledge of scripture. They made plantations the new way to farm and built fortresses, schools and markets.
Though Fulani ruled, the former vassals of Hausa, now the vassals of Fulani were allowed their own autonomy as long as they swore allegiance. Eventually the Kano Emirate revolted in 1816-1817 but was quickly put down and appeased when the Fulani realized how similar they were culturally and began adopting some of the customs and culture of the Hausa beginning what is referred to as the marriage of the two tribes known today as the Hausa-Fulani.
The Sokoto Caliphate was largely very expansionist, reaching as far as the edges of the Oyo Kingdom. In the 1830s the Empire stretched from Burkina Faso to Cameroon making it one of the largest African empires in the 19th century. In 1837 a census was made and it was learned that the Empire now had 10 million people within its borders.
Slavery went on in the Empire though compared to iterations of slavery in other countries, the line became a lot more blurry. Only Non-Muslims were made slaves and you could escape slavery if you honestly converted to Islam. Many former slaves even became Sultans themselves. Even Non-Muslims could be freed based on their hard work and character as Usman had earlier decreed to give understanding to the other traditional religions. The Fulani-Hausa union benefitted from trading with the Tuaregs in the Trans-Saharan trade.
The empire flourished due to the government and economic systems for near a hundred years. But as with all African empires, it's decline began once the Europeans began their own period of expansion, known as colonization. In 1891 the French explorer Parfait-Louis Monteil visited the empire as it was dealing with another uprising, this time with the Kebbi Emirate. France deduced that the war would have drained the resources of the Empire and made plans to take the Sokoto Caliphate.
However by 1902 the British had already been moving into what would become Nigeria and Frederick Lugard made plans to take over the Sokoto Caliphate. Knowing that an all out British invasion of a united Hausa-Fulani Empire would be too costly, he played all the vassals against each other to reduce their defenses until finally crushing the remnants of the Empire in 1903. Lugard styled himself as the new Sultan and the Empire was divided up initially between France, Britain and Germany due to the terms of the Berlin conference. British influence reigned supreme however as Lugard allowed for growth and autonomy like the Fulani had done before and learned the language and culture of the Hausa-Fulani. Even after the founding of Nigeria in 1914 after the defeat of the Nri-Igbo, Lugard held the North above the South.
Whatever was left of the Caliphate served in name only until Nigerian independence where they were able to expand their influence with the Sultans returned in strength but as part of a new country with new systems and the Caliphate would not stretch beyond Sokoto itself. Through civil war and dictatorships the Sultans have survived and so has the Hausa-Fulani culture, stronger after more than 200 years of intermingling with the current Sultan of the region of Sokoto coming to power in 2006, Sa'adu Abubakar.