Major Factors in the Making of Rhodesia

Major Factors in the Making of Rhodesia

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UCLA Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies Title Major Factors in the Making of Rhodesia


Journal Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies, 5(3)

ISSN 2150-5802

Author Tsomondo, Micah S.

Publication Date 1975-01-01 Peer reviewed

Powered by the California Digital Library University of California

- 119 ~NOR


Much of the literature on how Rhodesia came about attempts to present the latter as a peculiar British colony. Numerous references are made to the racism of its white settlers; the restriction of opportunities for the Africans; its racist franchise; the glaring discrimination in public places, housing and employment; and the proscription of African political parties. Perhaps in order to reduce monotony, these analyses occasionally take the reader through the bigotry of some of the leaders of the country or that of this and that political party. Without minimising the utility of these accounts which show what is going on in Rhodesia, we should nevertheless like to ins ist that they leave out something to be desired. For example, although they suggest that as a British colony Rhodesia has been distinct and peculiar, they do not really account for her peculiarities as contrasted with other British colonies in Africa. It is our contention that what has been going on on the Rhodesian politi cal surface is already common knowledge and that what needs to be brought out is a definitive account of how all these so-called peculiarities of the country came about. It is therefore the object of this analysis to account for the major factors in the making of Rhodesia into the distinct country that it is today . As an initial premise our analysis maintains that compared with the British African colonies horth of the Zambezi , Rhodesia has been peculiar in certain respects. Secondly, we admit that there are many factors at work which have some consequences for the country, such as racism in employment , education, housing, government and in the courts. We recognise that regardless of whether there is or there is not an underlying cause to a particular inequity, the latter can independently become a cause of other inequities. This means that one has to make the initial concession that many caused factors on the Rhodesian political scene have themselves assumed a causal character and must be treated as such. For example, inequality in educational opportunities between the Afri cans and the Europeans contributes to a similar situation in professions, personal incomes, and social mobility. Nevertheless, our analysis proceeds from the assumption that i n a given historical situation, some causes are primary while others are secondary; that is, some factors are basic and antecedent to others whereas others are derived from and therefore consequent upon some other more underlying factors. It is our intention

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to isolate and analyse the primary and underlying factors in tH making of Rhodesia from which al l the other secondary causes h~ sprung. Two primary factors that have made Rhodesia distinctly different from all other European colonies in Africa, except pe haps South Africa are ZJ the South African ao ZoniaZ experience; and 2) t he i dent i ty of i nt erest s between the indigenous Af ricans and t he coZonising BUPopeans.

Although nearly all analysts have written about many other fact as i f they all were fundamental causes of what Rhodesia is toda our analysis will show how t he two factors (listed above) have a much more decisive influence on the making of Rhodesia than a the other factors put together. * The South African Colonial Experience

Most analyses on the making of Rhodesia mention in passin~ take for granted that t hat country was colonised by the Brit i s~ Because in the heyday of colonial ism the British accepted the < for t he enterprise, they have been blamed for recent developmet in that country. Admi t tedly since 1890, the flag of Rhodesia ~ been British; so have been the official language; the stamps ar the currency which carry the picture of the British monarch; ar the senior civil servants who have been recruited largely fro Britain. I t is perhaps because of these symbols that Rhodesia been seen as a peculiar British colony when , in fact, it is ty~ of its actual origins. It is our argument that far from being an original Britist colony, Rhodesia was and has remained essentially British Soutt African . We further maintain that even though it was colonise in 1890 contemporaneously with the partition of the rest of Aft by the European powers, the brand of colonialism that overwhelq Zimbabwe and went into the making of Rhodesia was not British t British South African. To support thi s argument, I wi l l first attempt to show t hat the imperialism that developed in British South Africa was different from the rest of nineteenth century European imperialism in Afrtca; secondly, that the imper1alism spilled into Zimbabwe was essentially from this particular soul Imperialism South African Style Except for a few trading and slaving posts on the coasts ( Guinea, Senegambia, Ghana, Angola and Mozambique, South Africa

* For

a brief analysis of some of the literature on the subjeci please see "Note on Historiography" under "Footnotes and Ref•

- 121 as you well know, the oldest European colony in Africa. Beginning as a half-way refueling station, the Ca~e of Good Hope went through an era of a slave economy and Afro-Boer wars. The British finally took it over in 1806 and tried to impose their own political and economic concepts on the Capes former Dutch rulers. Among these were the limitation of frontier expansion, an attempt to secure peace with the Africans by returning the territory between the Keiskamma and the Kei River to the Xhosas from whom it had been unjustly seized, and the abolition of slavery in December, 1934.1 These events provoked the so-called Great Trek, and e~igration of many Boers into the northern interior of the Cape colony. This dramatic break of the Boers with the British on account of the alleged sympathy of the latter towards the African underdog made many people regard the British as the protectors of the weak in South Africa. And yet a careful examination of the historical developments which occurred between 1835, when the Boers decided to leave the Cape Colony, and 1890, when the British South Africa Company invaded Mashonaland, will show that the British 'native' policy went through a far-reaching Boerisation. This change was due not only to the evaporation of the idealism of the 1820s when the British shifted from opposition to interest in imperialism, but also to the active role which the British South Africans were playing in blending Britain's native policy with that of the Boers. Thus the return of the Keiskamma territory desp1te the combined opposition of the British and Boer opinion at the Cape became ~he last and perhaps the most benevolent act of the British towards the Africans in Southern Africa. For a long time this generous act continued to hide the convergence of the British and Boers policies on the question of African rights. The British not only ceased to be opponents of Boer native policy of consistently violating the African land and livestock interests, but they became the leaders in implementing that policy and were frequently the only ones capable of doing so. On the native policy of the Boers, a lot has been said and written . Boer leaders (such as Paul Kruger and Andries Pretorius) never hid their intention to reduce the Africans to hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Boer settlers. This p~licy is still as apparent today as it was a hundred years ago. On the other hand, the fact that the British Government as well as the British South Africans have been in continual conflict with the Boers since 1814 has led to the assumption that the former were opposed to the latter in every respect. In actual fact one can discern three levels of the native policy in South Africa between 1835 and 1900: the Boer policy of expropriating Africans of their property, which is well known to need further exposition here; the policy of the British South Africans, largely resident in the Cape Colony and Natal, which we contend gradually converged with that of the Boers between 1935

- 122 and the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910; and the British Government policy (or lack of policy), which increasin! reflected and deferred to that of the British South Africans. It should be noted that the subjugation of the Africans ir South Africa was largely done by the British Government in con junction with its English South Africans. By themselves the Be might never have accomplished this feat which the British passe off as "protective annexation". Examples of this are the Brit· annexation of Griqualand. Bechuanaland, Swaziland, and Zululanc In each case the British frustrated the ambitions of the Boers but only to subjugate these peoples themselves in the interest! of the English South Africans who wanted to share in the north· ward expansion.4 Although the pretext was nearly always that 1 peoples had to be "protected" from the Boers, it will be seen 1 even after they had won the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, the Br ish spurned the African demands for justice vis-a-vis the Briti South Africans and pursued a traditional Boer policy. When thE Africans in Natal rose against the poll-tax in 1906. imperial troops were rushed in from the Transvaal, a dozen black leader~ were condemned to death, England objected, the Natal English mi try resigned in protest but was allowed to return to power and execute the Africans. The latter reacted violently against thE injustice, and imperial troops were rushed in from the Cape to put down the Zulus. 5 Similarly, when the British called a coni ence for the formation of the Union of South Africa. they defer to local white opinion--Boer and British South Africans--even ~ they knew its aims. Thi s act formalised the vanishing of a Sri Government stand on behalf of the Africans in South Africa. Attitudes of British South Africans also became more ident cal with the established Boer policies towards Africans in that territory. Ideas of the Voortrekkers, characterised by "the fe and hatred of the blacks, fear and hatred of competition from ~ became dominant in Sout h Africa: "as regards their attitude to natives the British have proved to be good pupils" of the Voort kers.6 Jlmong such "Boeri sed " English South Africans was Cecil Joh Rhodes who organised the colonisation of Zimbabwe. One sympath biographer who knew him personally observed that Rhodes came to South Africa young . ~nough to f eeL its f uU infl,w:m ce and he. became a genuine South African~ and thus gained that sympathy with, understanding of~ and infLuence over Dutch as weLL as EngLish South Africans~ over natives as wel.'L as white men, which has given him his unique place as the maker of our Empire in

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South Afr'iaa, not only by oaoupying te:r>Pitoey, but by conciliating and ama2gamating the two white races, and teaching them . . . that their corrmon interests (11'8 sewed by their union under the oonditions of the British Empire.

The same biographer believes that Rhodes's northward policy and all his political ideas were formed in South Africa and remained essentially the same except for minor details which he changed as circumstances dictated.7 An example of the recognition of the difference between what is British as opposed to that which is British South African will be found in the conflict between Rev. J. Mackenzie and Cecil Rhodes on the colonisation of Bechuanaland. Both men were ardent imperialists and ravored northward expansion into Zimbabwe. They both saw Bechuanaland as a necessary corridor for the purpose and appealed for its annexation by the British Government. But there their friendship ended. With a keen knowledge of the distinction between a British South African colony and a British colony, Mackenzie, a pro-African missionary who had been made the British resident agent, proceeded to insist that Bechuanaland was going to be a British colony, not a British South African colony . He intended to shut out the British South Africans from the country because he realised that their free-hand in Be,huanaland would nullify the 'ontent of a British protectorate. But Rhodes was similarly aware that a British colony could not be a British South African colony. He wanted the country opened up for the Cape colonists. Hence his policy statement to the effect that We want to get rid of the Imperial factor in this question, and to deal with it ourseLves, jointly

with the Transvaal. 8

Rhodes was thus apparently determined to make the northward expansion British South African rather than British, a fact which is apparent from his discussion of his own designs on Zimbabwe: I have undertaken that northem deve Zopment as a Cape colonist .. .. I thought i t was a gt'and idea to work

the development of the Zambesi regiona, and at -the same time to remain in touch a:nd in oonaePt with the peopte of ~he Cape Cotony.9

In addressing the Afrikaner Bond, a leading Boer political organisation, Rhodes emphasised this South Africanism: I feU nine ye
there was no difference between my ideas and the ideas which your organi~ation promulgated.

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After nis soldiers and settlers, whom he had recruited from s~ Africa, had occupied Mashonaland in 1890, Rhodes similarly tolt the Bond that he was g~ the Cape COLony witt atso share in the development of the country to the north. I f eeZ. asaw-ed that bJ'i.thin my U fetime t"M limits of the Cqpe Col-ony bJ'i.U etretch a3 far as the Zanibesi. lrr

Because the expansion into Zimbabwe was so South African i orientation, questions were occasionally raised about the rela· tionship of the prospective colony to Britain. Hugh Marshall ~ the official historian of Rhodes's British South Africa Compans attempted to deal with the issue of whether the country would t British or South African as fol lows: Rhodes, with the union of aH the South African States in hi.s mind, meant to GT11{!WY the Cape as a stoepping- stone mere 7,y, or as a base. He knew that pub Uc support at the Cape was indispensable to his objecrl;s, and he 1110n over Cape Colonists by painting in gl-owing coZ.ours the commer ciaL advantages which wouZ.d be theirs if they took part in his rwrt1v..Jard e:x:pansion. These advantages 1JJouZd have been practical-ly the same had the ImperiaL GOvernment assumed the responsi bi l-ity for the northern territories, but direct Imperial control, was the last; thing which he desired. Be kne1JJ how sZ.ow and inelastic administration from Downing Street z.Joutd be . He wanted territory , and fez.t that he oou'Ld get it more easil-y if the British Government was kept in the background fJ a support, and not thrown forward as a direct agent.

The accuracy of Hol e 's preceding observation is confirmed by th 1889 appl ication for the Royal Charter which described the proposed British South Africa Company as an amalgamation of alZ inter ests under one common control. ... with a Z.OcaZ board in South Africa of the most infiuential chaPacter>, having the support of Hero Majesty 1 s GOvernment md of pubLic opinion at home, and the confidence and sympathy of the inhabitants of South Africa. 12

That there was little difference between the British South Africans, represented by Cecil John Rhodes. and the Boers on is! of native pol icy and northward expansion should now be evident. Barnes is accurate when he says (on native policy) the Boer and the Briton in South Africa "combine in order to oppose a united front to t he nat ive, but they combine on Boer terms ."l3 Thus t t

- 125 colonialism that overwhelmed Zimbabwe in the 1890s was not the traditional nineteenth-century European imperialism in Africa,14 but a spill-over of a South African brand of imperialism that had been developed for over a century by the Boers and which had been gradually absorbed by the British South Africans . That the spill-over across the Limpopo into Zimbabwe of the essentially South African brand of imperialism actually took place may be demonstrated by establishing not only who the first European settlers in Zimbabwe were but also by showing how those settlers quickly reverted to their South African modes of living when an eldorado could not be found in Zimbabwe. The colonising spirit of the settlers as well as the personnel that first occupied (1890s) what became Rhodesia were largely South African, with the first two hundred "pioneers" and five hundred policemen coming from all parts of South Africa. Their goals were South African in character: small mineral claims and family farms to be worked by cheap native labour. On their arrival in the country, their attitudes towards the Africans became apparent when Colquhoun, the Company administrator, and Lt.-Col . Pennefather, the commander, proceeded to make treaties with the Shona chiefs of the country according to British tradition. Colquhoun was dismissed by the Company in less than a year. Of this incident Hole observes that although Colquhoun "had done valuable work," his training a8 an Indian aivil servant lUa8 not the best preparation for the.~xeeutive control of a South Afriean colony in the process of making

whereas Jameson's defeets were "an advantage" in dealing with the needs of the pioneers. A study of Jameson's policy in the country between 1891 and 1895 shows that what endeared him to the settlers was his application of the South African methods of imperialism.l5 In sunmary it can therefore be said that the South African colonial experience shaped the character of the colonisation of Rhodesia. The participants in the Rhodesian colonial venture, engaged in economic activities; and imposed upon the indigenous Africans a labour and hut tax system which recapitulated the South African experience. In 1891 for instance, the High Commissioner of Cape Town made a proclamation whereby all the laws of the Cape Colony were extended to Rhodesia. The Cape's discriminatory franchise system was later also extended to the country, and even the education system of Rhodesia remained essentially South African until very recently . Having said this, it should be obvious now that the imperialism which went into the making of Rhodesia least arose from the designs of the Berlin Conference and we will now show how the identity of interests between the Africans and the incoming settlers also became another major factor that influenced the nature of settler colonialism in that country.

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The Identity of Interests Breeds Conflict In his commentary on the first settlers who occupied Rho~ under the auspi ci es of Rhodes's British South Africa Company, said that "no finer corps d 'e~ite . . . has ever been raised. nlo this been the case, however, Zimbabwe might well have escaped of the problems she has experienced since their arrival. Wher examines the relationship of the colonisers to the colonised i many parts of Africa and elsewhere , one obser ves that frequen~ the interests of the two groups tended to complement rather t supplant each other . In Nigeria and much of West Africa, for ple, the colonisers were either merchants with a lot of attrac foreign wares to sell, or buyers of the raw materials which t~ indigenous people were producing. In some cases the new arri v were preoccupied with the extraction of minerals from the groJ Conflicts between the two groups were nearly always there , but were conflicts either at the level of national ideology or tha equitable exchange and fair compensation of labor. The Europeans who moved into Rhodesia in the 1690s and t~ after claimed that they were the vanguard of an advanced civil tion at an uncivilised frontier. In reality, they do not see~ have been any more advanced than the African on whom they encr The same can be said of the Voortrekkers that occupied the Ora free St~te and the Tr~nsv~al, And yet Southern African histor graphy has altogether neglected to recognise the importance of point and to examine its impli cations for the Euro-African rel that are consequent upon it. It is the object of this analysi show how next onl y to the South African colonial experience, t factor was of paramount importance in the shaping of Rhodesia in laying the groundwork for her present predicament. The interests, outlook, capacities and occupational exper of the settlers who came into the country were very much simil those of its indi genous inhabitants: rural, agrarian, and pas But the new arrivals differed from the Africans in that their ' mic perception were capitalistic and their accumulative tenden were generally insatiable. The Africans were communal and bani as witchcraft any accumulation that exceeded reasonable l evel I self-sufficiency. Thus the history of Rhodesia since the occu tion is deplete with overwhelming evidence of Europeans compet for the same economic means and occupations with Africans. In the Afri cans possessed the agrarian desiderata ; the Anglo-Boer• came with neither land, cattle, nor the money to procure them . The war that the would-be settlers waged on Lobengula is • fact inexplicable unless it is realised that the Ndebele peopl1 had hundreds of thousands of cattle and extensive grazing areal which the settlers coveted. The Victoria Agreement between th

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British South Africa Company and the would-be settlers provided that each participant in the campaign to overthrow Lobengula would have a right to a large farm and some mining claims, and would share half the loot equally with other participants while the other half went to the Company.l7 It is therefore not surprising that as soon as they won the war, the settlers proceeded to collect all the cattle of the Matabeles under the pretext that they belonged to the fallen King. In fact, throughout the negotiations for concessions between Cecil Rhodes and Lobengula, the latter had been quite flexible on mineral concessions but entirely unyielding on the question of farms for European settlement. As far as Lobengula was concerned, the coming of the Europeans would be meaningful only if they were not going to compete economncally with his people who were farmers and herders. Lobengula lacked the knowledge that no amount of gold would keep the Anglo-Boer settlers from migrating to the country. After all, the Rand Goldfields were rich in ore and yet Johannesburg had become a city of foreigners while the Transvaal farmers were struggling to annex more African territory to the north. Besides South Africa had ample living space but lacked suitable farmlands . It was this scarcity which drove many white South Africans northwards across the Limpopo into Matabeleland. A similar situation took place in Mashonaland on an even larger scale. Since the first arrivals (700 of them) there were preoccupied with mining (between 1890 and 1891), they encountered no hostility whatsoever from the African population. Even the labor for the mining was forthcoming as long as the settlers were willing to pay for it. Because the interests of the two groups were different but complementary, no conflict between the Europeans and Africans developed. In April of 1891 Lt.-Col. Pennefather referred to the expected economic complementarity of the two groups by observing that A~~ the natives who have been accustomed to trade with the Portuguese are p~testing ~oudly that we have no stuff to barter with them and that as we have dr>iven the Portuguese out of the country they cannot now do any trade. There is no doubt that much more money must be spent if we a:ee going to keep that country--but it wou~d be we~~ spent~ and returna might soon be got f~m it. 18

But instead of recognising these African demands that the Europeans must operate at a different level as merchants, manufacturers or importers of consumer goods as the Portuguese had been doing, the B.S.A. Company carried out an opposite policy in the middle of 1891. The budget was cut from 150,000 pounds sterling to 50,000 and all but 150 of the 700 original settlers were discharged from Company paid service and let loose to engage in

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farming, an economic activity on which the indigenous people ·l ready subsisted. Instead of co-operating with the African ch and their people. the Company dismissed Colquhous, an adminis who had advi sed that pol icy, on the grounds that it i s impoZitic as weZZ as useZess t o ~aste t i me and money on so- caZZed ' independent Mashona chi efs '; an irukpeniknt Mashonaland is an impos~ibility wit hin the sphere assi gned to t he British. 19

Subsequently huge stretches of the best Afri can lands were the after declared open for European settlement and hundreds of ne arrival s in 1891 took to the farm to do what the Africans were already doing quite successfully. With this deci sion came nearly al l the troubles between t Afri cans and the Europeans which led up to but were not solve the war of 1896. The settlers not only dispossessed Africans their lands, but they al so seized their cattle and introduced poli cy of compulsory labor to force Africans to work on settle farms and in settler mines. An eye-witness account of J.S. Bn campaign against Guripi l a, a paramount chief of Mtoko, vividly how the seeds of conflict were sewn during the early stage of sian colonial ism: [~abant] explained to Guripila that . .. we ~ere going to burn and shoot and ikstl'oy evert hing we 80JJ) until. he sent to stop us and ask f or mercy, but that before w oouZ.d cease he oouZ.d have to fill. the va 1.ley with cattle for us to pick from f or hut ta:x: and that he was aZso t o furni sh us with 200 of his pi aked men to go and work in the mines .

When Guri pila would not comply with such demands, the witness We then proaeeded down the vall ey in searah of something to destroy. The police boys and messengers and camp f oZ.Z.ower s saatte~ed over the hi ZZs and burnt down aU. the kraat..s t;hey came across unti l. the whct..e ~­ sphere was iknse with smoke of burning rapoko and other

corn grass .... We returned to camp to find t he vaZZ.e!l Uterally fuU of cattle, aU lowing and be llowing. ZO

Many other areas of Mashonaland Matabeleland had similar periences and the African economy was l iterally destroyed in or to make room for a simi lar European economy. Thus had the new arrivals been traders or manufacturers, they would have preser the African economy as a basis of exchange. Of course other pr

- 129 would still have risen with respect to the price of foreign merchandise and that of African produce, but the history of the country would have been entirely different from what it became. There is therefore a degree of truth in the statement that only the discovery of huge quantities of gold leading to an industrial economy which could have attracted a different type of Europeans in occu pational terms, could have saved the Rhodesian white immigrants and Africans from a collision of interests. To further support our preceding contention reference is also made here to Giovanni Arrighi's critique of the Rhodesian economy in which the author observes that once the dream for rich gold finds had evaporated, Rhodesia attempted to base itself on farming, with "the white rural bourgeoisie" acting as "the foundation of the capitalist sector of the economy." He points out that unlike all other African colonies north of the Limpopo where the exploitation of resources was carried out by large-scale international companies, in Rhodesia it was to be carried out by independent white rural bourgeoisie, and almost every white professional, civil servant, miner, etc., was a would-be-agriculturalist.21 He also points out that all the other sectors of the economy of the country are a consequence of the productivity of the rural white bourgeoisie. He makes a parallel observation about the Africans who are "essentially a class of self-employed rural cultivators" while those of them who work for wages are merely appendages of the Peasantry rather than independent c1asses . "22 From the ver:y beginning of the country, he observes, "Internationa1 capita 1ism, and within its fold the Chartered Company in particular, had to rely on the development of a national white bourgeoisie in order to recover its initial investment in the territory. Hence the interests of these two class-es basically coincided. "23 More important, however, is what Arrighi sees as the consequence of the occupational similarities between the white rural bourgeoisie and the African peasants: given the identity of outZets for African and European agricuZturaZ produce, the white OfJI'arian bourgeoisie could not expect the indigenow; popula-tion to provide an internal market for its production, as it might have been the case if the white bourgeoisie had been a manufacturing class. What it had rather to expect was competition on both internaZ and external market.24

And since the white rural bourgeoisie and their white sympathisers in all the other sectors of the economy would neither give way to nor compete equally with the African, they sought by various means to demobilise his agricultural enterprise so as to achieve occupational distinction. The latter could have been more easily achieved

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without ruining tne African if non-agrarian types of Europeans come in place of the agrarian ones. Only in this context can understand the ruthless restrictions of the settlers against t Africans which have ranged from the outright seizure of cattle lands to a calculated reduction of African acreage to small cor reserves . The so-called Land Apportionment Act--first passed i 1930 and has since been repeatedly tightened- -not only formal i1 the deliberate disruption of the African economy that has been going on since 1891, but it also represents the European's own permanent commitment to agriculture coupled with his fear of c petition.



We have attempted to show why from its very inception Rho was necessarily going to be different from other British colo to the north. In this respect we have identified both the na~ and the actual source of the Rhodesian colonialism: What we ~ isolated as the major factors in the making of Rhodesia--the S African colonial experience and the identity of interests betw the African and the incoming settler--decisively contributed t most {if not all) other problems of the country since its occu tion in 1890. That there was an importation of a Boerized Bri South African heritage into Zimbabwe has been clearly stated b1 Wi 11 iam Rayner: Ithe] white men who had aome to Rhodesia brought with them the South African beUef that it is beZObJ the di{!Yiity of the European to work with his hands, and that the b'lac:k man is, quite seriousl-y, beneath considePation .... as though he wepe a natUPa'l ... ~soUPce; something to be e~loited in the same way one expZoited the Zand OP the minePals beneath it.26

The future course of Rhodesia's history and politics was also 1 dicated by the immigration of a large number of Europeans whos1 interests were similar to those of the indigenous people. Eco1 mic competition between the European immigrants and Africans fc and led to (among other things) the racial antagonism that is . frequently mistaken for a primary causation. References and Feotnetes Note on Historiography: It should be pointed out that although a significant num of books has been written on the colonisation of Rhodesia and aftermath, hardly any of them has focused on those factors th'

- 131 went into the country's making and have remained as the permanent background for later developments. For example, Donald Denoon's Southern Africa Since lBOO (N.Y. : Praeger, 1972) has some faults of both omission and commission. It generalises too much on Southern Africa as one historical entity with the result that the specific characteristics of each political component's economics, colonisation and politics are submerged in the overall generalisation. Only South Africa receives any meaningful analysis in Denoon's work. Furthermore, Denoon fails to appreciate the primacy of economic factors and interests over political and diplomatic ones in the expansion of European imperialism in Southern Africa with the result that he analyses imperialism separately from its actuating economic factors. The latter he treats only as occasional events in the process colonisation. His thesis therefore needs to be overhauled so as to give due prominence to economic factors with respect to Rhodesia by out1i ni ng each entity's economy separately so as to show how it fitted into the designs of contemporary imperialism. A.J . Wills' History of central Africa, 2nd ed. (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1967) is an unrewarding political account that merely duplicates Hugh Marshall Hole's Making of ~desia. It discusses the colonisation of Rhodesia as part of the imperial politics and diplomacy in which Cecil Rhodes happened to assume a leading role. It adds no new knowledge as to how the colonisation laid the basis for the kind of Rhodesia that evolved from it. Besides, Wills' political explanation of imperialism deteriorates to an account of European nationalism versus African nationalism without showing why the two could not co-exist in spite of the attempts of Shona and Ndebele leaders to maintain the peace between 1890 and 1894. Wills in fact mistook the process of the colonisation of Rhodesia, with its treacherous politics and diplomacy, for the cause of the imperialism that developed thereafter when in fact the determining factors were much more different from it. In his Origins of Rhodesia (N . Y. : Praeger, 1969), Stanlake Samkange similarly treats the process of colonisation, along with the politics and diplomacy of Lobengula and Rhodes that led to the military victory of the settlers, as the origin of Rhodesia. And yet by themselves these factors do not explain why Rhodesia became what it has become. Military conquest does not necessarily and invariably lead to a particular kind of colony irrespective of other variables consequent upon it. These factors Samkange did not pursue and yet they not only predated the conquest, but occasioned it and will probably far outlast it. P.E.N. Tindall's History of Central Africa (N.Y.: Praeger, 1968) is as misleading as accounts of Wills and Samkange in that

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he fails to explain why Rhodesia became what she is today. Mor over it is largely a repetition of the other colonial historiog1 A J Hanna •s Story of the Hhodesias and NyasaZand (London: Fal &faber, 1960) at least recognises the significance of economic factors and interests. Yet Hanna stays so close to the account of the settlers that he treats the seizures of l and, cattle and gold claims as rewards for rather than the goals of colonisatior 0


More informative on the subject is David Chanaiwa's ZimbabU Controversy : A Case of CoZoniaZ Bisto:riogroaphy (Syracuse: Syra cue Univ . Press, 1973) except that the author is primarily conce

with the historiography of pre-colonial Zimbabwe . Chanaiwa poi out that the colonial historiography of Zimbabwe was an outcome of economic rather than intellectual pursuits. However, his aco does not deal with the origins of Rhodesia itself. Whereas we are in agreement with the thesis Giovanni Arrigh Mouton, 1967) partie~ with respect to its emphasis on economics as the basis of Rhodes colonialism, we are of the opinion that it fails to trace the ro of the phenomenon to the beginnings of the colonisation process .

PoZiticaZ Economy of ~desia (The Hague:

By insisting that the economic seeds of conflict were sown the very beginning of the colonization process, we do not mean t

they fully matured at that time. Rather, they gradually matured into the Rhodesia of which Arrighi's thesis is an excel l ent acco




M. F. Katzen, "White Sett 1ers and the Origin of a New Soci et. 1652-1778," in M. Wi 1son and L. Thompson, ed. , Oxford Bisto of South Africa, !(London: 0. U. P. , 1969), pp. 187-232. Further references to these authors will be from this title and edition. Also Vindex (pseud.) CeaiZ Rhodes, His Politic Life and Speeches, ZBBZ- Z900 (London: Chapman and Hall, 190( pp. 18- 20. further references to this author will be derive~ from this text. Leonard Thompson, "The Great Trek, 1836-54," in Wilson and Thompson, I, pp. 405-23.

3. The traditional Boer attitudes on the native questi on are ei~ apparent or outlined in the following books, among others: P Kruger, The Memoirs of Paul JU>uger (N.Y.: Negro Universities Press, 1964); Sarah Gertrude Millin, The South Africans (N.Y. Horace Liverright, 1927); F. P. Spooner, South African P.vedia ment (N.Y.: Praeger, 1960); Leonard Barnes, CaZiban in Afric (Phila .: Lippincott, 1931); and Herbert Tingstein, The ProbZ of South AjTica (London: V. Gollancz, 1955).

- 133 4. L. Thompson, "The Subjection of the African Chiefdoms, 18701898," in Wilson and Thompson, II, 245- 288. See also "The Natives," in Henry Hami 1ton Fyfe, South Africa Today (london: Eveleigh Nash, 1911}, pp. 34-46; and Ducan C. F. Moodie, The History of the Battles and Adventures of the British, the & C, in Southern Africa., I & II (London:

Boers, and the Zulues Frank Cass, 1968}.

5. Eric A. Walker, A History of Southern Africa. 3rd ed. (London: Longmans, 1957), pp. 524-6. Further references to this author will be from this text. On the ease with which the British compromised the rights of the Africans in the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 see Walker pp. 528-37; also Thompson, "The Compromise of Union," in Wi 1son & Thompson, II, 325-64. 6. Herbert Tingstein, The ProbLem of South Africa., pp. 15-6, 22-30, and 211. 7.

Vindex, pp. 13-5. A detailed analysis of the development of Rhodes's politics can be found in Felix Gross's Rhodes of Africa (N.Y.: Praeger, 1957}.

8. Hugh Marshall Hole, The Making of Rhodesia (London:

Frank Cass,

1967), first pub1 . 1926, pp. 94-98. Author was Secretary to

Jameson from 1891 and a participant in the colonisation of Rhodesia from the very beginning. He also became the official historian of the Chartered Company. Also Vindex, p. 66; and Gross, "Eliminating the Imperial Factor," in his Rhodes of Africa., pp. 64-82. 9.

Vindex, pp. 269 &272.

10. Ibid., p. 244. Rhodes's concept of the role of Africans in Southern Africa will be found to have been identical with that of the Boers and the British South Africans in the selections on "The Native Question," Vindex, pp. 361-96. 11. Hole, p. 97. Rhodes's clear distinction between what is British and what is British South African comes out very clearly in Gross's "Eliminating the Imperial Factor," in his Rhodes of Africa, pp. 64-82. 12. Hole, pp. 98-9. 13. Barnes, CaLiban in Africa, p. 62. For the closeness of Rhodes's views to those of the Boers on the role of the African in Southern Africa, see his own co11111ents on "The Native Question," in Vindex, pp. 361-96.

- 134 14. Hole, pp. 132-3; William H. Brown, On the Southern Afriaan Frontier; Adventures and Observations (N.Y. : Negro Univ. Press, 1970), pp. 48-9. Brown was a partieipant in the "p neer" movement. 15. Hole , pp. 279-80. For the policies pursued by Jameson in trast with those of Colquhoun see T. 0. Ranger, "Administr. tion in Mashonaland, 1890-6" and "Administration in Matabe land, 1893 to 1896," in his Revolt in Southem Rhodesia, L (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern Univ. Press, 1967), pp. 4616. Ho 1e , p . 133 . 17 .

Ibid., pp. 301-2; A. J. Wills, History of Central Africa ( Oxford Univ. Press, 1964) p. 149; Stanlake Samkange, On rn for My Coun~ry (London: Heinemann , 1966) .




Ibid, pp. 56.

0. Ranger ,


in Souther-n Rhodesia, l896-7, pp. 55-

20. Ibid, pp. 75-6. 21.

Giovanni Arrighi, The PoLiticaL Economy of Rhodesia (Mouto The Hague, 1967), pp . 19- 20.

22 . Ibid., P. 21. 23 . Ibid. , p. 25. 24. Ibid., p. 24. This issue of the immigrant Europeans settl down as farmers and finding that they were in competition ' the Afri cans is dealt with in William Rayner's The Tribe a Its Successor (N.Y . : Praeger, 1962), pp. 176-89. 25. Nathan Shamuyarira, "Land, Cattle and Grazing Grounds," in Crisis in Rhodesia (london: A. Deutsch, 1965), pp. 79-98 . Equally emphatic on the issue of land is ArthurS. Cripps. Africa for Africans (N.Y.: Negro Univ. Press, 1969). Fir. publ. 1927. Also T. R. Creighton, Southern Rhodesia and Central African Federation (N.Y.: Praeger, 1960). 26.

Rayner, The Tribe and Its Successor, p. 180.

DR. MICHA S. TSOMONDO is Assistant Professor and Chairman of th

Department of Afro-American Studies, State University College o New York, Buffalo.