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History 247-20th Century Africa
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  1. History 247-20th Century Africa “Where settlers were many … the road to independence was soaked in blood.” [B Davidson, Modern Africa, p. 148] “…there is something else you should bear in mind and that is:… You cannot serve two masters.” [from letter from Mau Mau fighters to teacher Karai Njama, cited B Freund, Contemporary Africa, p. 167]

  2. Nationalism: settler societies • Four Case Studies: • Kenya • Rhodesia • Congo • South Africa • Post World War II Environment: impact no less than in West Africa but ‘settler’ factor significant in shaping that impact

  3. Settler Societies: Whose Africa? • Shared characteristics (to varying degrees): • - significant number of European settlers • - some degree of self-government in hands of settlers • - continuing tension between settler and colonial governments

  4. Settler Societies: Whose Africa? • - tension within colonial government as to ‘priorities’: settler or African interests? • - local racism, segregation discrimination in law and in custom • - local tension both between Africans and Settlers, and between different groups of Africans (‘ethinic’ or ‘tribal’ conflicts/competition)

  5. Settler Societies: East, Central, South • All were regions of potential mineral and agricultural wealth with attractive climates. • - since late 19th century, attracting large numbers of European settlers. • Post WWII: - new population influxes into most of these regions. - seeking opportunity outside of warn- torn, impoverished Europe - clashed with expectations/demands Africans

  6. Settler Societies: East & Central • Colonies made attempts 1930s to unify in order to consolidate white power: • - East (Kenya, Tanganyika, Uganda) failed • - Central (Northern and Southern Rhodesia, Nyasaland) failed • - second attempt 1953 successful (Central African Federation endured until 1963)

  7. Settler Societies • Histories interconnected, especially in post-war era. - each characterized by: • - strong resistance by settler community • - African political action evolving from non-violence into violence • - protracted (civil) war • - legacies of war (both military and civil) affecting nature of post- independence society

  8. Settler Societies: Whose Nation? • Conceptualizing the ‘nation’:- for ‘Europeans’ in settler colonies, ‘nation’ implied freedom from Europe, but continued domination over Africans [Belgians an exception in that they did not seek autonomy at all]

  9. Settler Societies: Whose Nation? • Conceptualizing the ‘nation’:- For ‘Africans’ in settler colonies, options very different from their colleagues in West Africa: - no political voice, little opportunity for negotiating with Europe • - no option to conceptualize – let alone create – a nation.

  10. Settler Societies: Whose Nation? • Case Study 1—KenyaVideo ExcerptBasil Davidson • ‘The Rise of Nationalism’

  11. Kenya • As in West Africa, post-WWII era saw liberalizing of restrictions on African political and union activities: both flourished in Kenya -union activities saw large strikes 1947-50 • Kenya African Union (KAU) formed in 1946 (initially led by Harry Thuku of former Young Kikuyu Association)

  12. Kenya • needed more ‘modern’, less ethnically based leadership • Jomo Kenyatta: returned from 17 years in England • among same group that produced West Africa’s politically active educated elite (Nkrumah, Azikiwe etc)- participated (with Nkrumah and others) in Pan-Africanist Congress UK, 1945

  13. Jomo Kenyatta

  14. Kenya • Kenyatta as leader of KAU toured country, attempting to: - politicize and attract members - overcome ethnic divisions - gain support of disadvantaged groups • - create political base • Ultimate Goal: to negotiate with settlers

  15. Kenya • Settlers refused to negotiate (1950), resulting in: - sporadic clashes, increasing violence - KAU leaders arrested (including Kenyatta) -1000s fleeing to hills and forests - creating “Land and Freedom Army” (‘Mau Mau’ as known to the British) 1952 ‘State of Emergency’ Declared

  16. Settler Societies: whose nation? • Case Study 2—Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)Video ExcerptBasil Davidson‘The Rise of Nationalism

  17. Rhodesia • Southern Rhodesia in 1923 virtually self-governed: -best land reserved for Europeans -Africans taxed off the land to work for settlers and in mines Africans had no political rights; - Africans educated to be ‘Africans,’ i.e., to serve Europeans

  18. Rhodesia Land Apportionment, 1970(below) Land Apportionment, 1930(above) Land Reserve System

  19. Rhodesia Education:Africans given clear sense of where they belonged

  20. Rhodesia • Post WWII:- emerged strong economically (import substitution industry; cash-crops) • - dominated Central African Federation from 1953 (milked Northern Rhodesia through taxes)

  21. Rhodesia • Post WWII:- links with South Africa strong • legacy Rhodes ‘Pioneer Column’, mining interests • cultural similarities

  22. Rhodesia • Political movements continued to build throughout Federation era (1953-63): - political activities in North, Nyasaland supported by Britain - independence 1963-64 ( Zambia, Malawi) - Southern Rhodesia left to negotiate with Colonial government -Britain refused to grant independence until Black majority rule agreed to

  23. Rhodesia • 1961 “compromise constitution”: - awarded Africans small role in government - pleased neither Africans nor Settlers - emergence strong, right wing group led by Ian Smith (supported and encouraged by South Africa) - continued to demand full independence: Britain continued to refuse -1965 Smith announced Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI)

  24. Rhodesia • UDI couched in terms of freedom: • “In the course of human affairs, history has shown that it may become necessary for a people to resolve the political affiliations which have connected them with another people, and to assume amongst other nations a separate and equal status to which they are entitled”[Ian Smith, 11 Nov. 1965] • [listen audio: Ian Smith ’South Africa- clinging on’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/specials/1624_story_of_africa/page30.shtml ]