Southern Rhodesia

The Colony of Southern Rhodesia was a self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa. It was the predecessor state of what is now Zimbabwe.

The colony was established in 1923, having earlier been administered by the British South Africa Company. In 1953, it was merged into the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, which lasted until 1963. Southern Rhodesia then remained a de jure British colony until 1980. However, the white-minority government issued a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) in 1965 and established Rhodesia, an unrecognised state. In 1979, it reconstituted itself under indigenous African rule as Zimbabwe Rhodesia, which also failed to win overseas recognition. After a period of interim British control following the Lancaster House Agreement in December 1979, the country achieved internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe in April 1980.

Colony of Southern Rhodesia

1923–1965
1979–1980
Anthem: "God Save the Queen"
Location of Southern Rhodesia in southern Africa
Location of Southern Rhodesia in southern Africa
StatusSelf-governing British colony (1923-1953, 1963-1965)
Transitional Crown colony (1979-1980)
CapitalSalisbury
Common languagesEnglish (official)
Shona and Sindebele widely spoken, some Afrikaans
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
Governor 
• 1923–1928
Sir John Robert Chancellor
• 1959–1969b
Sir Humphrey Gibbs
• 1979–1980
Lord Soames
Prime Minister 
• 1923–1927
Sir Charles Coghlan (first)
• 1964–1965
Ian Smith (last)
History 
1890–1923
• Annexed by the UK
12 September 1923
1 October 1923
1953–1963
• UDI
11 November 1965
3 March 1970
1 June 1979
18 April 1980
Area
1904[1]372,518 km2 (143,830 sq mi)
Population
• 1904[1]
605764
CurrencySouthern Rhodesian pound
Rhodesian pound
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Company rule in Rhodesia
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Rhodesia
Zimbabwe Rhodesia
Zimbabwe
Today part of Zimbabwe
  1. Position not recognised by the Rhodesian Government after 2 March 1970
  2. Position not recognised by Rhodesian Government after 11 November 1965

History

Origin as "Rhodesia"

Initially, the territory was referred to as "South Zambezia", a reference to the River Zambezi, until the name "Rhodesia" came into use in 1895. This was in honour of Cecil Rhodes, the British empire-builder and key figure during the British expansion into southern Africa. In 1888 Rhodes obtained mineral rights from the most powerful local traditional leaders through treaties such as the Rudd Concession and the Moffat Treaty, which was signed by King Lobengula of the Ndebele people. "Southern" was first used in 1898 and dropped from normal usage in 1964, on the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. "Rhodesia" then remained the name of the country until the creation of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979. Legally, from the British perspective, the name Southern Rhodesia continued to be used until 18 April 1980, when the Republic of Zimbabwe was promulgated.

Cecil Rhodes portrait LAC CANADA
Cecil Rhodes (1853–1902), Founding Chairman of the board of directors of De Beers Mining Company, funded by Nathaniel, 1st Lord Rothschild

[2][3]

The British government agreed that Rhodes' company, the British South Africa Company (BSAC), would administer the territory stretching from the Limpopo to Lake Tanganyika under charter as a protectorate. Queen Victoria signed the charter in 1889. Rhodes used this document in 1890 to justify sending the Pioneer Column, a group of white settlers protected by well-armed British South Africa Police (BSAP) and guided by the big game hunter Frederick Selous, through Matabeleland and into Shona territory to establish Fort Salisbury (now Harare). In 1893–1894, with the help of their new Maxim guns, the BSAP defeated the Ndebele in the First Matabele War, a war which also resulted in the death of King Lobengula and the death of most of the members of the Shangani Patrol. Shortly after the disastrous BSAP Jameson Raid into the Transvaal Republic, the Ndebele were led by their spiritual leader Mlimo against the white colonials and thus began the Second Matabele War (1896–97) which resulted in the extermination of nearly half the British settlers. After months of bloodshed, Mlimo was found and shot by the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham and soon thereafter Rhodes walked unarmed into the Ndebele stronghold in Matobo Hills and persuaded the impi to lay down their arms, effectively ending the revolt.[4]

A Legislative Council was created in 1899 to manage the company's civil affairs, with a minority of elected seats, through which the BSAC had to pass government measures. As the Company was a British institution in which settlers and capitalists owned most shares, and local Black African tribal chiefs the remainder, and the electorate to this council was limited to those shareholders, the electorate was almost exclusively white settlers. Over time as more settlers arrived and a growing number had less than the amount of land required to own a share in the company or where in trades supporting the company as workers, successive activism resulted in first increasing the proportion of elected seats, and eventually allowing non-share holders the right to vote in the election. Prior to about 1918, the opinion among the electorate supported continued BSAC rule but opinion changed because of the development of the country and increased settlement. In addition, a decision in the British courts that land not in private ownership belonged to the British Crown rather than the BSAC gave great impetus to the campaign for self-government. In the resulting treaty government self-government, Crown lands which were sold to settlers allowed those settlers the right to vote in the self-governing colony.

Century up to independence

The territory north of the Zambezi was the subject of separate treaties with African chiefs: today, it forms the country of Zambia. The first BSAC Administrator for the western part was appointed for Barotseland in 1897 and for the whole of North-Western Rhodesia in 1900. The first BSAC Administrator for the eastern part, North-Eastern Rhodesia, was appointed in 1895.[5][6] The whites in the territory south of the river paid it scant regard though, and generally used the name "Rhodesia" in a narrow sense to mean their part. The designation "Southern Rhodesia" was first used officially in 1898 in the Southern Rhodesia Order in Council of 20 October 1898, which applied to the area south of the Zambezi,[7] and was more common after the BSAC merged the administration of the two northern territories as Northern Rhodesia in 1911.

BSAC settlers Southern Rhodesia
White settlers in Southern Rhodesia, 1922

As a result of the various treaties between the BSAC and the black tribes, Acts of Parliament delineating BSAC and Crown Lands, overlapping British colonial commission authority of both areas, the rights of the increasing number of British settlers and their descendants were given secondary review by authorities. This resulted in the formation of new movements for expanding the self-government of the Rhodesian people which saw BSAC rule as an impediment to further expansion.

The Southern Rhodesian Legislative Council election of 1920 returned a large majority of candidates of the Responsible Government Association and it became clear that BSAC rule was no longer practical. Opinion in the United Kingdom and South Africa favoured incorporation of Southern Rhodesia in the Union of South Africa, but, by forcing the pace of negotiation, the Southern Rhodesians obtained unfavourable terms and the electorate backed Responsible Government in a 1922 referendum.

In view of the outcome of the referendum, the territory was annexed by the United Kingdom on 12 September 1923.[8][9][10][11] Shortly after annexation, on 1 October 1923, the first constitution for the new Colony of Southern Rhodesia came into force.[12][10] Under this constitution Sir Charles Coghlan became the first Premier of Southern Rhodesia and upon his death in 1927 he was succeeded by Howard Unwin Moffat.

During World War II, Southern Rhodesian military units participated on the side of the United Kingdom. Southern Rhodesian forces were involved on many fronts including the East and North African Campaigns, Italy, Madagascar and Burma. Southern Rhodesian forces had the highest loss ratio of any constituent element, colony, dependency or dominion of the British Empire forces during World War II. Additionally, the Rhodesian pilots earned the highest number of decorations and ace appellations of any group within the Empire. This resulted in the Royal Family paying an unusual state visit to the colony at the end of the war to thank the Rhodesian people.

Rhodesie Sud timbre 1drouge 041947
A postage stamp commemorating the royal visit of 1947

Economically, Southern Rhodesia developed an economy that was narrowly based on production of a few primary products, notably, chrome and tobacco. It was therefore vulnerable to the economic cycle. The deep recession of the 1930s gave way to a post-war boom. This boom prompted the immigration of about 200,000 white settlers between 1945 and 1970, taking the white population up to 307,000. A large number of these immigrants were of British working-class origin. More settlers from the Belgian Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, and later Angola and Mozambique as well as increased birth rate, raised the Rhodesian white population to 600,000 by 1976. The black population was about 6 million.[13]

In the 1940s, the founding of a university to serve central African countries was proposed. Such a university was eventually established in Salisbury, with funding provided by the British and Southern Rhodesian governments and some private sources. One condition of British funding was that student admission should be based on "academic achievement and good character" with no racial distinction. University College of Rhodesia (UCR) received its first intake of students in 1952. Until 1971 it awarded degrees of the Universities of London and Birmingham. In 1971 UCR became the University of Rhodesia and began awarding its own degrees. In 1980 it was renamed the University of Zimbabwe.[14]

1953–1965

Rhodesialand
Land apportionment in Rhodesia in 1965

In 1953, with calls for independence mounting in many of its African possessions, the United Kingdom created the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (or the Central African Federation, CAF), which consisted of Southern Rhodesia, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland (now Zimbabwe, Zambia, and Malawi, respectively). The idea was to try to steer a middle road between the differing aspirations of the Black Nationalists, the Colonial administration and the White settler population. The CAF sought to emulate the experience of Australia, Canada and South Africa – wherein groups of colonies had been federated together to form viable independent nations. Originally designed to be "an indissoluble federation", the CAF quickly started to unravel due to the low proportion of British and other white citizens in relation to the larger Black tribal populations. Additionally, by incorporating the tribes within the Dominion as potential citizens, the Dominion created the paradoxical situation of having a white elite owning most of the land and capital, whilst using cheap black labour.

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved on 1 January 1964. However, it was expected that only Nyasaland would be let go, whilst the remainder of Rhodesia both north and south would be united. Although Northern Rhodesia had a white population of over 100,000, as well as additional British military and civil units and their dependents, most of these were relatively new to the region, were primarily in the extraction business, had little landed interests, and were more amenable to allowing black nationalism than the Southern Rhodesians. Accordingly, Britain granted independence to Northern Rhodesia on 24 October 1964. However, when the new nationalists changed its name to Zambia and began tentatively at first and later in rapid march an Africanisation campaign, Southern Rhodesia remained a British colony, resisting attempts to bring in majority rule. The colony attempted to change its name to Rhodesia although this was not recognised by the United Kingdom. The majority of the Federation's military and financial assets went to Southern Rhodesia, since the British Government did not wish to see them fall into the hands of the nationalist leaders, and since Southern Rhodesia had borne the major expenses of running the Federation. With regard to the latter, however, Northern Rhodesia was the wealthiest of the three member states (due to its vast copper mines) and had contributed more to the overall building of infrastructure than the other two members did. Southern Rhodesia, recognising an inevitable dissolution of the Federation, was quick to use federal funds in building its infrastructure ahead of the others. A key component of this was the building of the Kariba Dam and its hydroelectric facility (shafts, control centre, etc.), which was situated on the Southern Rhodesian side of the Zambezi Gorge. This situation caused some embarrassment for the Zambian government later when it was a "front line state" in support of insurgents into Rhodesia in that its major source of electric power was controlled by the Rhodesian state.

Return to "Rhodesia"

With the protectorate of Northern Rhodesia no longer in existence, in 1964 Southern Rhodesia reverted to the name Rhodesia (see next section).

In 1965, Rhodesia unilaterally declared itself independent under a white-dominated government led by Ian Smith. After a long civil war between the white (until 1979) government and two African majority, Soviet Bloc-aligned 'liberation movements' (Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army and Zimbabwe African National Liberation Army), Britain resumed control for a brief period before granting independence to the country in 1980, whereupon it became Zimbabwe.

Legal aspects of the name since 1964

On 7 October 1964 the Southern Rhodesian government announced that when Northern Rhodesia achieved independence as Zambia, the Southern Rhodesian government would officially become known as the Rhodesian Government and the colony would become known as Rhodesia.[15]

On 23 October of that year, the Minister of Internal Affairs notified the press that the Constitution would be amended to make this official. The Legislative Assembly then passed an Interpretation Bill to declare that the colony could be referred to as Rhodesia. The Bill received its third reading on 9 December 1964, and passed to the Governor for assent.

However, no assent was granted to the Bill. Section 3 of the Southern Rhodesia (Annexation) Order 1923 provided that Southern Rhodesia "shall be known as the Colony of Southern Rhodesia" and the Southern Rhodesia (Constitution) Act 1961 and the Order-in-Council which followed it both referred to it as such. These were United Kingdom measures and it was outside the powers of Southern Rhodesian institutions to amend them.[16]

The Rhodesian government, which had begun using the new name anyway, did not press the issue. The Unilateral Declaration of Independence was in the name of "Rhodesia", which remained unchanged by the declaration of a republic in 1970, the title of the republican constitution of 1969, like the constitution before it, being "Constitution of Rhodesia".[17]

While the new name was widely used, 'Southern Rhodesia' remained the colony's formal name in United Kingdom constitutional theory: for example, the Act passed by the United Kingdom Parliament declaring the independence a legal nullity was entitled the Southern Rhodesia Act 1965.[17]

Following the signing of the Lancaster House Agreement, the Parliament of the United Kingdom passed the Southern Rhodesia Constitution (Interim Provisions) Order 1979, establishing the offices of Governor and Deputy Governor of Southern Rhodesia, filled by Lord Soames and Sir Antony Duff respectively.[18]

This was in response to the Parliament of Zimbabwe Rhodesia passed the Constitution of Zimbabwe Rhodesia (Amendment) (No. 4) Act, declaring that "Zimbabwe Rhodesia shall cease to be an independent State and become part of Her Majesty's dominions".[19]

Judiciary

List of Chief Justices:

Incumbent Tenure Notes
Took office Left office
Sir Murray Bisset 1927 1931 Previously Test cricketer for South Africa
Sir Fraser Russell 1931 ?1943
Sir Robert James Hudson 1943 15 May 1950
Vernon Lewis [20] 1950 1950 Died in Service, 1950
Sir Robert Tredgold 1950 1955 Chief Justice of Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, 1953?-1961
Sir John Murray 1 August 1955 1961
Sir Hugh Beadle 1961 1977
Hector Macdonald 1977 1980

See also

References

  1. ^ "Census of the British empire. 1901". Openlibrary.org. 1906. p. 177. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  2. ^ https://www.debeersgroup.com/the-group/our-history
  3. ^ https://www.rothschildarchive.org/business/rothschild_clients/
  4. ^ Farwell, Byron (2001). The Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Land Warfare: An Illustrated World View. W. W. Norton & Co. p. 539. ISBN 0-393-04770-9.
  5. ^ P E N Tindall, (1967). A History of Central Africa, Praeger, pp. 133–4.
  6. ^ E A Walter, (1963).The Cambridge History of the British Empire: South Africa, Rhodesia and the High Commission Territories, Cambridge Universiry Press, pp. 696–7.
  7. ^ "Southern Rhodesia Order in Council" (PDF). rhodesia.me.uk. 1898. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
  8. ^ Southern Rhodesia (Annexation) Order in Council, July 30, 1923 which provided by section 3 thereof: "From and after the coming into operation of this Order the said territories shall be annexed to and form part of His Majesty's Dominions, and shall be known as the Colony of Southern Rhodesia".
  9. ^ Stella Madzibamuto v Desmond William Larder – Burke, Fredrick Phillip George (1969) A.C 645 - Authority for date of annexation having been 12 September 1923, being the date the Rhodesia (Annexation) Order in Council came into effect
  10. ^ a b Collective Responses to Illegal Acts in International Law: United Nations Action in the Question of Southern Rhodesia by Vera Gowlland-Debbas
  11. ^ Stella Madzibamuto v Desmond William Larder – Burke, Fredrick Phillip George (1969) A.C 645
  12. ^ Southern Rhodesia Constitution Letters Patent 1923
  13. ^ "A Split in Rhodesia Ranks". New York Times. 3 July 1977.
  14. ^ History of the University of Zimbabwe Archived 15 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Southern Rhodesia Information Service Press Statement 980/64 A.G.C.
  16. ^ See Palley, Claire (1966). The Constitutional History and Law of Southern Rhodesia. Oxford University Press. pp. 742–3.
  17. ^ a b International Enclopedia of Comparative Law, J C B Möhr, 1976, page xx
  18. ^ Southern Rhodesia Constitution (Interim Provisions) Order 1979, Hansard, 14 December 1979
  19. ^ Collective Responses to Illegal Acts in International Law: United Nations Action in the Question of Southern Rhodesia, Vera Gowlland-Debbas Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1990, page 91
  20. ^ "Heroes: the underground railroad in Rhodesia". Vukutu. Retrieved 26 February 2016.

Bibliography

  • Shutt, Allison K. (2015). Manners Make a Nation: Racial Etiquette in Southern Rhodesia, 1910–1963. Rochester: University of Rochester Press.
  • Blake, Robert (1978). A History of Rhodesia. New York: Knopf. ISBN 0-394-48068-6.

External links

Coordinates: 19°01′S 30°01′E / 19.017°S 30.017°E

British South Africa Company

The British South Africa Company (BSAC or BSACo) was established following the amalgamation of Cecil Rhodes' Central Search Association and the London-based Exploring Company Ltd which had originally competed to exploit the expected mineral wealth of Mashonaland but united because of common economic interests and to secure British government backing. The company received a Royal Charter in 1889 modelled on that of the British East India Company. Its first directors included the Duke of Abercorn, Rhodes himself and the South African financier Alfred Beit. Rhodes hoped BSAC would promote colonisation and economic exploitation across much of south-central Africa, as part of the "Scramble for Africa". However, his main focus was south of the Zambezi, in Mashonaland and the coastal areas to its east, from which he believed the Portuguese could be removed by payment or force, and in the Transvaal, which he hoped would return to British control.It has been suggested that Rhodes' ambition was to create a zone of British commercial and political influence from "Cape to Cairo", but this was far beyond the resources of any commercial company to achieve and would not have given investors the financial returns they expected. The BSAC was created in the expectation that the gold fields of Mashonaland would provide funds for the development of other areas of Central Africa, including the mineral wealth of Katanga. When the expected wealth of Mashonaland did not materialise and Katanga was acquired by the Congo Free State, the company had little money left for significant development after building railways, particularly in areas north of the Zambezi. BSAC regarded its lands north of the Zambezi as territory to be held as cheaply as possible for future, rather than immediate, exploitation.As part of administering Southern Rhodesia until 1923 and Northern Rhodesia until 1924, the BSAC formed what were originally paramilitary forces, but which later included more normal police functions. In addition to the administration of Southern and Northern Rhodesia, the BSAC claimed extensive landholdings and mineral rights in both the Rhodesias and, although its land claims in Southern Rhodesia were nullified in 1918, its land rights in Northern Rhodesia and its mineral rights in Southern Rhodesia had to be bought out in 1924 and 1933 respectively, and its mineral rights in Northern Rhodesia lasted until 1964. The BSAC also created the Rhodesian railway system and owned the railways there until 1947.

Coat of arms of Zimbabwe

The current coat of arms of Zimbabwe was adopted on September 21, 1981, one year and five months after the national flag was adopted. Previously the coat of arms of Zimbabwe was identical to the former Coat of arms of Rhodesia.

Colonial history of Southern Rhodesia

The colonial history of Southern Rhodesia is considered to be a time period from the British government's establishment of the government of Southern Rhodesia on 1 October 1923, to Prime Minister Ian Smith's unilateral declaration of independence in 1965. The territory of 'Southern Rhodesia' was originally referred to as 'South Zambezia' but the name 'Rhodesia' came into use in 1895. The designation 'Southern' was adopted in 1901 and dropped from normal usage in 1964 on the break-up of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and Rhodesia became the name of the country until the creation of Zimbabwe Rhodesia in 1979. Legally, from the British perspective, the name Southern Rhodesia continued to be used until 18 April 1980, when the name Republic of Zimbabwe was formally proclaimed.

Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (also known as the Central African Federation, CAF) was a federal semi-Dominion that consisted of three southern African territories—the self-governing British colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland—between 1953 and 1963.

The Federation was established on 1 August 1953. The Federation was established with a Governor-General as the Queen's representative at the centre. An interesting and novel feature was the African Affairs Board, set up to safeguard the interests of Africans and endowed with statutory powers for that purpose, particularly in regard to discriminatory legislation. The constitutional status of the three territories – a self-governing Colony and two Protectorates – was not affected, though certain enactments applied to the Federation as a whole as if it were part of Her Majesty's dominions and a Colony. The economic advantages to the Federation were never seriously called into question, and the causes of the Federation's failure were purely political: the strong and growing opposition of the African inhabitants.The rulers of the new black African states were united in wanting to end colonialism in Africa. With most of the world moving away from colonialism during the late 1950s and early 1960s, the United Kingdom was subjected to pressure to de-colonize from both the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity (OAU). These groups supported the aspirations of the black African nationalists and accepted their claims to speak on behalf of the people.

The federation officially ended on 31 December 1963. In 1964, shortly after the dissolution, Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland became independent under the names Zambia and Malawi, respectively. In 1965, Southern Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the United Kingdom as the state of Rhodesia.

Governor of Southern Rhodesia

The Governor of Southern Rhodesia was the representative of the British monarch in the self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia from 1923 to 1980. The Governor was appointed by The Crown and acted as the local head of state, receiving instructions from the British Government.

List of Rhodesian flags

This is a list of flags used in Southern Rhodesia between 1890 and 1964 and Rhodesia between 1964 and 1979. The evolution of Southern Rhodesia from a British South African Company concern, to a British Colony, then to a member of a Federal Government, then to a self-declared state is evident by the different flags used.

For flags after these dates see Flags of Zimbabwe.

List of years in Zimbabwe

This is a list of years in Zimbabwe.

Pioneer Column

The Pioneer Column was a force raised by Cecil Rhodes and his British South Africa Company in 1890 and used in his efforts to annex the territory of Mashonaland, later part of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Prime Minister of Rhodesia

The Prime Minister of Rhodesia (before 1964, of Southern Rhodesia) was the head of government in Rhodesia. Rhodesia, which became a self-governing colony of Britain in 1923, unilaterally declared independence on 11 November 1965, and was thereafter an unrecognized state in practice until 1979. In December 1979, the country came under temporary British control, and in April 1980 the country gained recognized independence as Zimbabwe.

Rhodesia's political system was modeled on the Westminster system, and the Prime Minister's role was similar to that of the same position in other countries with similar constitutional histories – Canada, for example, or Australia.

Prime Minister of Zimbabwe

The Prime Minister of Zimbabwe was a political office in the government of Zimbabwe that existed on two separate occasions. The first person to hold the position was Robert Mugabe from 1980 to 1987 following independence from the United Kingdom. He took office when Southern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zimbabwe on 18 April 1980. This position was abolished when the constitution was amended in 1987 and Mugabe became President of Zimbabwe, replacing Canaan Banana as the head of state while also remaining the head of government. The office of Prime Minister was restored in 2009 and held by Morgan Tsvangirai until the position was again abolished by the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Rhodesia

Rhodesia (, ) was a country in southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland (later Botswana) to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique (a Portuguese province until 1975) to the east.

In the late 19th century, the territory north of the Transvaal was chartered to the British South Africa Company, led by Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes and his Pioneer Column marched north in 1890, acquiring a huge bloc of territory that the Company would rule until the early 1920s. In 1923, the Company's charter was revoked, and Southern Rhodesia attained self-government and established a legislature. Between 1953 and 1963, Southern Rhodesia was joined with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

The decolonisation of Africa in the early 1960s alarmed a significant proportion of Rhodesia's white population. In an effort to delay the transition to black majority rule, Rhodesia's predominantly white government issued its own Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom on 11 November 1965. (The government of the United Kingdom supported Rhodesia's transition to a multi-racial democracy.) The UDI administration initially sought recognition as an autonomous realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, but reconstituted itself as a republic in 1970. The Rhodesian Bush War, which pitted the government against two African nationalist organisations, ZANU and ZAPU, intensified in the 1970s, prompting Rhodesian premier Ian Smith to concede to multiracial democracy in 1978. However, a provisional government subsequently headed by Smith and his moderate colleague Abel Muzorewa failed in appeasing international critics or halting the bloodshed. By December 1979, Muzorewa had replaced Smith as Prime Minister and secured an agreement with the militant nationalists, allowing Rhodesia to briefly revert to colonial status pending elections under a universal franchise. It finally achieved internationally recognised independence in April 1980 as the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Rhodesia's largest cities were its capital, Salisbury, and Bulawayo. The white population, which grew to nearly 300,000, dominated the country's politics and economy, though they never made up more than eight percent of the total population. Rhodesia developed an economy largely dependent on agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. Its largest exports were chrome, tobacco, and steel. International sanctions put increasing pressure on the country as time went on. The Parliament of Rhodesia, which included the lower House of Assembly and later a senate, was predominantly white, with minority of seats reserved for blacks. After 1970, the country used a semi-presidential system, with a president, prime minister, and cabinet.

Rhodesia (region)

Rhodesia is a historical region in southern Africa whose formal boundaries evolved between the 1890s and 1980. Demarcated and named by the British South Africa Company (BSAC), which governed it until the 1920s, it thereafter saw administration by various authorities. It was bisected by a natural border, the Zambezi. The territory to the north of the Zambezi was officially designated Northern Rhodesia by the Company, and has been Zambia since 1964; that to the south, which the Company dubbed Southern Rhodesia, became Zimbabwe in 1980. Northern and Southern Rhodesia were sometimes informally called "the Rhodesias".

The term "Rhodesia" was first used to refer to the region by white settlers in the 1890s who informally named their new home after Cecil Rhodes, the Company's founder and managing director. It was used in newspapers from 1891 and was made official by the Company in 1895.

To confuse matters, Southern Rhodesia, which became a self-governing colony of the United Kingdom in 1923, referred to itself simply as "Rhodesia" from 1964 to 1979, and in 1965 unilaterally declared independence under that name. It thereafter briefly renamed itself "Zimbabwe Rhodesia" in 1979.

The usage of the term Rhodesia to refer to the historical region fell from prominence after Northern Rhodesia became Zambia in 1964. From then until 1980, "Rhodesia" commonly referred to Southern Rhodesia alone. Since 1980 the term has not been in general use, aside from in a historical context.

Rhodesian Air Force

The Rhodesian Air Force (RhAF) was an air force based in Salisbury (now Harare) which represented several entities under various names between 1935 and 1980: originally serving the British self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia, it was the air arm of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland between 1953 and 31 December 1963; of Southern Rhodesia once again from 1 January 1964; and of the unrecognised nation of Rhodesia following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence from Britain on 11 November 1965.

Named the Royal Rhodesian Air Force (RRAF) from 1954, the "Royal" prefix was dropped in 1970 when Rhodesia declared itself a republic – the official abbreviation changed appropriately. When the internationally recognised country of Zimbabwe came into being in 1980, the RhAF became the Air Force of Zimbabwe.

Rhodesian pound

The pound was the currency of Southern Rhodesia from 1964 to 1965 and Rhodesia from 1965 until 1970. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.

Southern Rhodesia Communist Party

Southern Rhodesia Communist Party was an illegal, underground communist party in Rhodesia (today Zimbabwe). It emerged in 1941 from a split in the Rhodesia Labour Party. The party had a small, and predominantly white, membership. The party had links to the Communist Party of South Africa and the Communist Party of Great Britain. The party disappeared in the late 1940s. Nobel Laureate Doris Lessing was a member of the party.

Southern Rhodesia Liberal Party

The Southern Rhodesian Liberal Party was a political party in Southern Rhodesia, founded in 1939 by Jacob Smit (1881–1959), the former United Party (UP) minister of finance. It is thought that Smit split from the UP largely because Prime Minister Sir Godfrey Martin Huggins had failed to include him in the exclusive Second World War Defence Committee.

In his A History of Rhodesia, Robert Blake writes that Smit's party, "in accordance with the Rhodesian tradition of adopting the most misleading political nomenclature possible, called themselves 'Liberals.'" The party was, in fact, pronouncedly illiberal, and attempted to unite conservative, non-trade union opposition to the UP while opposing government economic regulation and the advancement of black political interests. The Liberal Party did well in the 1946 election, winning 12 out of 30 seats in the Southern Rhodesia Legislative Assembly, but in 1948 it won only five seats and its support declined subsequently. It was to become one of the political precursors to the later Rhodesian Front (RF) party.

Southern Rhodesia in World War II

Southern Rhodesia, then a self-governing colony of the United Kingdom, entered World War II along with Britain shortly after the invasion of Poland in 1939. By the war's end, 26,121 Southern Rhodesians of all races had served in the armed forces, 8,390 of them overseas, operating in the European theatre, the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre, East Africa, Burma and elsewhere. The territory's most important contribution to the war is commonly held to be its contribution to the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS), under which 8,235 British, Commonwealth and Allied airmen were trained in Southern Rhodesian flight schools. The colony's operational casualties numbered 916 killed and 483 wounded of all races.

Southern Rhodesia had no diplomatic powers, but largely oversaw its own contributions of manpower and materiel to the war effort, being responsible for its own defence. Rhodesian officers and soldiers were distributed in small groups throughout the British and South African forces in an attempt to prevent high losses. Most of the colony's men served in Britain, East Africa and the Mediterranean, particularly at first; a more broad dispersal occurred from late 1942. Rhodesian servicemen in operational areas were mostly from the country's white minority, with the Rhodesian African Rifles—made up of black troops and white officers—providing the main exception in Burma from late 1944. Other non-white soldiers and white servicewomen served in East Africa and on the home front within Southern Rhodesia. Tens of thousands of black men were conscripted from rural communities for work, first on the aerodromes and later on white-owned farms.

World War II prompted major changes in Southern Rhodesia's financial and military policy, and accelerated the process of industrialisation. The territory's participation in the EATS brought about major economic and infrastructural developments and led to the post-war immigration of many former airmen, contributing to the growth of the white population to over double its pre-war size by 1951. The war remained prominent in the national consciousness for decades afterwards. Since the country's reconstitution as Zimbabwe in 1980, the modern government has removed many references to the World Wars, such as memorial monuments and plaques, from public view, regarding them as unwelcome vestiges of white minority rule and colonialism. Southern Rhodesia's dead of the war today have no official commemoration, either in Zimbabwe or overseas.

United Federal Party

The United Federal Party (UFP) was a political party in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Zimbabwe national football team

The Zimbabwe national football team is the national team of Zimbabwe and is controlled by the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA), formerly known as the Football Association of Rhodesia. The team has never qualified for the World Cup finals, and qualified for their first Africa Cup of Nations in 2004.

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