Tanganyika (territory)

Tanganyika was a territory administered by the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1961. The UK initially administered the territory as an occupying power with the Royal Navy and British Indian infantry seizing the territory from the Germans in 1916.[2] From 20 July 1922, British administration was formalised by Tanganyika being created a British League of Nations mandate. From 1946, it was administered by the UK as a United Nations trust territory.

Before the end of World War I, the territory was part of the German colony of German East Africa (GEA). After the war started, the British invaded GEA but were unable to defeat the German army. The German leader in the African Great Lakes, Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck, did not surrender until notified about the Armistice of 11 November 1918 that ended the war. After this, the League of Nations formalised the UK's control of the area, who renamed it "Tanganyika". The UK held Tanganyika as a League of Nations mandate until the end of World War II after which it was held as a United Nations trust territory. In 1961, Tanganyika gained its independence from the UK as Tanganyika. It became a republic a year later. Tanganyika now forms part of the modern-day sovereign state of Tanzania.


Coat of arms of Tanganyika Territory
Coat of arms
StatusLeague of Nations Mandate from 20 July 1922 until 18 April 1946 and then a United Nations trust territory until 9 December 1961[1]
CapitalDar es Salaam
Common languagesEnglish
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy
• 1922–1936
George V
• 1936
Edward VIII
• 1936–1952
George VI
• 1952–1961
Elizabeth II
• 1922–1925
Horace Archer Byatt (first)
• 1958–1961
Richard Gordon Turnbull (last)
Historical era20th century
• Established
20 July 1922
• Disestablished
9 December 1961
CurrencyEast African shilling
Preceded by
Succeeded by
German East Africa
Today part of Tanzania
League of Nations mandate Middle East and Africa
League of Nations mandates in the Middle East and Africa, with no. 11 representing Tanganyika


The name "Tanganyika" is derived from the Swahili words tanga ("sail") and nyika ("uninhabited plain", "wilderness"). It might, therefore, be understood as a description of using Lake Tanganyika: "sail in the wilderness".[3]


In the second half of the 19th century, European explorers and colonialists traveled through the African interior from Zanzibar. In 1885, the German Empire declared its intent to establish a protectorate in the area, named German East Africa (GEA), under the leadership of Carl Peters. When the Sultan of Zanzibar objected, German warships threatened to bombard his palace. Britain and Germany then agreed to divide the mainland into spheres of influence, and the Sultan was forced to acquiesce. The Germans brutally repressed the Maji Maji Rebellion of 1905. The Germans instituted an educational programme for native Africans, including elementary, secondary, and vocational schools.[4][5]

After the defeat of Germany during World War I, GEA was divided among the victorious powers under the Treaty of Versailles. Apart from Rwanda and Burundi (assigned to Belgium) and the small Kionga Triangle (assigned to Portuguese Mozambique), the territory was transferred to British control. "Tanganyika" was adopted by the British as the name for its part of the former German East Africa.

In 1927, Tanganyika entered the Customs Union of the East Africa Protectorate and the Uganda Protectorate, which eventually became the independent countries of Kenya and Uganda, and the East African Postal Union, later the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration. Cooperation expanded with those protectorates and, later, countries in a number of ways, leading to the establishment of the East African High Commission (1948–1961) and the East African Common Services Organisation (1961–1967), forerunners of the East African Community. The country held its first elections in 1958 and 1959. The following year it was granted internal self-government and fresh elections were held. Both elections were won by the Tanganyika African National Union, which led the country to independence in December 1961. The following year a presidential election was held, with TANU leader Julius Nyerere emerging victorious.

See also


  1. ^ UK Government publication: "Mandated Territories" and "Trust Territories"
  2. ^ 7 Jul 1916 - Tanga occupied by Royal Navy and Indian Infantry - The Great War in Africa Association: Great War in East Africa – Chronology and articles
  3. ^ John Knouse: A Political World Gazetteer: Africa Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine website accessed 1 May 2007.
  4. ^ East, John William. "The German Administration in East Africa: A Select Annotated Bibliography of the German Colonial Administration in Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi from 1884 to 1918." [London? 1989] 294 leaves. 1 reel of microfilm (negative.) Thesis submitted for the fellowship of the Library Association, London, November 1987."
  5. ^ Farwell, Byron. The Great War in Africa, 1914–1918. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 1989. ISBN 0-393-30564-3

Further reading

  • Iliffe, John. A modern history of Tanganyika. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521296113.
  • Gordon-Brown, A. (editor), The East Africa Year Book and Guide, London, 1954, 87pps, with maps.
  • Hill, J.F.R., and Moffett, J.P., Tanganyika – a Review of its Resources and their Development, published by the Government of Tanganyika, 1955, 924pps, with many maps.
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey, Life in Tanganyika in The Fifties, New Africa Press, 2008, 428pps, with maps and photos.
  • Moffett, J.P., Handbook of Tanganyika, published by the Government of Tanganyika, 1958, 703pps, with maps.

External links

1958–59 Tanganyikan general election

General elections were held in Tanganyika in September 1958 and February 1959. Elections were held in five constituencies on 8 and 12 September 1958, and in the other five on 9 and 15 February 1959. The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) won 28 of the 30 elected seats in the Legislative Council, whilst the remaining 34 members were appointed.

1960 Tanganyikan general election

General elections were held in Tanganyika on 30 August 1960, following the agreement of the United Kingdom to establish internal self-government for the territory. The Tanganyika African National Union won 70 of the 71 elected seats, whilst the other went to a TANU member who had stood against the official TANU candidate, and immediately joined TANU faction after being elected.

Arthur Loveridge

Arthur Loveridge (28 May 1891 – 16 February 1980) was a British biologist and herpetologist who wrote about animals in East Africa, particularly Tanzania, and New Guinea. He gave scientific names to several gecko species in the region.

Arthur Loveridge was born in Penarth, and was interested in natural history from childhood. He gained experience with the National Museum of Wales and Manchester Museum before becoming the curator of the Nairobi Museum (now the National Museum of Kenya) in 1914. During WW1, he joined the East African Mounted Rifles, later returning to the museum to build up the collections. He then became an assistant game warden in Tanganyika.

In 1924, he joined the Museum of Comparative Zoology in the grounds of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was the curator of herpetology. He returned to East Africa on several field trips and wrote many scientific papers before retiring from Harvard in 1957.

He married Mary Victoria Sloane in 1921, who died in 1972. They had one son.

On retirement, they moved to Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, from where he continued his interest in natural history, publishing several articles on the island's wildlife in the St Helena Wirebird and St Helena News Review in the 1960s & 1970s. He died in 1980 and was buried in St Helena next to his wife.

Christine Prinsloo

Christine Seraphine "Chris" Prinsloo (born May 3, 1952 in Oldeani, Tanganyika) is a former field hockey player from Zimbabwe, who was a member of the national team that won the gold medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow.

Because of the boycott of the United States and other countries, only one team was available to compete in the Women's Field Hockey Tournament: the hosting USSR team. A late request was sent to the government of the African nation, which quickly assembled a team less than a week before the competition started. To everyone's surprise they won, claiming Zimbabwe's only medal in the 1980 Games.

Flag of Tanganyika Territory

The Flag of Tanganyika between 1916 and 1961 was a British Red Ensign with a giraffe head in a white disk. It was used as the flag of Tanganyika Territory while under British Empire administration as a League of Nations mandate and later United Nations trust territory.

Harold MacMichael

Sir Harold Alfred MacMichael (15 October 1882 – 19 September 1969) was a British colonial administrator.

Henry Clark (Northern Irish politician)

Henry Maitland Clark (11 April 1929 – 24 March 2012) was a Northern Irish colonial administrator and politician.

Horace Hearne

Sir Hector Horace Hearne (23 February 1892 – 31 December 1962) was a British barrister and judge.

Hearne was born in 1892, the son of Samuel Hearne and Edith (née Butterfield). He joined the Colonial Service as an Assistant District Commissioner, in Uganda in 1916.

Joseph Alfred Sheridan

Sir Joseph Alfred Sheridan (1882 – 26 December 1964) was an Irish lawyer and administrator who served as the Chief Justice of Kenya.

Languages of Tanzania

Tanzania is a multilingual country. There are many languages spoken in the country, but no one language is spoken natively by a majority or a large plurality of the population. The Bantu, Swahili language and English, the latter of which was inherited from colonial rule (see Tanganyika Territory), are widely spoken as lingua francas. They serve as working languages in the country, with Swahili being the official national language. There are more speakers of Swahili than of English in Tanzania.

List of governors of Tanganyika

The colony of German East Africa (German: Deutsch-Ostafrika) was founded in the 1880s, after the German explorer Carl Peters signed treaties with native chieftains on neighboring Zanzibar. On 3 March 1885, the government of the German Empire granted an imperial charter to the German East Africa Company, and a protectorate was established. German colonial rule in the region lasted until World War I, when the British occupied the colony during the East African Campaign. The British territory of Tanganyika was established on 20 July 1922, when Britain acquired a mandate to administer the region as a result of Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. On 18 April 1946, the mandate was reorganized as a Trust Territory of the United Nations. Afterwards, the region remained under British administration until it gained independence on 9 December 1961 as Tanganyika.

Mark Aitchison Young

Sir Mark Aitchison Young (楊慕琦, 30 June 1886 – 12 May 1974) was a British administrator who became the Governor of Hong Kong during the years immediately before and after the Japanese occupation of the territory.

Richard Turnbull (colonial governor)

Sir Richard Gordon Turnbull, GCMG (7 July 1909 – 21 December 1998) was a British colonial governor and the last governor of the British mandate of Tanganyika from 1958 to 1961. Following the country's independence, he was governor-general from 9 December 1961 to 9 December 1962.

Sidney Abrahams

Sir Sidney Solomon Abrahams (11 February 1885 – 14 May 1957), nicknamed Solly, was a British Olympic athlete and 26th Chief Justice of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). He was the older brother of famed Olympian Harold Abrahams.


Stenaulorhynchus is an extinct genus of hyperodapedontid rhynchosaur from Middle Triassic (late Anisian stage) deposits of Tanganyika Territory, Tanzania. It was found in the Manda Formation. It was first named by Sidney Henry Haughton in 1932 and the type species is Stenaulorhynchus stockleyi.

Sultanate of M'Simbati

The Sultanate of M'Simbati was a now defunct micronation founded in 1959 in Tanganyika by Englishman Latham Leslie Moore, approximately 40 km southeast of Mtwara.


Supradapedon is an extinct genus of hyperodapedontine rhynchosaur from mid-late Triassic deposits of Tanganyika Territory, Tanzania. It is known from the holotype SAM-11704. The holotype and only specimen of Supradapedon was first assigned to a species of Scaphonyx (now considered to be a nomen dubium), Scaphonyx stockleyi. This species was reassigned to its own genus by Sankar Chatterjee in 1980 and the type species is Supradapedon stockleyi. One study, Langer et al. (2000), concluded that Supradapedon is a synonym of Hyperodapedon and referred it to Hyperodapedon sp. However, the provisional validity of this genus has been commonly accepted since.

Tanganyika African Association

The Tanganyika African Association (TAA) was a Tanganyika Territory political association, formed in 1929. It was founded by civil servants including [[AliSaid. After WWI, TAA expanded countrywide in towns and in rural areas, in 1948, the number of branches had increased to 39. of an earlier association called the Tanganyika Territory African Civil Service association. It was transformed into the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) in 1954 by Julius Nyerere.

Tanganyika African National Union

The Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) was the principal political party in the struggle for sovereignty in the East African state of Tanganyika (now Tanzania). The party was formed from the Tanganyika African Association by Julius Nyerere in July 1954 when he was teaching at St. Francis' College (which is now known as Pugu High School). From 1964 the party was called Tanzania African National Union. In January 1977 the TANU merged with the ruling party in Zanzibar, the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) to form the current Revolutionary State Party or Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). The policy of TANU was to build and maintain a socialist state aiming towards economic self-sufficiency and to eradicate corruption and exploitation, with the major means of production and exchange under the control of the peasants and workers (Ujamaa-Essays on Socialism; "The Arusha Declaration").

Julius Nyerere was the first President of Tanzania, serving from the 1960s to the 1985. In 1962, Nyerere and TANU created the Ministry of National Culture and Youth. Nyerere felt the creation of the ministry was necessary in order to deal with some of the challenges and contradictions of building a nation-state and a national culture after 70 years of colonialism. The government of Tanzania sought to create an innovative public space where Tanzanian popular culture could develop and flourish. By incorporating the varied traditions and customs of all peoples of Tanzania, Nyerere hoped to promote a sense of pride, thus creating a national culture.

Mandates of the League of Nations (1919–46)
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