Colonial Experience and Administration in Southern Rhodesia.

Essay by RFemmeUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, June 2003

download word file, 7 pages 4.3

Zimbabwe, formerly Southern Rhodesia has a unique colonial history. Phase one of it colonialism was conducted by a British charter company, and then British rule was consolidated by a settler economy regime, with an extremely racially marginalising rule. Southern Rhodesia experienced both regimes of mineral exploitation, and of direct rule under settler economies, without the direct involvement of the British government. This essay will outline its colonial progression till the 1940s, and analyse the administrative and institutional mechanisms used by the European settlers to dominate the indigenous population.

Privatized imperialism dominated Zimbabwe's early days of colonialism, via rule of companies interested in exploiting the natural resources of the territories. The British South Africa Company [BSAC] is a unique example which maintained sovereign authority and establish 'privatized hegemony' over Rhodesia in state formation period .

British adventurer and capitalist Cecil Rhodes obtained mining and speculative rights from the local Ndebele leader in 1888 to search for diamonds and gold in what became Rhodesia.

In the early steps of the phase of conquest- from 1890s to eve of World War - Rhodes was able to defeat the Ndebele in 1893 to move carefully chosen, influential white people into the area. In 1895 the land was renamed Rhodesia. Despite strong Ndebele and Shona uprisings against the occupation in 1896-97, the BSAC successfully occupied Rhodesia . Although an agent for colonization, the BSAC was not really a government, as Herbst points out: occupation does not equal administration . The formation of this colony was seen as a continuation of the British Empire's plan to bring the whole of the "uncivilized worlds under British rule", based on the notion of white supremacy and a paternalist attitude towards responsibility towards the inferior Africans.

As BSAC's administration continued, European settlement in Rhodesia increased, and tensions between the...