The Info List - Southern Rhodesia

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The Colony of Southern Rhodesia
was a self-governing British Crown colony in southern Africa
from 1923 to 1980, the predecessor state of modern Zimbabwe. Following its Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965, the nation existed as the self-declared, unrecognised state of Rhodesia until 1979, when 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.


1 History

1.1 Origin as "Rhodesia" 1.2 Century up to Independence 1.3 1953–1965 1.4 Return to "Rhodesia" 1.5 Legal aspects of the name since 1964

2 Judiciary 3 See also 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

History[edit] Origin as "Rhodesia"[edit] Main article: Company rule in Rhodesia See also: 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
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
Cecil Rhodes
(1853–1902), the founder of De Beers
De Beers
Mining Company

The British government agreed that Rhodes' company, the British South Africa
Company (BSAC), would administer the territory stretching from the Limpopo
to Lake Tanganyika
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
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
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.[2] 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
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[edit] 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.[3][4] 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,[5] and was more common after the BSAC merged the administration of the two northern territories as Northern Rhodesia
in 1911.

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
Southern Rhodesian Legislative Council
election of 1920 returned a large majority of candidates of the Responsible Government
Responsible Government
Association and it became clear that BSAC rule was no longer practical. Opinion in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and South Africa
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
Responsible Government
in a 1922 referendum. In view of the outcome of the referendum, the territory was annexed by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
on 12 September 1923.[6][7][8][9] Shortly after annexation, on 1 October 1923, the first constitution for the new Colony of Southern Rhodesia
came into force.[10][11] 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
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.

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.[12] 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.[13] 1953–1965[edit]

Land apportionment in Rhodesia
in 1965

In 1953, with calls for independence mounting in many of its African possessions, the United Kingdom
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
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
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
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"[edit] 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[edit] 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.[14] 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.[15] 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. 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
United Kingdom
Parliament declaring the independence a legal nullity was entitled the Southern Rhodesia
Act 1965. When the rebellion was formally declared at an end by the passing of the Constitution of Zimbabwe- Rhodesia
(Amendment) (No. 4) Act 1979, the United Kingdom resumed the governance of the colony under the direct control of the Governor, using the name of Southern Rhodesia.

Part of a series on the

History of Zimbabwe

Ancient history

Leopard's Kopje c.900–1075

Mapungubwe Kingdom c.1075–1220

Kingdom c.1220–1450

Mutapa Kingdom c.1450–1760

Torwa dynasty c.1450–1683

White settlement pre-1923

Rozwi Empire c.1684–1834

Matabeleland 1838–1894

Rudd Concession 1888

BSA Company rule 1890–1923

First Matabele War 1893–1894

Second Matabele War 1896–1897

World War I involvement 1914–1918

Colony of Southern Rhodesia 1923–1980

World War II
World War II
involvement 1939–1945

Malayan Emergency involvement 1948–1960

Federation with Northern Rhodesia
and Nyasaland 1953–1963

Rhodesian Bush War 1964–1979

Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI)


under UDI 1965–1979

Zimbabwe-Rhodesia JuneDec 1979

Lancaster House Agreement

Dec 1979

British Dependency 1979–1980

Zimbabwe 1980–present

Gukurahundi 1982–1987

Second Congo War 1998–2003


v t e

Judiciary[edit] 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 [16] 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[edit]

Administrative posts of the British South Africa Company
British South Africa Company
in Southern Rhodesia Albert John Lutuli, a famous South African born in Southern Rhodesia. History of Zimbabwe Prime Minister of Rhodesia Rhodesia Tati Concessions Land, a region detached from Matebeleland
and annexed to the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana). Unilateral Declaration of Independence (Rhodesia) Zimbabwe


^ "Census of the British empire. 1901". Openlibrary.org. 1906. p. 177. Retrieved 26 December 2013.  ^ 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.  ^ P E N Tindall, (1967). A History of Central Africa, Praeger, pp. 133–4. ^ 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. ^ "Southern Rhodesia
Order in Council" (PDF). rhodesia.me.uk. 1898.  ^ 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". ^ 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 ^ Collective Responses to Illegal Acts in International Law: United Nations Action in the Question of Southern Rhodesia
by Vera Gowlland-Debbas ^ Stella Madzibamuto v Desmond William Larder – Burke, Fredrick Phillip George (1969) A.C 645 ^ Southern Rhodesia
Constitution Letters Patent 1923 ^ Collective Responses to Illegal Acts in International Law: United Nations Action in the Question of Southern Rhodesia
by Vera Gowlland-Debbas ^ "A Split in Rhodesia
Ranks". New York Times. 3 July 1977.  ^ History of the University of Zimbabwe
Archived 15 June 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Southern Rhodesia
Information Service Press Statement 980/64 A.G.C. ^ See Palley, Claire (1966). The Constitutional History and Law of Southern Rhodesia. Oxford University Press. pp. 742–3.  ^ "Heroes: the underground railroad in Rhodesia". Vukutu. Retrieved 26 February 2016. 


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[edit]

has the text of the 1922 Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
article Rhodesia.

Window on Rhodesia, an archive of the history and life of Rhodesia.

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Southern Rhodesia
/ Rhodesia articles

1890–1923: Company rule; 1923–80: Southern Rhodesia; 1953–63: Federation; 1965–79: Rhodesia
under UDI; 1979: Zimbabwe
Rhodesia under UDI; 1980–present: Zimbabwe


Pre-colonial Rudd Concession Company rule

Pioneer Column First Matabele War Shangani Patrol Second Matabele War Second Boer War First World War

Southern Rhodesia

colonial history Second World War Malayan Emergency involvement Federation

Unilateral Declaration of Independence

Bush War 1975 Victoria Falls Conference 1976 Geneva Conference Internal Settlement Zimbabwe
Rhodesia Lancaster House Agreement



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1542–1800 Ireland (integrated into UK) 1708–1757, 1763–1782 and 1798–1802 Minorca Since 1713 Gibraltar 1800–1813 Malta (Protectorate) 1813–1964 Malta (Colony) 1807–1890 Heligoland 1809–1864 Ionian Islands 1878–1960 Cyprus 1921–1937 Irish Free State

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1. Occupied jointly with the United States. 2. In 1931, Canada and other British dominions obtained self-government through the Statute of Westminster. See Name of Canada. 3. Gave up self-rule in 1934, but remained a de jure Dominion until it joined Canada in 1949.

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1631–1641 Providence Island 1651–1667 Willoughbyland 1670–1688 Saint Andrew and Providence Islands4 1831–1966 Guiana Since 1833 Falkland Islands5 Since 1908 South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands5

4. Now a department of Colombia. 5. Occupied by Argentina during the Falklands War
Falklands War
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17th and 18th centuries 19th century 20th century

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 1792–1961 Sierra Leone 1795–1803 Cape Colony

Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 1806–1910 Cape of Good Hope 1807–1808 Madeira 1810–1968 Mauritius 1816–1965 The Gambia 1856–1910 Natal 1862–1906 Lagos 1868–1966 Basutoland 1874–1957 Gold Coast 1882–1922 Egypt

1884–1900 Niger Coast 1884–1966 Bechuanaland 1884–1960 Somaliland 1887–1897 Zululand 1890–1962 Uganda 1890–1963 Zanzibar 1891–1964 Nyasaland 1891–1907 Central Africa 1893–1968 Swaziland 1895–1920 East Africa 1899–1956 Sudan

1900–1914 Northern Nigeria 1900–1914 Southern Nigeria 1900–1910 Orange River 1900–1910 Transvaal 1903–1976 Seychelles 1910–1931 South Africa 1914–1960 Nigeria 1915–1931 South-West Africa 1919–1961 Cameroons6 1920–1963 Kenya 1922–1961 Tanganyika6 1923–1965 and 1979–1980 Southern Rhodesia7 1924–1964 Northern Rhodesia

6. League of Nations mandate. 7. Self-governing Southern Rhodesia
unilaterally declared independence in 1965 (as Rhodesia) and continued as an unrecognised state until the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement. After recognised independence in 1980, Zimbabwe
was a member of the Commonwealth until it withdrew in 2003.


17th and 18th century 19th century 20th century

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8 League of Nations mandate. Iraq's mandate was not enacted and replaced by the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty


18th and 19th centuries 20th century

1788–1901 New South Wales 1803–1901 Van Diemen's Land/Tasmania 1807–1863 Auckland Islands9 1824–1980 New Hebrides 1824–1901 Queensland 1829–1901 Swan River/Western Australia 1836–1901 South Australia since 1838 Pitcairn Islands

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1900–1970 Tonga 1900–1974 Niue9 1901–1942 *Australia 1907–1947 *New Zealand 1919–1942 and 1945–1968 Nauru 1919–1949 New Guinea 1949–1975 Papua and New Guinea13

9. Now part of the *Realm of New Zealand. 10. Suspended member. 11. Now Kiribati
and *Tuvalu. 12. Now the *Solomon Islands. 13. Now *Papua New Guinea.

Antarctica and South Atlantic

Since 1658 Saint Helena14 Since 1815 Ascension Island14 Since 1816 Tristan da Cunha14 Since 1908 British Antarctic Territory15 1841–1933 Australian Antarctic Territory
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14. Since 2009 part of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha; Ascension Island
Ascension Island
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Regions of Africa

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Guinea region

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Cataracts of the Nile Darfur Gulf of Aqaba Lower Egypt Lower Nubia Middle Egypt Nile Delta Nuba Mountains Nubia The Sudans Upper Egypt

Western Sahara

West Africa

Pepper Coast Gold Coast Slave Coast Ivory Coast Cape Palmas Cape Mesurado Guinea region

Gulf of Guinea

Niger Basin Guinean Forests of West Africa Niger Delta Inner Niger Delta

Southern Africa


Central Highlands (Madagascar) Northern Highlands


North South

Thembuland Succulent Karoo Nama Karoo Bushveld Highveld Fynbos Cape Floristic Region Kalahari Desert Okavango Delta False Bay Hydra Bay


Aethiopia Arab world Commonwealth realm East African montane forests Eastern Desert Equatorial Africa Françafrique Gibraltar
Arc Greater Middle East Islands of Africa List of countries where Arabic is an official language Mediterranean Basin MENA MENASA Middle East Mittelafrika Negroland Northeast Africa Portuguese-speaking African countries Sahara Sahel Sub-Saharan Africa Sudan (region) Sudanian Savanna Tibesti Mountains Tropical Africa

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

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 124791213 LCCN: n800