Northern Rhodesia

Northern Rhodesia

Northern Rhodesia was initially administered by the British South Africa Company (BSAC), under two protectorates; North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia. Although under the BSAC charter it had features of a charter colony, the BSAC’s treaties with local rulers and British legislation gave it the status of a protectorate. In 1911 the two protectorates amalgamated to form Northern Rhodesia.

From 1924 it was administered by the British Government as a protectorate under similar conditions to other British-administered protectorates, and the special provisions required when it was administered by BSAC were terminated.

The territory attracted a relatively small number of European settlers, but from the time these first secured political representation, they agitated for white minority rule, either as a separate entity or associated with Southern Rhodesia and possibly Nyasaland. The mineral wealth of Northern Rhodesia made full amalgamation attractive to Southern Rhodesian politicians, but the British Government preferred a looser association to include Nyasaland. This was intended to protect Africans in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland from discriminatory Southern Rhodesian laws.

The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland formed in 1953 was intensely unpopular among the vast African majority and its formation hastened calls for majority rule. As a result of this pressure, the country became independent in 1964 as Zambia.

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