|Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
a territory in Southern Africa that was
once part of the British Commonwealth of Nations
The Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland consisted of the self-governing colony
of Southern Rhodesia and the protectorates of
Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It had a total
area of 484,529 square miles (Southern Rhodesia,
150,333 sq mi; Northern Rhodesia, 288,130 sq mi;
Nyasaland, 196,399 sq mi) and a population of
about 9,030,000. The federal capital and largest
city was Salisbury. A Governor-General
represented the British Crown in the Federation,
while a Prime Minister was responsible for
governing the territory. The Prime Minister
headed a Cabinet drawn from the Federal Assembly.
The elements on the shield on the Federation flag
were drawn from the shields of the participating
territories -- the gold rising sun came from that
of Nyasaland; the red lion from that of Southern
Rhodesia; and the six vertical black and white
"wavy lines," representing Victoria
Falls, from that of Northern Rhodesia.
David Livingstone reached the Zambezi River in 1851,
Victoria Falls in 1855, and Lake Nyasa in 1859.
Livingstone's father-in-law, Robert Moffat,
founded the first mission in the Southern
Rhodesia area in 1859. In 1888, the Matabele
tribe granted mineral rights for the area south
of the Zambezi River to Cecil Rhodes, a British
financier. Rhodes chartered his British South
Africa Company in 1889. That same year, he
obtained mineral rights to the area north of the
Zambezi River from the Barotse tribe. In 1890,
British settlers from Bechuanaland founded
Salisbury. The last of a series of tribal
uprisings was crushed in 1892. In 1895, the
British South Africa Company named its territory
Rhodesia, in honor of Cecil Rhodes.
The Church of Scotland built a
mission in the Nyasaland area in 1875. The
British Central African Protectorate was
established in 1891, and was renamed the
Nyasaland Protectorate in 1907.
In 1898, the British government
recognized Southern and Northern Rhodesia as
separate territories, with the Zambezi River as
the "dividing line." The white settlers
of Southern Rhodesia voted for self-government in
1922. Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing
British colony in 1923, and Northern Rhodesia
became a protectorate in 1924.
Great Britain established the
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953.
A constitutional conference in
1960 gave Africans a majority in the Nyasaland
Legislature. White voters approved a new
constitution for Southern Rhodesia in 1961, but
the Africans demanded more representation.
Federation Prime Minister Sir Roy Welensky
opposed a new constitution for Northern Rhodesia,
but the British government granted one in 1962.
The Federation of Rhodesia and
Nyasaland was formally dissolved on December 31,
1963. The Protectorate of Nyasaland became the
Republic of Malawi on July 6, 1964; Northern
Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on October
24, 1964; and Southern Rhodesia declared itself
the independent Republic of Rhodesia on November
11, 1965. Rhodesia renamed itself the Republic of
Zimbabwe in 1980.
World Book Encyclopedia Chicago:
Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1964
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