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Failure in Southern Rhodesia: 1910–23

  • Ronald Hyam

Abstract

Although barely one-fifth of white Rhodesians spoke Afrikaans as their native tongue, the incorporation of Southern Rhodesia in the Union seemed at least as logical as it had been for Natal. Apart from a similarity to South Africa in Rhodesia’s climate and circumstances, the franchise, civil service and law were all inherited from Cape Colony. In May 1909 the Legislative Council debated closer union. Everyone was in favour of Union in principle, and some, including Charles Coghlan, later to be first prime minister of a self-governing Rhodesia, would have preferred to have it at once, partly in order to escape the restrictions of imperial native policy. Coghlan regarded incorporation as the ‘absolute and inevitable destiny’ of the Rhodesias, provided only that they joined freely and of their own goodwill on equal terms. He and his friends quickly changed their minds as they watched the progress of the Union. Botha seemed to make heavy weather of his premiership: discords and schisms dashed the early hopes of white racial unity. Hertzog’s stubborn and contumacious rejection of ‘conciliation’ was a disillusionment for Coghlan’s initial enthusiastic belief in the effective unity of the ‘British’ Union and in Rhodesia’s quick entry into it.

Keywords

Land Settlement Responsible Government Representative Government High Commissioner Legislative Council 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Ronald Hyam 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Hyam

There are no affiliations available

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