Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

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Rhodesia was the name given to an irregularly shaped region of southern Africa, bounded by Bechuanaland, the Congo, German east Africa (Tanganyika), and Mozambique, first exploited by Rhodes's British South Africa Company in the 1890s. In 1964 the northern part became the independent nation of Zambia, leaving the white minority in Southern Rhodesia (now just plain ‘Rhodesia’) to mount a rearguard action against black rule, through a ‘Unilateral Declaration of Independence’—independence, that is, from British suzerainty—issued in 1965. That caused constant trouble for successive British governments, especially from other Commonwealth countries, who expected them to put the rebellion down by force. Eventually the native peoples won their own battle, helped by international sanctions; and Rhodesia achieved legal independence as the majority-ruled state of Zimbabwe in 1980.

Bernard Porter

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Rhodesia Former name of a territory in s central Africa. Cecil Rhodes developed the region. In 1923, Southern Rhodesia became a self-governing British colony, and in 1924 Northern Rhodesia was made a British Protectorate. In 1953, the two Rhodesias united with Nyasaland (now Malawi) in the Central African Federation. When the Federation dissolved in 1963, Northern Rhodesia achieved independence as Zambia. Southern Rhodesia continued to use the name Rhodesia until it gained independence as Zimbabwe in 1980.