Sir Goddfrey Huggins/Lord Marlven.

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: Road to the Federation

  • From mid 1940s upwards, settlers began to like the idea of a union due to the economic and political reasons mentioned in the previous topics
  • Also Afrikaners (Boers) had started protesting so there was need for the colonies to join force and fight the uprisings
  • They hated the British after the Anglo-Boer war of 1899
  • The British had to do something before Boer racist policies in South Africa spread to its colonies
  • Godfrey Huggins and Roy Welensky were the strong advocates for a union
  • The called for a conference in 1949 which passed the federation resolution
  • The change in government in the United Kingdom meant change in people and ideologies
  • The U.K official responsible for colonies who opposed the idea of a federation greatly from 1949-1951 was replaced
  • The new official, James Griffiths looked at the issue again and called for a conference in March 1951
  • The British Colonial Secretary approved the idea of a federation and 1951 and the settlers began the constitution making process
  • A conference to discuss the Federation Constitution was done in 1952
  • A referendum was held for the constitution in April 1953 and the voting results were 25 570 in favour of a federation against 14 729 against it.
  • The possibility of African resistance was overlooked as white interests were made of paramount interest
  • The federation came into existence in October 1953 with Godfrey Huggins as its Prime Minister and he was later succeeded by Welensky
  • The Constitution suggested that a Federal Parliament be formed
  • The Parliament was to consist of 35 MPs and 26 represented whites, that is, 14 from Southern Rhodesia, 8 from Northern Rhodesia and 4 from Nyasaland, 6 where Africans and 3 were Europeans who were responsible for native issues
  • The Federation was effected in October 1953
  • The Federal and Territorial Governments were formed
  • It had the following duties:
    1. Communication
    2. Trade
    3. Finance
    4. Foreign Affairs
    5. Land Government
    6. Land And Agriculture
    7. Industry
    8. Defence
    9. White Education
    10. African Education
  • African or Native Affairs under the federation were dealt with a colony level whilst economic issues were dealt with at Federal level
  • This decision meant that Zimbabwean notorious native policies would not spread to the other two countries
  • A Minister for African interests was appointed

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.