Dr Kenneth Kaunda, the first president of Zambia. Image credit newafricanmagazine.com

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland: The Collapse of the Federation

  • The Federation was formally ended on 31 December 1963
  • One of the main reasons for its collapse was that it was formed without the native‚Äôs consent
  • African nationalists in Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia were not happy with the Federation as it sidelined their countries
  • The partnership process was too slow to be accomplished as Africans remained at the loss side of the partnership as the Federal government increased white supremacy by certain laws such as the Constitutional Amendment Act of 1957
  • In Rhodesia racial discrimination was still an issue as some laws which encouraged racism such as the Land Apportionment Act remained intact
  • The whites in Rhodesia however felt that the laws were too liberal and threatened the existence of the Colonial government in the federation
  • They began to advocate for the independence of the Federation from the British government and full membership in the Commonwealth
  • The British government refused to grant the Federation a state status
  • Although the Federation brought about economic development, nationalists were angry that the Southern African dominance
  • The nationalists in Nyasaland argued that it was better to suffer in freedom that to be prosperous when they are servants
  • The nationalists in Nyasaland resisted violently against the Federation so that their country was to break away from it
  • The African National Congress was formed in 1944 in Malawi and was concerned with the welfare and advancement of the natives
  • The most dominant nationalists were H.B Chipembere and M W K Chiume.
  • When their attempt to block the Federation was not successful they began a campaign of not cooperating with the government
  • Another party led by Hastings Banda called the Nyasaland African Congress was formed in 1958
  • This party was militaristic to a larger extend that a state of national emergency was declared in March 1959
  • The congress leaders were captured and killed as the government tried to restore order
  • In Northern Rhodesia, a party called the African National Congress was formed under Harry Nkumbula
  • The party was active in the opposition of the Federation
  • The party asked the British government to allow Africans to vote for the withdrawal of Northern Rhodesia from the Federation
  • In Northern Rhodesia, they adopted policies of nonviolent resistance and non-cooperation by boycotting shops and beerhalls in 1957
  • Another party under Kenneth Kaunda was formed called the Zambia Congress which later changed its name to United National Independence Party (UNIP)
  • The British agreed for the dissolution of the congress in March 1963
  • Malawi became independent in May 1964 whilst Zambia became independent in October 1964
  • However Southern Rhodesia remained under colonial rule

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