Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Story of Southern Rhodesia

The Story of Southern Rhodesia - Four chapters about British colonization of Rhodesia from E. D. Morel's history of European imperialism in Africa, The Black Man's Burden. Turn your popup blocker on. This site has good content but lousy advertising techniques!

From the site:

The portion of the Continent south of the Zambesi is -- with some exceptions -- suitable for settlement by white races, so far as the climate is concerned. The exceptions are the vicinity of the Zambesi itself, the desert and waterless coast regions of Damaraland, and a fairly wide belt of Portuguese territory on the East Coast. The whites are, however, incapable, save in a very limited degree, of performing the more arduous forms of manual labour. The actual development of the country, both agricultural and mineral must depend, therefore, either upon African labour or upon imported Asiatic labour -- to which the whites are opposed for various reasons, which need not here be discussed.

For a century the healthy tablelands and plateaux of this region have been the scene of the kind of racial conflict which occurs when an invading race, of a higher culture than the aboriginal population and possessed of superior offensive and defensive weapons, disputes with the latter for the occupation of the land. Natural man presently finds himself threatened in his liberties. Civilised man is filled with the terror which comes from the knowledge of overwhelming odds. Mutual fears inspire reciprocal cruelties.

An unusual amount of light has been thrown upon the incidents of this racial strife in South Africa, because of the contest and rivalry between various sections of the invading whites: between the Dutch and French Huguenot element on the one hand -- known to us as "Boers" -- and the British on the other, and between British and German. This rivalry has engendered a natural desire on the part of the warring sections to advertise and accentuate the shortcomings of the other, thus adding to the sum of general knowledge. Other causes have also contributed. Before Southern Africa became a political and international storm-centre, and the Mecca of large financial interests, when the troubles between colonists and aborigines were looked upon by the Home Government as a nuisance, British Secretaries of State were disposed to display a sense of impartiality in judging of such troubles and a freedom of expression in commenting upon them to which the present generation is quite unaccustomed. The older British Blue Books dealing with these native wars and the part played by the colonists in provoking them, are marked by a vigorous candour inconceivable in these days, except when it is a matter of State policy to paint the black records of an opponent even blacker than they are.

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