Historical Context

The 19th Century

1830s through 1880sEuropean explorers and traders, including Cecil Rhodes, travel to Africa’s southern regions.
1889 — Britain gives a mandate allowing Rhodes and his associates to colonize what becomes Southern Rhodesia.
1890 A colonial white settlement is firmly established in the southern territory.

The 20th Century

1922 — The white minority chooses self-governance after the British South Africa Trading Company administration ends.
1930 — Land Appointment Act forces African natives into wage labor by restricting black access to land ownership.
1930s through 1960s Zapu (Zimbabwe African People’s Union) and Zanu (Zimbabwe African National Union) emerge due to growing resentment regarding colonial rule.
1953 Britain creates the Central African Federation, made up of Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi).
1960s through 1980s Federation breaks up when Zambia and Malawi gain independence. Ian Smith of the Rhodesian Front becomes prime minister, and a year later in 1965 declares independence under white minority rule. A British-brokered peace treaty guaranteeing minority rights is signed and passed in 1979.

The 21st Century

2000 — President Mugabe supports the violent seizure of white-owned farms by squatters.
2001 — The Finance Minister acknowledges the economic crisis and warns of food shortages. Western donor programs cut aid in response to Mugabe’s sponsored land seizures.
2002 — Parliament passes a law limiting media freedom. President Mugabe re-elected in elections. A state of disaster is declared in April.
2008 — Robert Mugabe declared winner of run-off presidential election.
2013 — New constitution approved by an overwhelming majority in a referendum. Future presidents will be limited to two five-year terms. Emmerson Mnangagwa is elected after Mugabe resigns from his seventh and final term.

Back to Book Homepage

Jasmine Edwards ’19

Comments are closed