The Rhodesias were brought under British control by the driving ambition of Cecil Rhodes. He organized the chartered British South Africa Company with the aim of by-passing the Transvaal republic (36) and securing the mineral wealth farther north. He bought mining concessions from Lobengula, chief of the Matabele (Ndebele). They ruled most of what is now Southern Rhodesia from Bulawayo (having subjugated the (Ma-)Shona in the 1830s). In 1890 Rhodes's men founded Salisbury in Mashonaland; in 1893, picking a quarrel with Lobengula, they occupied Bulawayo. Though both Matabele and Mashona later rebelled, the company soon had control of most of the Rhodesias. Southern Rhodesia did not, in the end, yield such great mineral wealth as Northern Rhodesia, but it attracted white farmers, to whom half its land was allotted. In 1923, its white settlers voted to end company rule and become a self-governing colony. Northern Rhodesia became a British protectorate in 1924.
Southern Rhodesia's white population (now over 220,000) grew fast, and, virtually free from control from London, withheld political power from the Africans (now 2•9 million). Northern Rhodesia's whites (now nearly 80,000, to 2•4 million Africans) fretted under control from London and sought links with Southern Rhodesia.
In 1953 federation (27) of the two Rhodesias and Nyasaland (33) was put through by a British Conservative government. African opposition was strong in Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland; they feared that rule from Salisbury (the federal capital) meant white domination, despite professions of 'partnership'. Britain's hope was that a bigger economic unit would attract investment, facilitate projects like Kariba hydro-power (Q, 32), spread the benefits of Copper- belt (32) revenues, and speed independence. Southern Rhodesian whites voted 5 to 3 for federation.
Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland remained protectorates, and a complex voting system gave Africans some say in federal politics, though Sir Roy Welensky's United Federal party dominated them, with mainly white support. But discontent erupted in Nyasaland in 1959 (33). The subsequent Monckton commission, while envisaging continued federation (with racial parity in the federal parliament, and African majorities in the protectorates), found African opinion strongly against it. Tension continued in 1961, with little prospect of the Federation surviving, despite limited concessions to African nationalist parties -- in Northern Rhodesia, United National Independence party, led by Kenneth Kaunda, and African National