Black and White in Southern Zambia: The Tonga Plateau Economy and British Imperialism, 1890-1939

By Kenneth P. Vickery | Go to book overview

CONCLUSION

In the first few decades of the twentieth century Plateau Tonga communities experienced conquest, institutionalized racism, taxation, alienation of land, and forced labor, among other things. Yet the overall position of these communities, compared with so many others in east, central, and southern Africa, was far more positive. Though they had faced their share of ecological setbacks (including rinderpest on the eve of colonization), the Plateau had certainly not gone through the sort of ecological catastrophe--including epidemics, population decline, and expansion of tsetse fly belts--of other areas especially in east-central Africa. 148 Human population expanded steadily. Most communities had succeeded, first, in rebuilding their indigenous economies, a process represented particularly by the re-establishment of cattle herds. Many Tonga had entered the imperial economy as wage workers in order to effect this cattle build-up, but unlike the Pondo of South Africa who did likewise, did not become "locked in" to wage migration in the process. 149 Indeed by the 1930s the Plateau Tonga migration rate was among the very lowest in south central Africa. The indigenous economy was not only rebuilt but transformed in the course of its articulation with the imperial economy. The symbol of this transformation was the oxdrawn plow, used to produce maize not only for food but for sale. A peasantry had emerged. This development carried serious implications for European settlers and the colonial state.


NOTES
1.
H. Friedmann, "Household Production and the National Economy: Concepts for the Analysis of Agrarian Formations," Journal of Peasant Studies 7 ( 1980): 176.
2.
Zambezi Mission Record ( ZMR 5, 65 ( 1914): 91; 6, 82 ( 1918): 102-103, among others.
3.
GBCO 47, no. 861, 20/12/ 1916, Batoka District Annual Report, 1915/ 1916.
4.
Mazabuka District Ofiicer (D.O.) Gaunt was appalled at the state of one tax register in 1937: "One village was shown as containing 67 tax payers, and of these no fewer than 43 were found to have removed to an entirely different area. People who had been dead six years were still shown as being alive. Scores of people were shown as tax defaulters who had paid tax. One village was shown as having ten tax defaulters out of a total of twelve taxpayers. Each one on being challenged produced his tax receipt--the numbers had never been entered in the folio." NAZ KDB 6/7/5/4, Mazabuka tour reports.
5.
W. M. Gluckman Allan, et al., Land Holding and Land Usage Among the Plateau Tonga of Mazabuka District: A Reconnaissance Survey, 1945 ( Manchester, 1968), pp. 29, 84.
6.
I. H. Muchangwe, Tonga Land Utilization (Mazabuka District)

-177-

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Black and White in Southern Zambia: The Tonga Plateau Economy and British Imperialism, 1890-1939
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • RECENT TITLES IN CONTRIBUTIONS IN COMPARATIVE COLONIAL STUDIES ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Maps vii
  • List of Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Notes and Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Plateau in the Late Nineteenth Century 13
  • Notes 29
  • 2 - The Imperial Economy in South Central Africa, 1890-1925: An Overview 35
  • Conclusion 48
  • Notes 49
  • 3 - Contact and Conquest, 1890-1904 53
  • Notes 67
  • 4 - A Colonial Situation, 1904-1918 71
  • Conclusion 112
  • Notes 113
  • 5 - Boom and Bust, 1918-1925 121
  • Notes 140
  • 6 - Transformation of the Indigenous Economy: The Emergence of a Peasantry 145
  • Notes 177
  • 7 - Peasants, Settlers, and State in the Copperbelt Era, 1925-1939 185
  • Conclusion 210
  • Conclusion 211
  • 8 - Epilogue and Conclusion 215
  • Notes 228
  • Bibliography 231
  • Index 245
  • About the Author 249
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