INTRODUCTION: METHODOLOGY AND APOLOGIA
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland consists of some 7,000,000 Africans and 250,000 whites. This is its most obvious, most basic, and most ignored statistic. It is a fact that can easily be forgotten in studying the Federation's white government, judiciary and civil service or while wandering amongst the modern commercial skyscrapers of Salisbury, Bulawayo, Ndola and Lusaka.
Yet this cold, immutable statistic confounds all dreams of white supremacy, places pious platitudes about "multiracialism" in proportion, and decrees that the country is irretrievably destined, eventually, to become an African state, and not an outpost of white Empire.
The only question is whether that destiny will be realized as the culmination of peaceful, orderly, planned cooperation between the races, or in violence and chaos. Phrased in a way more relevant to those not resident in the Federation, the question is whether central Africa can find its way to independence as a free African state in friendly association with the western democratic community or whether it must undergo a stage of violent, introverted black nationalism.
Precisely because this question is still unanswered, the Federation is a unique and crucial phenomenon on a continent increasingly divided by hard lines between areas of white supremacy and black nationalism. The shape of the Federation is still sufficiently fluid to be of particular interest both to the political scientist and to the observer of contemporary history. There is still hope that the Federation may pilot the way around the dangerous reefs of ethnic divisiveness, reaching a happier solution to the problems of a maturing continent.