Of Passive and Violent Resistance: Gandhi and Smuts in South Africa

September 12, 2016
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Download article as PDF The British Imperial Charter In the British general election of 1892, the nation was astonished as results began to trickle in to discover that an Indian, an elderly Parsi by the name of Dadabahi Naoroji, had taken the inner London seat of Finsbury Central on behalf of the Liberal Party. This was a watershed moment in British domestic politics, marking the conclusion of a fascinating saga that saw the fundamental tenets of the British empire, in particular the British right to rule in India, challenged. Known as the ‘Grand Old Man’ of Indian politics, Dadabahi Naoroji was arguably the most prominent Indian of his age. He was a founding member of Congress, and would serve twice […]

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Biafra: The Nigerian Civil War 1967 to 1970

May 14, 2014
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Download article as PDF The name Biafra remains inextricably associated with starving children, their bellies distended and their hair discolored by kwashiorkor, lending the first indications to an incredulous world of what post-independence Africa might look like. Biafra, however, was the name of a separatist entity that briefly existed between 1967 and 1970 as a breakaway partner in the post-independence Nigerian Federation. The war that followed the secession of Biafra is generally termed the Biafran War, but is perhaps more accurately termed the Nigerian Civil War, for that in effect was what it was. A more detailed overview of the Nigerian Civil War is available here. Militarily The Nigerian Civil War was a lesson in command dilettantism and one of […]

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Rhodesia Bush War 1966 to 1980

May 14, 2014
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Download article as PDF Having published quite a number of books pertaining to both African Warfare and Rhodesian History, this offering serves as an entry level overview of the Rhodesian War as one of the last great military episodes in the African liberation period. The Rhodesian Bush War, or the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle as it was also known, was in simple terms the culmination of a half century of failed efforts to find an accommodation between the races in Southern Rhodesia. During the late 1950s and early 1960s the liberation movements throughout Africa were claiming one success after another in their efforts to remove the residue of European rule on the continent, but south of the Zambezi there was a […]

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The Turning Point Strategy

July 22, 2013
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This entry is part 20 of 20 in the series History of the amaNdebele

Download article as PDF 1976 also witnessed important political developments that once again put a stranglehold on the various advocates of a total solution in order that a negotiation process neither invited nor wanted by any of the warring factions. This again was a peace process forced upon the protagonists by their sponsors, and this time involved to a large degree the United States in a world post-Vietnam, and vary cautious about international power play in a sphere increasingly dominated by Marxist or communist liberation groups. Most notably was the gathering interest and involvement of the Soviets and Cubans in Angola, threatening a valuable communist foothold in southern Africa, something that the South Africans feared and rejected as vigorously as […]

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Léopold Sédar Senghor, the Life of a French African

November 19, 2012
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Download article as PDF The life of Léopold Sédar Senghor spanned a century of change in Africa, a century during which the colonial occupation of the continent reached it’s zenith, began to topple and ultimately fell. An award winning poet, decorated scholar, pioneer of negro cultural autonomy and liberation icon, Senghor was, as he remains, one of the towering figures of the African liberation struggle. His voice, and the very phases of his life, marked the key navigation points of the black journey towards self-determination. His influence embraced not only the political kingdoms of Africa, but perhaps more importantly the intellectual, artistic and spiritual kingdoms so long submerged under the weight of foreign cultures. Although Senghor was not at his […]

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The White Man’s Burden

April 4, 2012
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Download article as PDF Your new-caught sullen peoples, Half-devil and half-child – Rudyard Kipling (…yes I know that is Hattie McDaniel & Vivien Leigh  in Gone With The Wind on the left) This is an excerpt of Rhodesia: last Outpost of the British Empire by Peter Baxter. The article it relates to is here Much closer to home was the complex relationship that whites had with their domestic servants. An almost obsessive determination on the part of white immigrants to make use of this most colonial of facilities, was born out of two factors. The first was that in the Victorian and post–Victorian period the goal of reaching the upper middle classes was best defined by the maintenance of domestic […]

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