Crown Colony rule in Zimbabwe (1923-1953)

Because company officials were gradually outnumbered by the European settlers, the British South Africa Company decided to give up control over Southern Rhodesia, which was left with an option of either becoming a Crown Colony or merging with South Africa.

Through a vote, the majority of the settlers chose to become a Crown Colony.

They feared Afrikaner domination if they merged with South Africa and were worried that their economic interests would be neglected in favour of those of the Afrikaners.

In 1923, Southern Rhodesia became a Crown Colony.

After these changes, the government formulated a new policy: the Two-Pyramid ( (parallel) development policy to run the colony. In this way, the white settlers had entrenched themselves even more firmly in Southern Rhodesia.

In 1925, the Government set up a commission to make recommendations on the future of unallotted land in the colony. As a result, the land Apportionment act was passed in 1930. It became the Greater Charter (Magna Carter) of Southern Rhodesia.

In 1934, the Industrial Conciliation Act was passed. This act was designed to protect white workers from African competition. For example, it empowered the government to prohibit Africans from setting up trade unions.

Alarmed by continuing African political agitation, the government invited more and more settlers, who in turn agitated for the formation of a federation comprising the three central African territories i.e. Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), and Nyasaland (Malawi). They hoped that if all the settlers in the three territories ganged up, they could wield more power at the expense of the African communities.

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