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Dixon-Fyle, McSamuel (1976) Politics and agrarian change among the plateau Tonga of Northern Rhodesia, c. 1924-63. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029318

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Abstract

The Tonga Plateau was the main area of white settlement in Northern Rhodesia and in the 1920s many Africans there were moved into reserves on poor land which soon became overcrowded. At the same time, official restrictions were placed on the marketing of farm produce by the African population which supplied part of the Copperbelt market. Such grievances, together with settler pressure for closer union with Southern Rhodesia, prompted Africans in the area to form some of the earliest political associations in the territory. By the late 1940s, there was a small group of highly commercialised Tonga farmers. The Government tried to enlist the support of this elite with a scheme for 'Improved Farmers', but it was only partly successful and rules for land conservation antagonised the great mass of small scale African farmers. From the first, the plateau provided substantial support for the country's first nationalist party, the A.N.C. However, the party's leaders regarded the area, with its income from commercial farming, primarily as a source of funds and its organisation on the plateau was poor and several influential Africans declined to lend it any active assistance. The Improved Farmers, for instance, preferred their non-political Farmers Associations. This brought on them accusations of collaboration with white oppression which only increased their alienation. After the 1958 split in the A.N.C,'s leadership which led to the formation of U.N.I.P,, the A,N,C. came to be more closely identified with the Southern Province (and its political centre-point, the Tonga plateau), which area provided its most consistent support, U.N.I.P. lad the disadvantage of being rooted on the Copperbelt where few Tonga lived or worked. Besides, most of its leaders were long-standing urban residents and the Tonga had doubts about committing rural claims to such people. This lack of affinity with the Copperbelt partly ensured the A.N.C.' continued popularity on the Tonga plateau.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.25501/SOAS.00029318
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/29318

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