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Chirenje, J. M. (1973) The European Impact Upon Northern Tswana Chiefdoms, 1850-1910. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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Recent works on Tswana history have tended to be preoccupied with political history, with the result that the gamut of forces that have shaped the history of Botswana (until 1966 known as Bechuanaland Protectorate) have only been partially revealed. This thesis seeks to shed more light on the history of northern Bechuanaland by taking into account some of the social and economic processes that beset that region in the nineteenth century. From about the middle of the nineteenth century up to the turn of the twentieth century a host of external factors, in varying degrees, impinged upon social and economic institutions of the Tswana. And of these factors the advent of Europeans was the most significant; Europeans brought new ideas that interacted with those of the Tswana. The white newcomers also had tendencies to expand the British sphere of influence throughout southern Africa, a trend that resulted in the annexation of northern Bechuanaland in 1885. By 1910 British rule in Bechuanaland had become firmly entrenched, A special feature of the interaction between the Tswana and the Europeans was that the latter group introduced its religious and secular ideas to the Tswana with an enthusiasm that was matched by Tswana reticence to abandon their traditional way of life in favour of an alien culture. Yet, in spite of their conservatism, the Tswana felt the impact of European ideas. Even in a study that tries to reconstruct a social and economic history of northern Bechuanaland, it has been found necessary to include Chapter Four, which deals with the creation of the Protectorate and indicates government intervention in some aspects of Tswana life and how the latter group responded to some measures introduced by the new rulers. It is hoped that Chapter Four, though largely dealing with political history, should enhance an understanding of Tswana history as too often Tswana responses to government intervention mirrored the kind of responses that were evinced by the new social and economic ideas.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:18

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