Botswana obtained its independence largely through the agitation of mass political parties, while Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe achieved independence through armed struggle against determined white-minority regimes.
Compared to its neighbors, Botswana had relatively few white settlers settled largely in the eastern part of the country, where most Batswana lived. Traders, farmers, missionaries, and a few government officials constituted most of the white population. In addition, the perception that Botswana offered little return for foreign investment kept economic development at a low level. Differences in the nature of colonial experience help to explain why the decolonization process in Botswana differed significantly from that of its neighbors. The relative lack of ethnic conflict, due largely to the dominance of
Tswana political organization and culture reduced internal rivalries during the nationalist
Britain originally established the Bechuanaland Protectorate in 1885 (renamed Botswana at independence) to protect British strategic and economic interests in Southern Africa, and to prevent possible German and Boer/Afrikaner expansion into the territory of the
Batswana (people of Botswana) from South West Africa and from the South African Republic (Transvaal) respectively. Such expansion would have blocked British
penetration into the interior.
Once German and Afrikaner interests had been contained, Britain neglected the development of the Protectorate, which it considered an unproductive country. British attempts to hand Bechuanaland over first to Southern Rhodesia and later to the Union of South Africa precipitated a long period of resistance by the traditional Tswana rulers
(dikgosi). Khama III, Sebele I, and Bathoen I, who ruled the most powerful Tswana states, led the resistance. They used diplomatic and political methods to petition the British government to keep their territories directly under the British crown, rather than annex them to the neighboring white-ruled countries. They believed that a Protectorate administration would be milder than a typical settler colony government. In fact, Britain relied on these rulers to govern Bechuanaland. Essentially, these rulers and the British dominated the administration of the Protectorate until independence.
In a real sense, this early resistance laid the foundation for independent Botswana by preserving its territorial integrity.
Early Nationalism: The Reformist Phase and the Growth of Civil Society (1920s- 1950s)
The reformist phase of Tswana nationalism was launched by the growing number of
Christian mission educated elite, such as teachers, civil servants, and evangelists, who
How did Botswana Gain Independence
When did Botswana become independent?
After 80 years as a British protectorate, Bechuanaland attained self-government in 1965, becoming the independent Republic of Botswana on September 30, 1966, and maintaining a position of stability and harmony ever since.
What country did Botswana gain independence from?
Previously known as Bechuanaland, Botswana gained independence from Britain under the leadership of Seretse Khama. Khama was elected president by the National Assembly in 1966 and then reelected for two additional terms until he passed away in 1980.
How did Botswana get colonized?
The British colonized the land of Batswana in 1885 as a way of blocking possible alliances between the Boers in the Transvaal and the Germans in South West Africa (Namibia). The British called the territory Bechuanaland Protectorate.
When and how did Botswana gain independence?
After 80 years as a British protectorate, Bechuanaland attained self-government in 1965, becoming the independent Republic of Botswana on September 30, 1966, and maintaining a position of stability and harmony ever since. Sir Seretse Khama was elected the first president and served until his death in 1980.
Who did Botswana gain its independence from?
Previously known as Bechuanaland, Botswana gained independence from Britain on 30 September 1966 under the leadership of Seretse Khama. Khama was elected president by the National Assembly in 1966 and then reelected for two additional terms until he passed away in 1980.
How did colonization affect Botswana?
The legacy of colonial institutions of indirect rule in Botswana meant that the post-independence state sought to legitimate itself through institutionalizing drought relief. The apartheid-style indirect rule in South Africa meant that the state was unable in the 1950s and 1960s to retrench its social pension program.