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.
The British called the territory Bechuanaland Protectorate. They had very
little interest in the territory and left the Chiefs ruling their people much as they had done before. Matters of foreign affairs, defense, and court cases involving white people were the responsibility of the Protectorate Government; the Chiefs were allowed to try cases involving Africans only. Mafikeng in South Africa became the capital of Botswana and this meant that South African influence in terms of race relations was quite profound in Botswana.
For instance, the constitution that led to the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 had a provision for the eventual incorporation of Botswana into South Africa. The Batswana Chiefs, with assistance from the local European missionaries, strongly opposed this plan becoming a reality. On the other hand, the European settlers in Botswana strongly supported the idea of incorporation into South Africa. However, in colonial In Botswana, racism was practiced to a much lower degree than was the case in South
Africa. Moreover, racism in Botswana did not exist at the ideological level but as a
socioeconomic and political practice.
Because Botswana was administered from South Africa, some colonial government officials were recruited from there and they brought South African racist attitudes into
Botswana. Furthermore, most of the Europeans in Botswana had relatives in South Africa. Botswana was also heavily dependent on South Africa for its beef market,
migrant labor, and infrastructure, as well as in many other respects. Therefore, in this section readers will find files on the influence, implementation, and practice of racial discrimination in Botswana. There are also files on how Batswana protested against discriminatory practices and attitudes, as well as on efforts by both the
colonial government and local elite the elimination of racial discrimination in the laws of the land during the twilight of colonial rule in the early 1960s.
Racial segregation in the provision of social amenities meant that Africans received inferior treatment in hospitals staffed largely by European or white doctors. As a result, the few African medical officers available tended to be in high demand because they were not only black but were also seen as sympathetic to their patients. In the late 1950s, the Bamangwato were against the privilege enjoyed only by Europeans and coloreds in collecting and selling firewood as it impoverished the blacks while enriching whites and coloreds. The Bangwato Tribal Council was alarmed by the colonial governmentâ
imposing a colored immigrant from South Africa onto the tribe instead of settling him in
When was Botswana first colonized?
March 31, 1885
Dutch Boer settlers entered Botswana from the Transvaal, sparking hostilities with the Batswana. The leaders of the Batswana sought assistance from the British. As a result, the Bechuanaland Protectorate was established on March 31, 1885, including modern Botswana and parts of present-day South Africa.
Who first colonized Botswana?
Before its independence in 1966, Botswana was a British protectorate known as Bechuanaland.
What is the colonial history of Botswana?
Botswana became independent in 1966. Previously, it was a protectorate of the United Kingdom, which ruled the territory from the South African town of Mafeking (now Mafikeng). Called Bechuanaland, the protectorate was established in 1885.
How did Botswana gain independence from colonialism?
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.
Who were the first people in Botswana?
These early inhabitants of Botswana were the San and Kho societies. These societies were later joined by the Batswana societies who moved to the areas around 1000 years ago. It is also around this period that large chiefdoms known as Toutswe in the area of Sowa pan and Tswapong Hills developed.