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The Rhodesian Revolution Essay

1379 words - 6 pages

The Rhodesian Revolution

Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe, is a nation that never featured
apartheid. Race relations were generally decent under the government
of Ian Smith. Smith's book "The Great Betrayal" clearly spells this
out. Former President, Jimmy Carter, would not even see Ian Smith in
1979 when Smith came to the White House to beg for help. Ian Smith
then asked Henry Kissinger for help when Carter would not help him.
Smith asked; "What about loyalty?" since rhodesians had long served
the British Empire. Kissinger told Smith, "There is no place for such
ideals in the modern world." Many Americans might have reservations
about helping whites in Southern Africa because of apartheid. The evil
deeds of apartheid killers have been tried in South African courts and
apartheid is over and its worst criminals have been punished, thank
God! However, all of this corruption started when a revolution broke
out in Rhodesia. Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, was born out of the
negotiations led by Prime Minister Ian Smith, with the moderate
nationalist leaders during the course of 1978. These negotiations were
held to find a lasting settlement to the Rhodesian situation. They
were to set the stage for a democratic majority rule government, which
would respect all the people of Rhodesia. (Zimbabwe-Rhodesia) In late
1922, settlers voted in a referendum to repudiate proposals for
incorporation into the Union of South Africa, electing instead to make
Rhodesia an autonomy colony under the British Crown, a status that
became effective on September 12, 1923. In 1953, Southern Rhodesia
became a member of the Federation of Rhodesia, despite African
objections to a European-dominated federal structure. (Missed
Opportunity) In the early 1960s, a new constitution was adopted that
provided for limited African political participation; however, the
Africans remained unappeased. In 1963 the federation broke up as
African majority governments assumed control in Northern Rhodesia.
After the federation's collapse, conservative trends hardened in
Southern Rhodesia, which now became known simply as Rhodesia.
(McKinley) The government of stalwart conservative Ian Smith, who had
become Rhodesian's Prime Minister in 1964, proclaimed a unilateral
declaration of independence on November 11, 1965. (McKinely) Britain
called the proclamation an act of insurgence but refused to
reestablish control by force. "When I was in Rhodesia, we weren't
fighting the local Africans; we were fighting Cuban terrorists who
infiltrated our country through Mozambique, east of Rhodesia"
(Myrtle). When negotiations in 1966 failed to produce an agreement,
Britain requested economic sanctions against Rhodesia. On March 1,
1970, Rhodesia formally proclaimed itself a republic. Heightened
guerrilla warfare and a withdrawal of South America...

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