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Zanzibar: The Historical Setting

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Chapter Summary

The history of the East African coast and Zanzibar in particular has been the topic of many authoritative texts. The historical context of Zanzibar's development from the late 19th century to the early 21st century forms the focus of this chapter. The chapter presents the history of Zanzibar under the Sultanate of Oman in the 19th century, a more extensive analysis of the colonial framework of Zanzibar's political development under the British Protectorate (1890-1963). It also discusses the role played in the colonial period by the major 'racial' and communitarian groups and associations, namely 'Arabs', 'Indians' and 'Africans'. These groups dominated late colonial politics in Zanzibar during the 'time of politics' (zama za siasa) in the 1950s.

Keywords: British Protectorate; East African coast; political development; Sultanate of Oman; Zama za siasa; Zanzibar



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