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Traditional Rulers, Nationalists And The Quest For Freedom In Northern Rhodesia In The 1950s

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Chapter Summary

This chapter suggests that chiefs-cum-nationalists who were attracted to the politics of decolonisation in the 1950s usually did so largely in response to growing popular political militancy in their areas. The chapter submits that chiefs in Northern Rhodesia who converted to the nationalist ideology in the 1950s did so cautiously and struggled to defend their influence not merely from colonial rulers but also from the increasingly autocratic African nationalists. Finally the chapter suggests that although some African chiefs certainly joined hands with independence movements, they did so not to become junior partners to nationalists, but as part of their well-thought-out strategy to retain the support of their subjects who turned en masse to nationalism in the 1950s.

Keywords: African chiefs; African nationalists; chiefs-cum-nationalists; decolonisation; nationalist ideology; Northern Rhodesia; political militancy



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