Company rule and agricultural development : the case of the BSA Company in Southern Rhodesia, 1908- 1923
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Although settler agriculture in Southern Rhodesia has been touched upon by historians such as Gann, Murray and Palmer (3), none of their works address themselves specifically to the development of settler agriculture. This paper focuses on the activities of the BSA Co as the power behind the Colonial State in the field of agricultural development and-on the development of the Company's own agricultural enterprises, run by its Commercial Branch. It will be argued • that, in general, far from stunting the development of Southern Rhodesia, the Company instituted measures directed to facilitate economic development under settler and Company hegemony. (The focus is on the policies under which white agriculture developed.) However, it will also be demonstrated that Company and settler interests were not always identical, and that the period of Company rule was characterized by a struggle between Company and settler interests, on the one hand, and between white and black interests, on the other, and that in the latter case the Company nearly always supported settler interests.