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Botswana

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The mineral revolution transformed the region with British dominance rapidly growing.  Late in the 19th century, British settlers, not waiting for rebellions to suppress, actively sought land and drove the indigents to the Langeberg mountain range along the edge of the Khlahari desert.  Their heroic leader kgosi Luka Jantjie died in their defense and his people were ‘ethnically cleansed’ from the region.1

The Union of South Africa was formed in 1910, and, it was expected, Botswana would ultimately join that union in one for or another.  The political crises of the 1950s and especially the Sharpeville crisis of March 1960 eliminated that expectation.  The people had become used to a system  of accountable government so that the parliamentary representative government proposed by the British was accepted with little difficulty.  “The uncrowned king of the largest Batswana group”, Seretse Khama became president in 1966.2

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Footnotes

  1. Kevin Shillington, History of Africa, Third Edition, (Palgrave MacMillan), page(s) 332
  2. Kevin Shillington, History of Africa, Third Edition, (Palgrave MacMillan), page(s) 432