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The African Dimension to the Anti-Federation Struggle, ca. 1950–53: “It has united us far more closely than any other question would have accomplished”

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 June 2021

Rob Power*
Affiliation:
The London School of Economics and Political Science

Abstract

The documentary record of African opposition to the CAF (Central African Federation) has been the subject of renewed historiographical interest in recent years.2 This paper seeks to contribute to the existing debate in three principle ways. Firstly, it will show that opposition to the scheme was fatally undermined by the pursuits of two very distinct strands of NAC (Nyasaland African Congress) and ANC (African National Congress) political activism. In the second instance, it will show that this dissimilar political discourse produced contradictions that resulted in bypassing African objections. Thirdly, the paper will go a step farther, suggesting that the two respective anti-Federation campaigns not only undermined the efforts of both Congress parties to stop federation, but laid the path for future discord in the national dispensation then materialising.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Research Institute for History, Leiden University

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Footnotes

1

Bodleian Library Oxford (hereafter BLO), Africa Bureau Papers (hereafter AB) 240/2, N. \1\2 \3\4 Kwenje, President of the Salisbury branch of Nyasaland African Congress to Dr. Hastings Banda, undated, 1952.

2

See for instance: Gerwald, Hinfelaar, and Macola, One Zambia, Many Histories; Macola, Liberal Nationalism; Gerwald, Hinfelaar, and Macola, Living the End of Empire; Larmer, Rethinking African Politics; Rotberg, “The Partnership Hoax.”

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