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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Late Colonial state in Malawi: Some Ideas on the Transition from Inter-War Timidity to Post-War Confidence, 1930-1950
Author:Fairweather-Tall, Andrew
Periodical:Itinerario: European Journal of Overseas History
Geographic terms:Malawi
Great Britain
History and Exploration
Abstract:In the interwar period, the colonial State of Malawi, then the Protectorate of Nyasaland, was too poor to provide even the bare minimum of services required of it: cooperation with local groups, principally though not exclusively European, was a necessity. Unofficial groups were allowed some autonomy while the administration retained overall control to satisfy the imperial government's desire for stable and inexpensive rule. This paper analyses two examples of the colonial State reacting to the political, social and economic environment in Nyasaland in similar ways by increasing its own influence at the expense of interest groups: the Christian Missions' attempt to manage primary education, and the European estate owners' struggle against labour migration. The colonial government's reaction to the tensions and pressures presented by these two groups was dissimilar because they offered different challenges to and promises for colonial authority. In education, the authoritative fašade of colonial government based on cooperation with the Missions was long maintained because despite the competition between the various Missions, their principal objectives were similar to those of the Government. In the case of labour migration, where settlers faced pressure from wage competitors in Southern Rhodesia and South Africa, the requirements of different parts of colonial society were diametrically opposed. By 1950, the colonial State had been transformed into initiator of ambitious social and economic policies. Notes, ref.