Nyasaland or the Nyasaland Protectorate, was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

In history, the term protectorate has two different meanings. In its earliest inception, which has been adopted by modern international law, it is an autonomous territory that is protected diplomatically or militarily against third parties by a stronger state or entity...

 located in Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, which was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name. Since 1964, it has been known as Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...


Nyasaland's history was marked by numerous attempts to obtain independence from the British. Growing European and US-educated African elite became increasingly vocal and politically active - first through associations, and after 1944, through the Nyasaland African Congress
Nyasaland African Congress
The Nyasaland African Congress was an organization that evolved into a political party in Nyasaland during the colonial period. The NAC was suppressed in 1959, but was succeeded in 1960 by the Malawi Congress Party, which went to on decisively win the first universal suffrage elections in 1961,...



The population at the 1911 census was: natives 969,183, Europeans
White African
White Africans are people of European descent living in Africa, who identify themselves as White....

 766, Asians 481. In March 1920 Europeans numbered 1,015 and Asians 515. The natives were estimated (1919) at 561,600 males and 664,400 females, a total of 1,226,000. Blantyre
Blantyre, Malawi
Blantyre or Mandala is Malawi's centre of finance and commerce, the largest city with an estimated 732,518 inhabitants . It is sometimes referred to as the commercial capital of Malawi as opposed to the political capital, Lilongwe...

, the chief town, had some 300 European residents.

Colonial economy

Cotton is a soft, fluffy staple fiber that grows in a boll, or protective capsule, around the seeds of cotton plants of the genus Gossypium. The fiber is almost pure cellulose. The botanical purpose of cotton fiber is to aid in seed dispersal....

 growing was the chief industry, though from 1918 onward it was being supplanted by tobacco
Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. It can be consumed, used as a pesticide and, in the form of nicotine tartrate, used in some medicines...

. In 1916–17 the export of cotton reached 3,462,000 pounds; it fell to 866,000 pounds in 1917–18 (largely owing to shipping restrictions), rose again to 2,670,000 pounds in 1918–19, but in 1919–20 dropped to 930,000 pounds. Increasing attention was given to tea
Tea is an aromatic beverage prepared by adding cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant to hot water. The term also refers to the plant itself. After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world...

, while coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 was largely discarded. (The export of coffee which was 748,000 pounds in 1909–10 had fallen to 113,000 pounds in 1918–19.) The disfavour into which cotton fell was partly due to the neglect to use selected seed and to other errors in cultivation, but also to the fact that, where soil and climate suited both crops, tobacco growing was more profitable. After some unfortunate experiences arrangements were made in 1917 for the fumigation of the tobacco before shipment, with the result that the crop thereafter, in normal circumstances, commanded a high price in the markets of Great Britain. The export of tobacco was 4,304,000 pounds in 1916–17, fell to 2,025,000 pounds the following year, was 5,800,000 pounds in 1918–19 and 4,340,000 pounds in 1919–20. Both cotton and coffee were largely cultivated by native farmers as well as by the Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an planters.

History of the evolution of the Nyasaland Protectorate

From 1953 - 1964 Nyasaland was united with Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was a territory in south central Africa, formed in 1911. It became independent in 1964 as Zambia.It was initially administered under charter by the British South Africa Company and formed by it in 1911 by amalgamating North-Western Rhodesia and North-Eastern Rhodesia...

 and Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia
Southern Rhodesia was the name of the British colony situated north of the Limpopo River and the Union of South Africa. From its independence in 1965 until its extinction in 1980, it was known as Rhodesia...

 in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland
The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, also known as the Central African Federation , was a semi-independent state in southern Africa that existed from 1953 to the end of 1963, comprising the former self-governing colony of Southern Rhodesia and the British protectorates of Northern Rhodesia,...


List of Nyasaland Governors

  • Sir William Henry Manning: October 1907 – 1 May 1908
  • Sir Alfred Sharpe
    Alfred Sharpe
    Sir Alfred Sharpe was a professional hunter who became a British colonial administrator and Commissioner of the British Central Africa Protectorate from 1896 until 1910...

    : 1 May 1908 – 1 April 1910
  • Francis Barrow Pearce: 1 April 1910 – 4 July 1910
  • Henry Richard Wallis: 4 July 1910 – 6 February 1911
  • Sir William Henry Manning: 6 February 1911 – 23 September 1913
  • George Smith: 23 September 1913 – 12 April 1923
  • Richard Sims Donkin Rankine: 12 April 1923 – 27 March 1924
  • Sir Charles Calvert Bowring
    Charles Calvert Bowring
    Sir Charles Calvert Bowring was a British colonial administrator.Bowring was born in 1872. In 1909 he married Ethel Dorothy Watts.-East Africa / Kenya:...

    : 27 March 1924 – 30 May 1929
  • Wilfred Bennett Davidson-Houston: 30 May 1929 – 7 November 1929
  • Shenton Whitelegge Thomas: 7 November 1929 – 22 November 1932
  • Sir Hubert Winthrop Young: 22 November 1932 – 9 April 1934
  • Kenneth Lambert Hall: 9 April 1934 – 21 September 1934
  • Sir Harold Baxter Kittermaster
    Harold Baxter Kittermaster
    Sir Harold Baxter Kittermaster KCMG, KBE was governor of British Somaliland , British Honduras , and then of the Nyasaland protectorate in the period before the Second World War....

    : 21 September 1934 – 20 March 1939
  • Sir Henry C. D. Cleveland Mackenzie-Kennedy: 20 March 1939 – 8 August 1942
  • Sir Edmund Charles Smith Richards
    Edmund Charles Smith Richards
    Sir Edmund Charles Smith Richards was a British colonial administrator who was Resident Commissioner of Basutoland from 1935 to 1942 and Governor of Nyasaland from 1942 to 1947.-Career outline:...

    : 8 August 1942 – 27 March 1947
  • Geoffrey Francis Taylor Colby
    Geoffrey Francis Taylor Colby
    Sir Geoffrey Francis Taylor Colby was a British colonial administrator who was Governor of the protectorate of Nyasaland between 1948 and 1956...

    : 30 March 1948 – 10 April 1956
  • Sir Robert Perceval Armitage
    Robert Perceval Armitage
    Robert Perceval Armitage was a British colonial administrator who held senior positions in Kenya and the Gold Coast, and was Governor of Cyprus and then Nyasaland during the period when the former British colonies were gaining independence.-Early years:Armitage was born on 21 December 1906 in...

    : 10 April 1956 – 10 April 1961
  • Sir Glyn Smallwood Jones
    Glyn Smallwood Jones
    Sir Glyn Smallwood Jones, GCMG, MBE , was a British colonial administrator in Southern Africa. He was the last governor of Nyasaland from 1961 until it achieved independence in 1964. He served as the only Governor-General of Malawi from 1964 until it became a republic in 1966...

    : 10 April 1961 – 6 July 1964

External links

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