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Land to the people: Peasants and nationalism in the development of land ownership structure in Zimbabwe from pre-colonialism to the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) period.

Mupfuvi, BM 2014, Land to the people: Peasants and nationalism in the development of land ownership structure in Zimbabwe from pre-colonialism to the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) period. , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

The space between the Zambezi and Limpopo Rivers now known as Zimbabwe is a diverse state endowed with diverse ethnicities. The vast majority of the people in this space were peasants and cultivators in pre-colonial times. These peasants had a strong attachment to land because of its psycho-spiritual significance as the abode of the ancestors and other natural resources. One of the ethnic groups in this space, the Shona, had a strong attachment to land for cattle which were very important in the Shona traditional religion. The inhabitants of the space Between the Zambezi and Limpopo also traded, specialized in crafts and did small-scale mining. Trade was practiced over a wide area during the Great Zimbabwe period (11th-15th century) with Zimbabwean gold found as far away as China, and Chinese and Syrian goods imported into the country. With the opening of the African continent to overseas trade the peasants took up the cultivation of export crops in exchange for imported goods. The advent of colonialism in the land now called Zimbabwe affected the peasants’ way of life in a big way. Indigenous people suffered extremely as a result of colonial land policy which characterised the transition to western-style capitalism in the country. The British South Africa Company (BSAC), representing international capitalism, carved out large areas of land for themselves thereby affecting the close relationship between land, cattle, traditional religion and the local inhabitants. Land ownership between the colonial administrators and indigenous people created conflict which ultimately stimulated black nationalism in the country. This work therefore examines the relationship between the peasantry and nationalism, and shows how conflict over resources can motivate stronger collective action which may lead the conflict to escalate into an armed national struggle as portrayed by the First (1896-7) and Second (1966-79) Chimurenga (War of liberation) in Zimbabwe.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Scarf, PA (Supervisor)
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: BM Mupfuvi
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 17:10
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 18:16
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/32003

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