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Indirect rule in Kenya

In this topic, we shall discuss the framework of central administration used by the British in Kenya. We are also going to identify the reasons why the the British used indirect rule and the effects of indirect rule in Kenya.

A traditional chief

Prior Knowledge

In the last topic, we discussed the various responses of Kenyan Communities to the establishment of colonial rule. These were:


1. Resistance


2. Collaboration and


3. Mixed reactions

In this lesson, we shall discuss the colonial sytem of administration in Kenya.

Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

(a) Discuss the British system of indirect rule in Kenya


British Indirect rule in Kenya

Indirect rule in Kenya

As discussed earlier, Indirect rule was a British system of administration where African chiefs who were in power before the coming of the British were allowed to continue ruling under the British District Commissioners.

An African chief

Central Administration

In order to effectively administor Kenya, the British government introduced a central government which had the following structure:


What was the role of African Chiefs in the colonial administration setup? African chiefs worked under District officers. Some the african chiefs had been in power before colonization. The African chiefs had the following duties:

1) Solving petty disputes among Africans

2) Maintaining law and order

3) Collection of taxes

4) Mobilizing African labour for public works

5) Explaining colonial government policies to the people

6) Organizing public Barazas

Central Administration

In order to effectively administor Kenya, the British government introduced a central government which had the following structure:

• The colonial secretary based in London
• The Governor or Chief executive officer based in Nairobi
• The Provincial commissioners who were in charge of provinces
• District commissioners who were in charge of districts
• Division officers.


What was the role of African Chiefs in the colonial administration setup? African chiefs worked under District officers. Some the african chiefs had been in power before colonization. The african chiefs had the following duties:
• Solving petty disputes among Africans
• Maintaining law and order
• Collection of taxes
• Mobilizing African labour for public works
• Explaining colonial government policies to the people
• Organizing public Barazas

Why the British used indirect rule in Kenya

Reasons for Indirect Rule in Kenya

There were several reasons that made the British to apply indirect rule in Kenya. Some of them are:

1) It was cheap because African Chiefs did not require to be paid high salaries

2) The British controlled many colonies and suffered lack of enough personnel

3) There was less resistance from Africans because they were being ruled by their fellow African chiefs

4) Due to poor transport and communication network, the British could not access some of the rural areas

5) The system was already successful in other areas, for example, India.

Effects of Indirect rule in Kenya

Indirect rule had several effects both on the Africans and Europeans. some of these effects were:

1) The appointed African chiefs facilitated implementation of colonial laws

2) It made African communities to remain divided as the appointed chiefs supported colonial administration

3) The british policy of divide and rule led to isolation of Africans along tribal lines to serve british interests

4) The creation of chiefs in the former stateless societies made them mediators between the ruler and the riuled. This led to colonial misrule whereby Africans suffered from unpopular colonial laws

5) Independed rule prepared Africans for future responsibilities after independence.


Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

(a) Define the term indirect rule

(b) Give reasons for indirect rule in Nigeria

(c) Explain how indirect rule was applied

(d) Analyse the effects of indirect rule in Nigeria


British Indirect rule in Nigeria

In this lesson, we shall learn about Indirect rule in Nigeria. We shall define Indirect rule, reasons for the application of indirect rule in Nigeria, how it was applied and its effects. What is Indirect rule? Indirect Rule was a British system of administration where African chiefs who were in power before the coming of the British were allowed to continue ruling under the British Administrators.

Map showing Nigeria

Reasons for Indirect rule in Nigeria

Listen to the following conversation between Captain Lugard and the Colonial Secretary.


How Indirect rule was applied

Different European powers used different methods to apply their rule in Africa. In Northern Nigeria, indirect rule was applied using the following methods:

1) Northern Nigeria was divided into Emirates headed by Emirs.

2) Emirs were left to rule their own people.

3) Fredrick Lugard assured the Emirs that the British did not intend to replace them hence they cooperated.

4) Lugard allowed the Emirs to impose and collect taxes as before.

5) They were also allowed to judge cases in their courts.

6) The Emirs retained their powers to appoint officials in charge of villages.

6) In each Province, Lugard created a protectorate court to serve as a Court of Appeal presided over by Africans.

Challenges in Administration of Indirect rule

Challenges of Indirect Rule in Southern Nigeria

Indirect rule was faced by several challenges while being applied in Nigeria. Some of these challenges were:

1) Southern Nigeria had many different ethnic groups with diverse political and religious systems.

2) The attempt by Fredrick Lugard to give more powers to the Yoruba traditional leaders proved futile.

3) Egba Community resisted paying taxes.

4) Among the Ibo Community Lugard had appointed Young Mission Educated men to the position of Emirs were opposed by the elders.

5) There was no common language in the South because Elite used English while others used their local languages.

Effects of Indirect rule

Effects of Indirect rule

Indirect rule in Southern Nigeria affected africans and Europeans in several ways:

1) The role of African traditional rulers was transformed.

2) The indigenous systems of administration and justice was modernized by the British.

3) African chiefs accumulated a lot of wealth at the expense of their people.

4) Developments like introduction of Christianity, western education and technology took time before gaining root.

5) Indirect Rule created suspicion and mistrust between the educated elite and traditional chiefs.

6) Indirect Rule helped to preserve African culture.


Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

- Discuss the British Colonial System of Direct Rule in Zimbabwe


DIRECT RULE IN ZIMBABWE

In this lesson, we will discuss the British colonial system with reference to Zimbabwe formerly known as Southern Rhodesia. We shall define direct rule, identify reasons for direct rule, process and effects of the same. Direct Rule was a system that involved the use of European administrators in all the units of administration form the highest to the lowest. It was used in colonies with a large white population and in areas that faced constant revolts against European colonial rule.

Reasons for Direct Rule in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe was one of the colonies where the British extensively used Direct Rule because of the following reasons:

1) Zimbabwe had a large white population

2) The Africans especially the Ndebele kept on revolting against colonial rule

3) The British South Africa Company had enough personnel for administration

4) They wanted to fully exploit the natural resources

5) The traditional system of administration was dismantled and the local chiefs were deprived of their powers.

6) Europeans never intended Zimbabwe to be given independence at any time

Processes of Direct Rule in Zimbabwe

A process is the way things are done. British Direct Rule in Zimbabwe began effectively on 4th November 1893. The British South Africa Company hoisted the Union Flag and by 1895, the new British Colony was named Rhodesia after Cecil Rhodes. The administration was authoritative and managed by the white minorities.

The structure used in administering Zimbabwe was as follows;

1) The highest officer in Zimbabwe was the Governor who was under the Colonial Secretary

2) There was a legislative council that was dominated by white minority

3) The Prime Minister controlled the legislature and the Cabinet that was made up of only whites

4) There were magistrates who dealt with issues affecting the settlers

5) There were Native Commissioners who settled cased involving Africans

6) The Native Affairs Department was equivalent to a district under a white officer assisted by African chiefs

7) The chiefs had no powers but were supported to implement orders from the Native Commissioners.


Effects of Direct Rule in Zimbabwe

The application of Direct Rule in Zimbabwe had the following effects:

1) Settlement of whites who took most of the fertile land

2) Africans were displaced to semi-arid reserves

3) The power and authority of African traditional chiefs was undermined

4) It led to imposition of heavy taxes on Africans

5) Africans were subjected to forced labour

6) African economic activities were disrupted

7) Racial segregation legalized the oppression of Africans by the whites.

8) Unilateral declaration of independence by Ian Smith in 1965 delayed the attainment of real independence in Zimbabwe upto 1980.



Objectives

By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:


1. Define the term assimilation


2. Explain the characteristics of assimilation policy


3. Identify factors for the failure of the assimilation policy


4. Analyze the effects of assimilation policy


Quiz

Drag and drop the communes in their respective places on the map on Senegal provided where assimilation was applied.

Assimilation: The French in Senegal

Assimilation means "similar" or to "resemble". This meant that the assimilated Africans were the same as the Europeans in terms of culture. Assimilation policy meant that the assimilated Africans acquired the same status as the French people.


Map of Senegal showing the four communes.

The assimilated Africans had the following privileges:

1) Were granted French citizenship

2) Were treated as African Frenchmen

3) Enjoyed educational opportunities like the Frenchmen

4) Were employed in the French civil service

5) Enjoyed the same voting rights as the Frenchmen

6) Could send representatives to represent them in the French chamber of deputies

7) Enjoyed similar trading rights like Frenchmen

8) Were exempted from forced labour, taxation and other forms of discrimination.

Characteristics of Assimilation Policy

Assimilation policy was an administration policy used by the French which was intended to create Frenchmen out of Black Africans. The main characteristics of this type of administration were as follows:

1) Colonies were regarded as oversees departments of France

2) The colonized people were to adopt the French culture

3) Colonies elected representatives to the French parliament

4) There were common legal practices in French colonies with those of france

5) French language was used as the official language for communication

6)Introduction of French system of education

7)Attempt to transform the Africans in Senegal into Frenchmen in black skins

The assimilated Africans had the following privileges:

1) Were granted French citizenship

2) Were treated as African Frenchmen

3) Enjoyed educational opportunities like the Frenchmen

4) Were employed in the French civil service

5) Enjoyed the same voting rights as the Frenchmen

6) Could send representatives to represent them in the French chamber of deputies

7) Enjoyed similar trading rights like Frenchmen

8) Were exempted from forced labour, taxation and other forms of discrimination



Listen to the French National Anthem


Factors that led to the failure of Assimilation Policy

Assimilation policy failed in West Africa because cultures cannot die overnight, which is what the French wanted and most of the French nationals were also opposed to the idea of elavating Africans to their equals. Other factors that resulted to the failure of this policy are as follows:

1) It was an expensive policy to implement and sustain

2) The policy was confined to the four communes of Senegal while the interior was not affected

3) Cultural differences between the Africans and the French such as polygamy among the Africans and monogamy among the French

4) Racial discrimination whereby the French resented the idea of equality with Africans

5) Fear of economic rivalry with Africans as it would bring competition

6) Increased dissatisfaction from the African elite elected to the French parliament for they were discriminated by their French counterparts

7) African rejected the policy on religious grounds since they were Muslims and French were Christians

8) Differences between the French legal system and African customary laws in relation to inheritance, divorce, marriage.


Effects of Assimilation Policy

The assimilation policy had several effects on the people of France and Africa.

1) The policy of assimilation undermined African culture

2) The authority of the traditional African leaders were eroded

3) The colony was incorporated into the French republic

4) Africans in Senegal were allowed to participate in the political matters of France

5) The assimilation policy frustrated the spread of Islam especially in the French quarter communes

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