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British South Africa Company

From Academic Kids

The British South Africa Company (BSAC) was established by Cecil Rhodes, receiving a royal charter in 1889. Modeling it on the British East India Company, he hoped it would enable colonisation and economic exploitation in southern Africa, as part of the Scramble for Africa.

It recruited its own army, and attacked and defeated the Matabele and Shona north of the Limpopo river. It was the first time in history Britons have used the Maxim gun in combat (five Maxims to five thousand Ndbele casualties). The company carved out (and for the following three decades administred) a territory which it named Zambezia, and later, Rhodesia.

In 1914 the charter was renewed, on condition that settlers in Rhodesia were given increased political rights. In 1923, Britain chose not to renew the BSA Co's charter, and instead accorded 'self-governing' colony status to Southern Rhodesia (today, Zimbabwe) and protectorate status to Northern Rhodesia (today, Zambia).

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