- The British name for Botswana, a land-locked territory of southern Africa dominated by the Kalahari Desert and home of the indigenous Tswana people, whom the British called the Bechuana. The Great Trek of the Boer settlers northward put the Tswana at risk of losing their land, but when the Boers declared a protectorate over the region the British forced the Boers out in 1885. Cecil Rhodes secured a royal charter for the British South Africa Company in Bechuanaland in 1889, and in 1891 London declared the Bechuanaland Protectorate under the jurisdiction of the high commissioner for South Africa. The various Tswana tribes applied to London for the recovery of their autonomy, and the five major tribes were granted reserves within which they governed themselves while paying taxes to Britain for protection.FURTHER READING:Were, Gideon S. A History of South Africa. London: Evans Brothers, 1982.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.