British South Africa Company


British South Africa Company
   A venture controlled by Cecil Rhodes and chartered by Lord Salisburys Conservative government in 1889. Rhodes’ aim was to take control of a large expanse of African territory up to and including the area of the Zambezi, largely for mineral exploration. The government’s aim was to place the area under British suzerainty, excluding such competitors as the Germans and the Portuguese, without incurring the costs of ruling it or the need to ask Parliament for money. The British South Africa Company was one of a number of such chartered companies - companies holding semi-sovereign power over a territory - created in the final two decades of the nineteenth century for similar reasons, other examples being the Royal Niger Company and the Imperial British East Africa Company. Rhodes’s South Africa Company became the best-known, and certainly the most notorious, nineteenthcentury chartered company, although it never made the fortune anticipated by its shareholders.
   Advocates of chartered companies looked back to the conquest of India by the East India Company; anti-imperialists often drew a similar parallel. It was in deference to Victorian opinion that the company’s charter promised free trade and the abolition of slavery within its territories. The British South Africa Company took over the so-called Rudd concession, a mining concession obtained from the Matabele (or Ndebele) king Lobengula under arguably fraudulent terms, as its main asset. It was under the auspices of the company that the Rhodesian “pioneer column” moved into what became Rhodesia in 1890, establishing Fort Salisbury (now Harare.) As formally a sovereign power in its own right, the British South Africa Company had its own armed force, the British South Africa Company Police. The Company’s Police fought and won, with support from other British forces, the Matabele Wars of 1893 and 1896 against the forces of Lobengula, who had rapidly come to regret his concession. They were also used by L. S. Jameson, a prominent associate of Rhodes, in his abortive 1896 Jameson Raid. Although the company had a great deal to do with the expansion of British power into southern and central Africa - Rhodes’ “great dream of the north” - and with subsequent “Cape to Cairo” schemes, it rapidly became unpopular with the settlers living under its rule. Its shares oscillated wildly on the London exchange, leading to justified charges that they were being manipulated and giving a fillip to the credibility of theories of capitalist imperialism, but it did not pay a dividend until 1924, the year after the white settlers of Rhodesia had been granted responsible government and the company’s rule terminated.
   See also <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Pakenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Avon Books, 1992;
    Rotberg, Robert. The Founder: Cecil Rhodes and the Pursuit of Power. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988;
    Wheatcroft, Geoffrey. The Randlaords. New York: Atheneum, 1985.
   MARK F. PROUDMAN

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • British South Africa Company — Company logo and flag Former type Public …   Wikipedia

  • British South Africa Company — Logo de British South Africa Company Création 1889 Disparition …   Wikipédia en Français

  • British South Africa Company — Der Koloß von Rhodos, Karikatur von Cecil Rhodes und Afrika von Kairo nach Kapstadt. Die von Cecil Rhodes gegründete Britisch Südafrikanische Gesellschaft (Englisch Südafrikanische Gesellschaft, British South Africa Company, auch kurz Chartered… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • British South Africa Company — ▪ British company       mercantile company, based in London, that was incorporated in 1889 under a royal charter at the instigation of Cecil Rhodes (Rhodes, Cecil), with the object of acquiring and exercising commercial and administrative rights… …   Universalium

  • British South Africa Company Medal — Infobox Military Award name=British South Africa Company Medal caption= awarded by=British South Africa Company type=Medal eligibility=First Matabele War, Second Matabele War, and the Pioneer Column for=Service in the Matabele Wars campaign=… …   Wikipedia

  • British South African Company — British South Africa Company Armoiries de la BSAC …   Wikipédia en Français

  • British South Africa Police — Infobox Military Unit unit name=British South Africa Police caption=Emblem of the British South Africa Police. country=Rhodesia allegiance=Republic of Rhodesia type=Police branch=Police, Rhodesian Bush War dates=1899 ndash;December 31, 1980… …   Wikipedia

  • British South Africa Police — La British South Africa Police (BSAP), police de la British South Africa Company (BSAC) de Cecil Rhodes devint celle de la Rhodésie du Sud, puis celle de la Rhodésie (aujourd’hui Zimbabwe). Sommaire 1 Origines 2 Modernisation 2.1 UDI …   Wikipédia en Français

  • La British South Africa Police — British South Africa Police La British South Africa Police (BSAP), police de la British South Africa Company (BSAC) de Cecil Rhodes devint celle de la Rhodésie du Sud, puis celle de la Rhodésie (aujourd’hui Zimbabwe). Sommaire 1 Origines 2… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Imperial British East Africa Company — The Imperial British East Africa Company (IBEAC) was the administrator of British East Africa, which was the forerunner of the East Africa Protectorate, later Kenya. The IBEAC was a commercial association founded to develop African trade in the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.