Lesotho, Botswana, & Swaziland: The Former High Commission Territories in Southern Africaby Richard P. Stevens

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  • Lesotho, Botswana, &Swaziland: The Former High Commission Territories in Southern Africaby Richard P. StevensReview by: Harry A. Gailey, Jr.The American Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 4 (Apr., 1968), p. 1218Published by: Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1847522 .Accessed: 25/06/2014 02:46

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    MISSION TERRITORIES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA. By Richard P. Ste- vens. [The Praeger Library of African Affairs.] (New York: Frederick A. Praeger. I967. PP. 294. $7.50.)

    THIS is a brief, straightforward account of British administration in the High Commission Territories. It is essentially three long, separate essays, one for each territory. The same format is used for each presentation. This includes the early history of the areas before British rule, administrative practices through the I950's, the birth of political parties and constitution making through I965, and a concluding section on economic factors. Dr. H. George Henry wrote the excellent short economic segments. The title is somewhat misleading since the narrative ends before Lesotho and Botswana became independent.

    Mr. Stevens traces the political development of each territory after the reluctant British assumption of responsibility to the period of hasty constitution making of the I960's that prefaced independence. Although not specifically stressed by the author, the British record of vacillation, half measures, and refusals to establish effective mechanisms for advance toward clearly defined goals show through the narrative.

    South Africa's importance to each is shown in two ways. The first is the nega- tive reaction in Britain and in the territories to the racialist native policy. This factor more than any other caused Britain's retention of the enclaves after I9IO and ultimately its agreement to their independence. Equally important is the economic dependence of the territories, particularly Basutoland, upon the re- public. Therefore, the British had to foster constitutions and political parties for the new states that would continue good relations with the republic. This was important for Britain also, in order to balance its financial interests in the republic with its responsibilities toward the territories. The need for conservative, respon- sible governments led to anomalies such as the different constitutions for the Basuto and the Swazi. In the former case the paramount chief became a figure- head while the latest Swazi constitution recognizes the paramount chief's au- thoritarian position.

    The book falls somewhere between a textbook approach and a detailed scholarly analysis. This is obvious by the author's attempt to survey in one short book three complicated, diverse groups of people over a long span of time, and the use of few primary sources. Stevens should not be criticized, however, for this approach. There is a need for books that attempt to synthesize complex African developments for nonspecialists, particularly students. San lose State College HARRY A. GAILEY, JR.

    SOUTH AFRICA: AN IMPERIAL DILEMMA. NON-EUROPEANS AND THE BRITISH NATION, I902-I9I4. By Benjamin Sacks. ([Albuquerque:] University of New Mexico Press. I967. PP. xii, 356. $8.95.)

    THIS study describes the troubled conscience of the "British Nation" confronted with the dilemma: should Britain interfere to champion the nonwhites of South Africa at the risk of losing the imperial advantages of a loyal white Dominion?

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    Article Contentsp. 1218

    Issue Table of ContentsThe American Historical Review, Vol. 73, No. 4 (Apr., 1968), pp. i-vi+997-1357Front Matter [pp. ]Medieval Apocalypses as Historical Sources [pp. 997-1018]The Emergence of the Extreme Left in Lower Languedoc, 1848-1851: Social and Economic Factors in Politics [pp. 1019-1051]The Strategy of Southern Railroads [pp. 1052-1068]The Unification of Germany in East German Perspective [pp. 1069-1083]Notes and SuggestionsThe Jefferson-Adams Rupture and the First French Translation of John Adams' Defence [pp. 1084-1091]

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    Other Recent Publications [pp. 1274-1319]Association Notes [pp. 1320-1357]Back Matter [pp. ]


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