Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Committee Member

Michelle Tusan

Number of Pages



This work foremost attempts to understand why federation failed in British Central Africa. Federations had been implemented throughout the British Empire to great success, for nearly a century. As such, this project frames the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland within the larger relationship of Great Britain and its overseas holdings. Of particular interest is the assignment of power to the colonies and the metropole in determining the institution's structure and collapse; This project will argue that contrary to previous histories on the Federation, institutional failures were not the root causes of disintegration. Larger ideological forces were at play on the African continent. The lack of firm support for multiracialism by the British government and the general pubic left the Federation at the whim of white and black nationalisms. Fundamental to this ideological struggle was a shift away from Great Britain as the metropole, with the colonies themselves becoming the center. This led to a nascent national identity, particularly among white settlers.


African; Central; Experiment; Failed; Federation; Governance; Imperial

Controlled Subject

Colonies; Imperialism; Europe; Africa; History; Rhodesia and Nyasaland

File Format


File Size

6584.32 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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