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History, Tanganyika

Nilotic peoples, Lettow-Vorbeck, Chagga, republican constitution, British governors

Tanganyika, populated by many Bantu groups, such as the Chagga, Hehe, Gogo, Yao, and Nyamwezi, and by the Masai and other Nilotic peoples, was defined by a series of treaties between European states in the decade after 1886. These ignored the claims of the sultan of Zanzibar, giving the Germans control over the vast reaches of Tanganyika and reserving Kenya and Uganda for Britain. After putting down African resistance to their rule, the Germans invested heavily in Tanganyika, hoping to convert the northern part into profitable coffee and tea plantations. The onset of World War I in 1914 ended these plans. German East Africa became a major theater of operations, in which General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck tied down about a quarter of a million British and colonial troops with a makeshift force of 12,000 Africans and 4,000 Germans before finally capitulating in 1918. Tanganyika then became a mandate of the League of Nations under British tutelage. The actions of the British governors in the 1920s kept European colonization to a minimum; thus, unlike neighboring Kenya, Tanganyika did not develop a race problem. The results of this enlightened attitude were evident in the transition period before independence. The major party, the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), led by Julius Nyerere, was a moderate organization; its appeal cut across ethnic and national lines. Nyerere became prime minister when Tanganyika was granted independence in December 1961; one year later the new nation adopted a republican constitution, with Nyerere as its president.

Article key phrases:

Nilotic peoples, Lettow-Vorbeck, Chagga, republican constitution, British governors, Julius Nyerere, German East Africa, race problem, General Paul, TANU, colonial troops, European colonization, League of Nations, major party, Masai, tea plantations, new nation, Gogo, European states, Hehe, mandate, Uganda, Yao, transition period, independence, prime minister, Africans, appeal, Britain, rule, quarter, president, claims, plans, minimum, decade, year, results, actions


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