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European Influence, Rise of British Control

Mwanga, kabaka, religious factions, Buganda, European nations

The unsettled situation in Buganda was further complicated by competition between Britain and Germany during the Scramble for Africa, in which European nations rushed to claim African territory near the end of the 19th century. Under the Treaty of Helgoland in 1890, Germany ceded its interests in Uganda to Britain, whose government had given responsibility for governing and exploiting the area to the Imperial British East Africa Company. The company’s representative, Captain Frederick Lugard, negotiated a treaty with Mwanga and Catholic and Protestant chiefs in 1891, but the two religious factions remained hostile. To strengthen the company’s position, Lugard recruited a force of Sudanese troops in western Uganda, signing treaties with the kings of Ankole and Toro along the way and thus bringing these areas into the company’s jurisdiction. With his new soldiers—and two machine guns—Lugard and his Protestant allies from Buganda provoked and won a battle against the Catholics in 1892, thus establishing Protestant political supremacy in Buganda and later in Uganda as a whole. Mwanga remained kabaka, but had to sign a treaty accepting British “protection” in 1893.

Article key phrases:

Mwanga, kabaka, religious factions, Buganda, European nations, machine guns, Toro, Scramble, Catholics, treaties, battle, Britain, Germany, century, competition, government, end, responsibility, interests, way, areas, protection


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