Struggle for Kenya: The Loss and Reassertion of Imperial Initiative, 1912-1923

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Struggle for Kenya details the evolution of British policy toward Kenya for the period 1912 to 1923. This was a particularly important time, for during the First World War, London lost the initiative in imperial affairs to Kenya's colonial state and European settlers. The postwar era dawned with the possibility that a settler state might take root in Kenya. However, this possibility touched off an intense struggle over imperial policy toward Kenya, and the direction in which the colony seemed to be heading. Protest and pressure from diverse groups helped push the imperial government to reassert control over Kenya. In this work, author Robert M. Maxon describes that process, and demonstrates what was most responsible for the Colonial Office regaining the initiative in the colony. In 1912, the British government, through the Colonial Office, was clearly in control in its relations with the East African Protectorate (which, after 1920, became Kenya). With the start of World War I, the Colonial Office rapidly lost the initiative to Kenya's colonial state and the European settlers resident there. Most responsible for this were the Colonial Office's rapid loss of control over military operations in East Africa, a general lack of interest in Kenya by the Secretaries of State for the Colonies during the war, and the economic gains made by settler agriculture during the conflict. These gains, the postwar stance taken by the Kenya government in support of settler economic and political demands, and the settler's desire for minority self-government provoked a period of intense struggle over the direction of imperial policy toward Kenya that exposed the imperial government's loss of control. As a result of that struggle, which involved protests from Kenya, India, and Great Britain, the Colonial Office finally intervened to regain the initiative in Kenya policy in 1922 and 1923 through the replacing of governor Sir Edward Northey, the development of a new policy agenda for
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780838634868
  • Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1993
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 351
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.36 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations 9
List of Maps and Tables 11
Preface 13
1 The Colonial Office and Kenya 19
The CO 19
Struggle for Kenya: The CO and External Pressure Groups in Britain 25
The CO and the EAP 29
The CO and Sir Percy Girouard 36
2 Belfield and the CO Before the War, 1912-14 43
Belfield Takes Over 43
Belfield and Settler Political Demands 46
The Indian Question 52
In Search of a Land Policy for the EAP 54
Befield's Implementation of CO Land Policy 58
The CO's Favorable Assessment of Belfield 63
Labor 65
African Reserves 71
Economic Development 73
The CO in Control 78
3 The CO Loses Control, 1914-16 79
The CO and the War in East Africa 79
Land 82
Registration 85
Changes at the CO 86
The Settlers, Belfield, and the War 88
The Settlement of Ex-Soldiers 94
The War and Economic Changes 98
4 The Continued Lack of CO Direction, 1917-18 103
The War and Its Impact on African and European Production 103
Changes in Command 109
Settlers and Political Representation 112
Indian Protest 118
Other Issues Deferred 120
The Appointment of a New Governor 124
5 General Northey on the Offensive, 1919-20 128
Changes at the CO 128
Economic Realities 130
The Soldier Settlement Scheme 140
Labor Shortage and the Colonial State's Response 145
The CO and Northey's Labor Circular 150
Settler Political Gains 158
The Indian Question Emerges 160
Continued Indian Dissatisfaction and the CO Response 165
The Uasin Gishu Railway Project 174
The EAP Becomes a Colony 179
Currency and Exchange 181
6 The CO Regains the Initiative, 1921-22 190
Changes at the CO 191
The Continuing Labor Controversy 193
Currency and Exchange 199
The Failure of the Shilling Swindle 204
African Protest 209
The Continued Problem of Indian Demands 213
Seeking a New Policy 219
The CO Tries Again 224
Kenya's Continuing Economic Difficulties 230
Questioning Settler Paramountcy 232
Northey's Last Battle 240
The Exit of a Governor 243
7 The CO Takes Control, 1922-23 247
Kenya's New Governor 247
Seeking a Solution to the Indian Question 248
New Leadership at the CO 253
Wood-Winterton Once More 254
The Threat of a Settler Rebellion 256
Support for African Production 267
Settlement of the Indian Question 270
8 Conclusion 280
Notes 286
Bibliography 338
Index 345
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