150209 History Talk 9th Feb 2015: Cecil Rhodes

Date: Monday  9th Feb 2015 10:30

Location: Salón de Actos, Espai la Senieta, Moraira (next to the large free car park)

Subject: Cecil Rhodes; The Man Who Gave His Name To Rhodesia

Lecturer: Dee Craig

This slice of the history of the British Empire is no longer remembered by schoolchildren. Rhodesia is of course, now known as Zimbabwe, and the story of its origins, along with the history of the Empire generally, is no longer a fashionable subject for study in these politically correct times.

It was not so in the last decade of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th centuries.

By the 1880’s, only one country, home to the hard-fighting Matabele nation remained ripe for exploitation. The discovery of Gold in the Transvaal in 1886 sparked friction, not only with the native tribes, but also with other powerful European countries. And so it was to be with this new source of potential riches.

Cecil Rhodes, awarded a Royal Charter in 1889, was determined, as he himself said, to ensure that this new land was “painted in red on the map of the world”. And so it was to be.

As it turned out however, there was little gold and the country, won after much trauma and bloodshed, and named after him never quite achieved the power of his dreams.

Dee will take us on what is sure to be an interesting, illustrated journey through these turbulent times.

Brian Nicholls