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Tanganyika Territory

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Title: Tanganyika Territory  
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Tanganyika Territory

League of Nations Mandate from 20 July 1922 until 18 April 1946 and thereafter United Nations trust territory until 9 December 1961[1]


Flag of Tanganyika

God Save the King/Queen
Capital Dar es Salaam
Languages English
Government Constitutional monarchy
 •  1922–1936 George V
 •  1936 Edward VIII
 •  1936–1952 George VI
 •  1952–1961 Elizabeth II
 •  1922–1925 Sir Horace Archer Byatt
 •  1925–1931 Sir Donald Charles Cameron
 •  1931–1934 Sir Sir George Stewart Symes
 •  1934–1938 Sir Sir Harold MacMichael
 •  1938–1941 Sir Mark Aitchison Young
Historical era 20th century
 •  Established 20 July 1922
 •  Disestablished 9 December 1961
Currency East African shilling
Today part of  Tanzania
League of Nations mandates in the Middle East and Africa, with nr. 11 representing Tanganyika.

Tanganyika was a territory administered by the United Kingdom from 1916 until 1961. The UK initially administered the territory as an occupying power with the Royal Navy and British Indian infantry seizing the territory from the Germans in 1916.[2] From 20 July 1922, British administration was formalised by Tanganyika being created a British League of Nations mandate. From 1946, it was administered by the UK as a United Nations trust territory.

Before the end of the First World War the territory was part of the German colony of German East Africa. After the war had broken out, the British invaded German East Africa, but were unable to defeat the German Army. The German leader in the African Great Lakes, Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck did not surrender until the German Empire had collapsed. After this the League of Nations gave control of the area to the United Kingdom who named their part of the earlier German area Tanganyika. The United Kingdom held Tanganyika as a League of Nations mandate until the end of the Second World War after which it was held as a United Nations trust territory. In 1961, Tanganyika gained its independence from the United Kingdom as Tanganyika, a Commonwealth realm. It became a republic a year later but stayed in the British Commonwealth of Nations. Tanganyika now forms part of the modern-day state of Tanzania.


The name "Tanganyika" is derived from the Swahili words tanga ("sail") and nyika ("uninhabited plain", "wilderness"). It might, therefore, be understood as a description of using Lake Tanganyika: "sail in the wilderness".[3]


In the second half of the 19th century, to European explorers and colonialists penetrating the African interior from Zanzibar, Tanganyika came to mean that country around the lake. In 1885, Germany declared that it intended to establish a protectorate, named German East Africa in the area, under the leadership of Carl Peters. When the Sultan of Zanzibar objected, German warships threatened to bombard his palace. Britain and Germany then agreed to divide the mainland into spheres of influence, and the Sultan was forced to acquiesce. After charges of brutality in the repression of the Maji Maji Rebellion of 1905, and reform under the leadership of Bernhard Dernburg in 1907, the colony became a model of colonial efficiency and commanded extraordinary loyalty among the indigenous peoples during the First World War. The German educational programme for native Africans, including elementary, secondary and vocational schools, was particularly notable, with standards unmatched elsewhere in tropical Africa.[4][5]

After the defeat of Germany in 1918 in World War I, German East Africa was divided among the victorious powers under the Treaty of Versailles. Apart from Rwanda and Burundi (assigned to Belgium) and the small Kionga Triangle (assigned to Portuguese Mozambique), the territory was transferred to British control. "Tanganyika" was adopted by the British as the name for its part of the former German East Africa.

In 1927, Tanganyika entered the East African Community. The country held its first elections in 1958 and 1959. The following year it was granted internal self-government and fresh elections were held. Both elections were won by the Tanganyika African National Union, which led the country to independence in December 1961. The following year a presidential election was held, with TANU leader Julius Nyerere emerging victorious.

See also


  1. ^ UK Government publication: "Mandated Territories" and "Trust Territories"
  2. ^ 7 Jul 1916 - Tanga occupied by Royal Navy and Indian Infantry - The Great War in Africa Association: Great War in East Africa – Chronology and articles
  3. ^ John Knouse: A Political World Gazetteer: Africa website accessed 1 May 2007.
  4. ^ East, John William. "The German Administration in East Africa: A Select Annotated Bibliography of the German Colonial Administration in Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi from 1884 to 1918." [London? 1989] 294 leaves. 1 reel of microfilm (negative.) Thesis submitted for the fellowship of the Library Association, London, November 1987."
  5. ^ Farwell, Byron. The Great War in Africa, 1914–1918. New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 1989. ISBN 0-393-30564-3

External links

  • The British Empire - Tanganyika

Further reading

  • Gordon-Brown, A., FRGS, (editor), The East Africa Year Book and Guide, London, 1954, 87pps, with maps.
  • Hill, J.F.R., and Moffett, J.P., Tanganyika – a Review of its Resources and their Development, published by the Government of Tanganyika, 1955, 924pps, with many maps.
  • Mwakikagile, Godfrey, Life in Tanganyika in The Fifties, New Africa Press, 2008, 428pps, with maps and photos.
  • Moffett, J.P., Handbook of Tanganyika, published by the Government of Tanganyika, 1958, 703pps, with maps.

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