Definitions

Nyasaland

Nyasaland

[nyah-sah-land, nahy-as-uh-]
Nyasaland: see Malawi.

Nyasaland or the Nyasaland Protectorate, was a British protectorate which was established in 1907 when the former British Central Africa Protectorate changed its name to it.

Nyasaland's history was marked by numerous Malawi attempts to obtain independence from their British overlords. A growing European and US-educated African elite became increasingly vocal and politically active - first through associations, and after 1944, through the Nyasaland African Congress (NAC).

Population


The population at the 1911 census was: natives 969,183, Europeans 766, Asians 481. In March 1920 Europeans numbered 1,015 and Asians 515. The natives were estimated (1919) at 561,600 males and 664,400 females, a total of 1,216,000. Blantyre, the chief town, had some 300 European residents.

Colonial Economy

Cotton-growing was the chief industry, though from 1918 onward it was being supplanted by tobacco. In 1916-7 the export of cotton reached 3,462,000 lb.; it fell to 866,000 lb. in 1917-8 (largely owing to shipping restrictions), rose again to 2,670,000 lb. in 1918-9, but in 1919-20 dropped to 930,000 lb. Increasing attention was given to tea, while coffee was largely discarded. (The export of coffee which was 748,000 lb. in 1909-10 had fallen to 113,000 lb. in 1918-9.) The disfavour into which cotton fell was partly due to the neglect to use selected seed and to other errors in cultivation, but also to the fact that, where soil and climate suited both crops, tobaccogrowing was more profitable. After some unfortunate experiences arrangements were made in 1917 for the fumigation of the tobacco before shipment, with the result that the crop thereafter, in normal circumstances, commanded a high price in the markets of Great Britain. The export of tobacco was 4,304,000 lb. in 1916-7, fell to 2,025,000 lb. the following year, was 5,800,000 lb. in 1918-9 and 4,34 0, 000 lb. in 1919-20. Both cotton and coffee were largely cultivated by native farmers as well as by the European planters.

List of Nyasaland Governors

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