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by whitneyhart
Last updated 7 years ago

Social Studies

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What does 'Zimbabwe' mean?In the late 11th Century, rulers of Zimbabwe began to reside in stone houses on top of a hill in an area that is now known as Great Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe obtained its name from the Shona word for ‘stone houses’ because of these rulers. Originally the word Zimbabwe was only used to describe the houses of the chiefs, but it eventually extrapolated to the entire country.


The territory settled by the BSA was named Rhodesia after Cecil Rhodes. The area known as Southern Rhodesia became Zimbabwe once it gained independence.

Timeline of Major Events1888 - Cecil Rhodes forms agreement with natives (Shona) to mine gold1889 - British South Africa Company (BSA) chartered to settle land1923 - BSA charter ends leaving white minority government1953 - Central African Federation (CAF)1963 - Collapse of CAF1965 - Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain1972-1979 - Civil War1980 - True Independence following multiracial elections

Colonialism(British Rule)

Zimbabwe's National Anthem

Robert Mugabe Independence Speech, 1980

Britain would not give up control of Soutern Rhodesia unless they were assured the government would include blacks.

Pre-ColonialismZimbabwe was originally pioneered by the Portuguese in 1511. In the late 1500s the Portuguese began to be more heavily involved in Zimbabwe, and they were welcome for a time. The Portuguese brought their religion, Christianity, with them and worked as missionaries to the people of Zimbabwe.

The white minority government in Zimbabwe stripped the blacks of their rights and caused turmoil.

Conflict DiamondsThe mining of diamonds in the Marange diamond fields has caused many human rights violations. Forced labor has been employed, and workers are often beaten and killed. This is a current issue in Zimbabwe as the government is trying to use the diamonds as a major source of revenue.

CultureThe official language of Zimbabwe is Shona. Christianity is the most widespread religion, but many people still believe the traditional beliefs of their ancestors. Music and art are very integral parts of their culture. The mbira is an instrument created in Zimbabwe that is often found in their music. Shona stone sculptures are their most widespread form of art.

EconomyThe primary exports of Zimbabwe are tobacco and nickel. Mining is a major source of goods including both gold and diamonds. The primary currency is now the US Dollar after a major inflation crisis in the 2000s.

Zimbabwe celebrates its independence yearly, and 2014 marked its 34th year of independence.

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Bibliography (Scroll to view):"History of Zimbabwe." n.d. Zimbabwe Government Online. Web. 21 May 2014."History of Zimbabwe." n.d. History World. Web. 22 May 2014."Mbira." n.d. Our Africa. Web. 31 May 2014."Mugabe’s independence day speech 1980." n.d. SW Radio Africa. Web. 30 May 2014.Nicolson, Greg. "Blood diamond trail leads to loopholes in Kimberley Process." 5 June 2013. The Guardian. Web. 31 May 2014."Rhodesia gains independence as Zimbabwe." n.d. South African History Online. Web. 29 May 2014."Zimbabwe." n.d. Our Africa. Web. 22 May 2014."Zimbabwe." n.d. Britannica Academic Edition. Web. 24 May 2014."Zimbabwe: History." n.d. GlobalEdge. Web. 24 May 2014.


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