On the politics of settler politics: Fall Makhete, Early Political Discord in Kenya: European Settlers’ Political Struggles in the East Africa Protectorate, 1902-1912, PhD Dissertation, West Virginia University, 2016


Abstract: This study of European settlers’ political struggles encompasses a ten-year period (1902-12) during which the foundations of Kenya’s modern politics were established. The dissertation follows political contestation originating from the East Africa Protectorate’s small European settler community during the administrations of four commissioners/governors. The politics of this period involved varied individuals and organizations that sought to move the colonial state in the direction of policies European politicians advocated in such critical areas as land and labor, the administration of justice, and in the system of government that applied to them and other residents of the protectorate. The settler politicians pushed for a voice in protectorate affairs on the way to the achievement of responsible government on the pattern of South Africa, from which so many of them came to the Kenya highlands. The drive to attain a “white man’s country” that marked this decade was thus very critical for future politics. The segregated system demanded by the Europeans had a huge impact on Kenyan history as did the types of organizations they founded and the tactics they adopted. Nevertheless, the European political struggles, while influential, never led to European political control and the establishment of a minority-ruled Kenya as the political agitation did not cause the Colonial Office to bow to the settler politicians’ demands.

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