History of Malawi

Brief history of Malawi summarized

A brief and pleasant review of the entire history of Malawi, an African country.

Old malawi

Two thousand years ago there was a simple stone age culture in Malawi. The people lived by hunting and gathering. However, in the 4th century AD the Bantus arrived in the area and introduced iron tools and weapons. They also introduced agriculture.

In the 15th century the people who lived south of Lake Nyasa began to build an empire. They created an empire called the Maravi. In the 18th century the Maravi Empire included parts of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. However, in the 18th century the Maravi Empire disintegrated.

Meanwhile, in the 16th century, the Portuguese arrived in the Maravi Empire. The people of the empire sold them slaves and ivory. The Portuguese brought maize (originally a South American crop) to this part of Africa.

In the 18th and early 19th centuries, a people from northern Mozambique called the Yao raided Malawi and took captives to sell to the Arabs as slaves.

In the 1840s a fierce people called the Ngoni invaded the area. They frequently fought against the Yao.

British Malawi

In 1859 David Livingstone, the Scottish explorer and missionary, arrived at Lake Nyasa. Following it in 1873, two Scottish Presbyterian missionary societies built missions in the area. More missionaries followed, and British merchants began selling goods in the region. In 1883 Great Britain sent a consul to the area.

Gradually, the British took control of Malawi. In 1889 they formed the Shire Highlands Protectorate and in 1891 most of Malawi became the British Central Africa Protectorate. The first curator was Harry Johnston. The British ended the slave trade and created coffee plantations. In 1897 Johnston was replaced by Alfred Sharpe.

In 1907 the British named Malawi Nyasaland. Also in 1907 Nyasaland received a legislative council. The commissioner was appointed governor. Alfred Sharpe retired in 1910.

When World War I began, Germans from Tanzania invaded Nyasaland, Malawi, but were repelled. However, in January 1915, a man named John Chilembwe led a rebellion in Malawi that was quickly crushed.

During World War II, nearly 30,000 Malawians served in the armed forces.

However, as Africans became more and more educated, they became increasingly dissatisfied with being ruled by Europeans. In 1944 they formed the Nyasaland African Congress. In 1949, native Malawians were allowed to sit on the legislative council for the first time.

In 1953 the British joined Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and Nyasaland (Malawi) into a single unit called the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

In 1958, Dr. Hasting Banda became the President of the African Congress, which in 1959 was renamed the Malawi Congress Party. There were many protests against British rule and as a result a state of emergency was declared. (During this time Banda was jailed for a time.)

However, the British realized that Malawi’s independence was inevitable. In 1961, the Malawi Congress Party won elections to the legislative council, and in 1962 the British agreed to make Malawi independent. The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved in 1963. Malawi became independent on July 6, 1964.

Independent Malawi

Banda was originally Prime Minister of Malawi. In 1966, Malawi became a republic. The British Queen ceased to be head of state and Banda became president.

Under British rule, Zomba was the capital of Malawi. In 1975 Lilongwe became the capital.

For economic reasons, Banda was keen to maintain good relations with South Africa. In 1967 she established diplomatic relations. This move was unpopular because South Africa then had an apartheid system. However, Banda visited South Africa in 1971.

In addition, the Banda government became a dictatorship. In 1971 he became President of Malawi for life. All dissidents were ruthlessly crushed. Letters and phone calls were censored. So were movies and magazines.

However, like other African dictators, Banda himself was very rich, while most of his people were very poor. Banda owned palaces, cars and even helicopters.

Then, in 1992, Malawi suffered from a severe drought. Not surprisingly, violent protests broke out in Malawi. Some Western countries also suspended aid. Malawian churches also denounced the situation.

Finally, in 1993, Banda was forced to hold a referendum. People were asked if they wanted to continue with one party rule or return to democracy. The vast majority voted in favor of democracy. Thus, the elections were held on May 17, 1993. Bilki Muluzi became the new president.

XXI century

Today, many people in Malawi are subsistence farmers. The main crops are cassava, sorghum and corn. There is also a lot of cattle and sheep. Malawi also has many white-owned plantations. Products include tea, tobacco, sugar, cotton and peanuts.

Many Malawians also make a living from fishing in Lake Malawi. In addition, Malawi has great potential for tourism. It has several national parks.

In 2004 Bingu wa Mutharika was elected President of Malawi and began an anti-corruption campaign. In 2012 Joyce Banda became the first female president of Malawi.

Meanwhile, in the early 21st century, Malawi achieved steady economic growth. Although Malawi is still a poor country, it is developing. There are reasons to be optimistic about Malawi’s future. Today, the population of Malawi is 19 million.

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