Zimbabwe has a very rich archaeological material. From the area around Victoria Falls there are finds that are likely to be attributed to the early Paleolithic Oldowan culture, and to younger finds of the acheulean type that are between 1 million and 100,000 years old, in both cases, however, from agitated layers, which makes dating uncertain. Numerous places of residence are known from younger parts of the Paleolithic.
From the Stone Age cultures of the last 10,000 years there are finds from all over Zimbabwe. over 300 caves or submarines in the Matopo mountains in the southwest. Information on ways of living, industries and crafts during the period included, among other things. obtained through surveys in the Matopo area. Naturalistic rock paintings have also been preserved in more than 1,500 locations throughout the Zimbabwe Plateau, among others. sheep management is depicted. However, safe evidence of cultivation and livestock management can only be discerned in the iron-working farm settlements that spread out over the northern, south-eastern and western parts of the country during the first millennium AD. To see more information other than history, please visit Abbreviationfinder to learn more about climate, population, government, and economy for the country of Zimbabwe.
The importance of livestock management gradually increased. From the 6th century AD can mining copper and gold as well as remote trade with, among other things. glass beads are coated. The first clear signs of social stratification consist of the stone architecture typical of Zimbabwe as well as objects of gold and exotic materials from the beginning of the 11th century. Greater Zimbabwe and Khami began to emerge. The stone buildings, probably the guards of the rulers of the Shonar Empire, represented the topmost layer of a multi-branched settlement system comprising more than 800 locations.
- Countryaah: Check to see the location of Zimbabwe on the world map. Also covers major mountains, rivers and lakes in Zimbabwe.
In the 15th century, the state-centered centers, especially in central Zimbabwe (see the Prehistory section), were succeeded by two states: in western Butua, whose ruler bore the name Torwa, in northern Mutapa, which the Portuguese called Monomotapa, after the ruler, and described as a fabulous golden kingdom. The empire had from 1500 lively trade relations with the Portuguese in Mozambique, which increasingly came to dominate Mutapa. But by the end of the 1600s, the clan took Changamire and its allies, Rozwi, the leadership of the kingdom and defeated the Portuguese. They also conquered the Torah Empire in the southwest. During the 18th century, the Rozwirich returned, partly because the then gold-mining deposits began to exist. In the 1830s, under the rule of Mzilikazi, the southern Nguni people of Ndebele broke into western Zimbabwe and founded about 1840 the kingdom of Matabele. Some Shona communities were subjugated and became indebted, but many retained their independence.
Lobengula became king in Matabele around 1870, but saw the kingdom’s independence run out. In South Africa, Cecil Rhodes planned expansion north to exploit natural wealth and build a railway from Cape to Cairo. In 1888, Lobengula was forced to sign an agreement, which was then used for conquest far outside the Ndebels’ rather limited sphere of power. In 1890 it was founded by Cecil Rhodes led British South Africa Company, which covered ever larger land areas. The Ndebelefoket made armed resistance in 1893 and 1896, when the Shona people also rose up against the invaders in the so-called Chimurenga (freedom struggle). But at the turn of the century the resistance had been suppressed. Railway construction, gold mines and tobacco plantations attracted over 25,000 white settlers to the country before the First World War, now called Rhodesia. In 1923, the area became the British crown and became the autonomous colony of Southern Rhodesia.
Over the next thirty years, the numbers of whites rose to more than 150,000. The African population was held down by methods similar to those in South Africa (indigenous reserves, passports, racial segregation in public places and discrimination against blacks in the labor market). In 1930, Africans were excluded from large areas of cultivable land through the Land Apportionment Act. When the colony was merged in 1953 with Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) into the Central African Federation, this first aroused hopes of a more liberal policy with greater opportunities for blacks, but power remained in white hands.
The blacks organized themselves for their rights. In 1957, the South African branch of the African National Congress (ANC) was formed with Joshua Nkomo as chairman and from 1962 organized as Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU). The name Zimbabwe had been given symbolic value in the freedom struggle. In 1963 was formed as an outbreak of ZAPU Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU), with Ndabaningi Sithole (1920-2000) as leader. The fight against white minority rule was sharpened when its most extreme representative, the Rhodesian Front under Ian Smith, on November 11, 1965, proclaimed a unilateral Declaration of Independence, UDI), with Rhodesia as the name of the country. (See further Rhodesia question.)
Both ZANU and ZAPU launched armed struggle against Ian Smith’s regime. From 1975, ZANU received support from the independent Mozambique. This second Chimurenga mobilized peasants in eastern and central Zimbabwe. Ian Smith’s minority government recruited African troops and received South African assistance, but was unable to defeat the guerrillas. When the fall of Portuguese fascism in 1974 led Angola and Mozambique to become liberated in 1975 during radical liberation movements, the white regimes in southern Africa and the Western powers appeared to be at risk that South Rhodesia and especially economically important South Africa would go the same way. In the mid-1970s, therefore, both South Africa and the Western powers began to put power behind the 1965 sanctions decision against Ian Smith. In 1976, ZANU and ZAPU had signed an agreement on a political and military alliance – the Patriotic Front(PF) – but in practice they continued as independent, often competing organizations. The “internal solution” in 1979, with elections that made Bishop Abel Muzorewa a powerless prime minister, was quickly abandoned for independence negotiations with the liberation movements.
Independence negotiations were held at Lancaster House in London in the fall of 1979. The first general elections were held in February 1980. The Constitution guaranteed the white 20 parliamentary seats for a ten-year term. Of the blacks 80, ZANU-PF 57 and ZAPU (under the designation Patriotic Front) received 20 seats. In April 1980, Zimbabwe became independent with Robert Mugabe as prime minister for a unifying government. In 1987, Mugabe also assumed the presidency through constitutional amendments that significantly strengthened the president’s power.
Over half of whites in Zimbabwe emigrated in 1975–85. Many had high positions but could be replaced by blacks with high education. The new Zimbabwe expanded the school system, higher education and the health sector. The major crisis of the 1980s was the war in the southwestern province of Matabeleland 1983–86. Some ZAPU soldiers had refused to hand in their weapons, and armed attacks had become a problem. Despite Joshua Nkomo’s denial, ZAPU was blamed. Mugabe deployed it standing directly under him and trained by North Korea the Fifth Brigade, which advanced hard against unarmed and innocent civilians. In 1997, the Zimbabwean Catholic Commission presented Justice and Peacea report that summarized that at least 7,000 civilians had been killed (many later estimates indicate the number of civilian victims to at least double). The report was ignored by the government, and since the 1980s, ZANU-PF has had difficulty obtaining support in Matabeleland.
The great promise of the liberation struggle was for Africans to regain their land. At the time of the independence negotiations, the United States pledged US $ 1 billion to a fund for land purchases from white farmers, but the promise failed. Later, the UK provided loans for the purpose, but set conditions on the use of the funds. From the beginning of 2000, war veterans and unemployed youths with obvious support from police and state leadership conducted land occupations of over a thousand farms owned by whites. The occupations were accepted by the government, which said to implement the third Chimurenga. The number of white farmers fell from about 5,000 in 2001 to a few hundred in 2009.
ZANU-PF and Mugabe have been challenged in the 2000s, in particular by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, led by trade union leader Morgan Tsvangirai. He received more votes than Mugabe in the 2008 presidential election, but withdrew from the second round because of the wave of violence affecting the MDC’s supporters. The MDC won the parliamentary elections that year and after negotiations a national unity government with Tsvangirai was formed on the temporarily re-established Prime Minister’s post. Cooperation between the government parties worked poorly, but a joint proposal for a new constitution could still be put forward in early 2013. After this was approved in a referendum, the presidential and parliamentary elections were announced in July of the same year. ZANU-PF and Mugabe won major victories in the respective elections but were accused of gross electoral fraud by Tsvangirai, who announced that all cooperation between the MDC and the regime would cease.
Dissatisfaction with Mugabe’s regime grew and also spread to the influential veterans of the liberation war. The question of who would one day succeed the aging Mugabe became increasingly relevant and the power struggle within ZANU-PF intensified. One of those who claimed to take over was the dictator’s wife Grace Mugabe (born 1965). In 2014, Vice President Joice Mujuru (born in 1955) was dismissed and in 2017 her successor, Mugabe’s longtime employee Emmerson Mnangagwa, was hit, of the same fate. The latter, however, had strong support from the military, which, just over a week after Mnangagwa was dismissed, carried out what in practice must be seen as a coup. ZANU-PF dismissed Mugabe as party leader and elected Mnangagwa instead. The threat of being brought before national court eventually forced 93-year-old Mugabe to resign as president after 37 years in power. Three days later, November 24, 2017, Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe’s second head of state.
Morgan Tsvangirai died in cancer in 2018 and was succeeded by Nelson Chamisa (born 1978) as MDC leader. Chamisa became Mnangagwa’s toughest competitor in the July presidential elections. The incumbent president got an absolute majority (50.8 percent of the vote) already in the first round, and the ZANU-PF ruling party won the parliamentary elections. During the protests that followed, six people were shot to death by the military. The Supreme Court rejected Chamisa’s request that the election be annulled.