Historical Postcards of Kenya

9789966176073: Historical Postcards of Kenya

The British government, which had taken responsibility for the territory known as British East Africa (B.E.A.), decided in 1902 to transfer to B.E.A. the region called Kavirondo, bordering the Lake from Mount Elgon to Homa Bay, previously part of the Uganda Protectorate, so that the whole railway line, the backbone of the territory, could be under the same administration. In 1905, it was decided to transfer the capital from Mombasa to Nairobi where the headquarters of the Uganda Railway was already situated. Yet, as can be seen on a map of 1906, the name of Nairobi does not even appear. From there, a new political entity emerged. From the beginning of the century, British East Africa developed and took shape. Many immigrants arrived, white farmers from the U.K. and South Africa, Asians from British India, missionaries covering the country with churches and schools while the local populations, by will or whip, were introduced into the new world modernity. Most of the postcards here date from this period, the first quarter of the 20th century. Many buildings were erected, urban centres appeared and grew, and new ways of life were adopted. Then, in 1920, a major reorganisation was decided, B.E.A. becoming the Kenya colony, but for a strip of land along the Coast, where sovereignty was shared with the Sultan of Zanzibar, and which became the Kenya Protectorate. That part of the British Empire was named after the highest mountain in the country, Mt Kenya. The name was kept after Independence. This is how postcards tell the story of a nation in the making.

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