The White House and white Africa: presidential policy on Rhodesia 1965-79

Michel, Edward Richard (2017). The White House and white Africa: presidential policy on Rhodesia 1965-79. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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My thesis offers an examination of U.S. policy towards Rhodesia as viewed through the lens of the respective Presidential administrations. The aim of my research is to demonstrate the changing American perspective on the Rhodesian question and how this directly affected the ultimate emergence of an independent Zimbabwe. I discuss the transformation in U.S. policy from the cautious approach of the Johnson White House, the shift towards 'white Africa' during the Nixon years as anticommunism and economic interests took centre stage and the subsequent attempt of the Ford Administration to achieve a peace settlement to prevent further communist expansion into southern Africa. Finally, I will analyse the critical role played by President Carter in bringing an end to UDI. When evaluating U.S. policy I highlight the diverse factors which drove presidential decision making. Anti-communism, trade, strategic interests, the increasing interdependence of the global system, a moral belief in decolonization, the growth of human rights, domestic race relations and the growing importance of the African-American vote all significantly impacted White House actions. On a broader level, I will demonstrate how relations with Salisbury offers an interpretative prism which reveals the evolution of U.S. foreign relations during the Sixties and Seventies.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of History and Cultures
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)


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