History of Zimbabwe

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At the end of the Bush War there was a transition to majority rule in 1981. The United Kingdom ceremonially granted Zimbabwe independence on April 18, 1980 in accordance with the Lancaster House Agreement. In the 2000s Zimbabwe's economy began to deteriorate due to various factors, including mismanagement and corruption, the imposition of sanctions, such as among others the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, following the switch from Willing Buyer, Willing Seller to Fast Track land reform. Economic instability led several members of the military to try to overthrow the government in a coup d'état. Prior to independence as Zimbabwe, the nation had been known by several names: Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.

Contents

Pre-Colonial era (1000–1887)

It is believed that Proto-Shona speaking societies first emerged in the middle Limpopo valley in the 9th century before moving on to the Zimbabwean highlands. The Zimbabwean plateau eventually became the center of subsequent Shona states. The Kingdom of Mapungubwe was the first in a series of sophisticated trade states developed in Zimbabwe by the time of the first European explorers from Portugal. They traded in gold, ivory and copper for cloth and glass. From about 1250 until 1450, Mapungubwe was eclipsed by the Kingdom of Zimbabwe. This Shona state further refined and expanded upon Mapungubwe's stone architecture, which survives to this day at the ruins of the kingdom's capital of Great Zimbabwe. From circa 1450–1760, Zimbabwe gave way to the Kingdom of Mutapa. This Shona state ruled much of the area that is known as Zimbabwe today, and parts of central Mozambique. It is known by many names including the Mutapa Empire, also known as Mwene Mutapa or Monomotapa and was renowned for its gold trade routes with Arabs and the Portuguese. However, Portuguese settlers destroyed the trade and began a series of wars which left the empire in near collapse in the early 17th century.[1] As a direct response to Portuguese aggression in the interior, a new Shona state emerged called the Rozwi Empire. Relying on centuries of military, political and religious development, the Rozwi (which means "destroyers") removed the Portuguese from the Zimbabwe plateau by force of arms. The Rozwi continued the stone building traditions of the Zimbabwe and Mapungubwe kingdoms while adding guns to its arsenal and developing a professional army to protect its trade routes and conquests.

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