Last modified on August 5, 2021, at 02:49

Republic of Rhodesia

Republic of Rhodesia
1965- 1980
Location of Zimbabwe.png
Flag of Rhodesia.png
Capital Salisbury (now Harare)
Government Republic
Language English (official)
Monarch Queen Elizabeth II (unrecognized)
Prime minister Ian Smith
Area 150,804 sq. miles
Population 6,930,000
Currency Rhodesian Dollar

The Republic of Rhodesia was a semi-recognized, government in Africa during the mid 1960s to late 1970s. The British colony, Southern Rhodesia, declared herself a nation independent of British rule by Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) on November 11, 1965. After 1980 the first Rhodesian Republic became Zimbabwe. Rhodesians who did not want to be ruled by communist terrorists and were not bound to the country due to farms, factories and property fled the country and proclaimed a second, white Republic of Rhodesia which still exists.[1][2]


Great Britain refused to grant Rhodesia independence until majority-rule was implemented, something rejected by the white minority in the colony. On November 11, 1965, Rhodesian politician Ian Smith declared Rhodesia an independent nation through a unilateral declaration of independence or 'UDI'. Initially the newly formed Rhodesian government sought to maintain relations with the British and viewed Queen Elizabeth II as their head of state, but she refused the title 'Queen of Rhodesia'. The British governments reaction was hostile with Labour Party prime minister Harold Wilson declaring the move 'illegal' and 'brutal', this eventually led to an arms embargo on the country by the United Kingdom and by American president Lyndon Johnson


Rhodesia had the most efficient and productive economy in southern Africa during its existence. Rhodesia was one of the largest exporters of maize, cotton, beef, tobacco, roses, and sugar cane earning her the title "Breadbasket of Africa". In addition to food stuffs Rhodesia was a large exporter of mineral wealth such as tungsten.

War Against Terror

Throughout the 1970s Rhodesia led a vicious battle against Communist terrorists. The Communist terrorists were responsible for numerous savage atrocities against the population of Rhodesia. The most disturbing of the terror attacks were the shooting down of two commercial aircraft (Air Rhodesia flights 825 and 827) both of which resulted in the consequent hacking to death and rape of crash survivors.

Leftist Overthrow

Leftist groups began the Rhodesian Bush War in the mid 1970s in an attempt to overthrow the conservative government in place in Salisbury. The militant ZANU group (Zimbabwe African National Union) led by Robert Mugabe were given assistance by communists and adopted Maoist teachings. The ZANU and other rebel militant terrorist groups received training, arms and political support from China, the Soviet Union, East Germany, North Korea, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Cuba. Liberals often deny the communist influence of the "liberation" groups that fought against the Rhodesian government.

Second Republic as of 1980

Under strictest secrecy, an emergency plan was developed for the case of a victory of the communist terrorists as of 1977, bypassing the Rhodesian government which was considered not tough enough by some influential groups. This led to the proclamation of the second Rhodesian Republic on March 31, 1980, which has existed until today. However, due to certain conditions, it has only been part of world politics again since 2020.


  • Press Release, July 2021
  • Freudig, Alexander, & RANDnext March 2015 Seminary. (2015). Decisions for the Decade Game. Planning Under Deep Uncertainty: Rhodesia (Version 1). Zenodo, Geneva Full text