The New International Encyclopædia/Bechuanaland
|←Bechstein, Ludwig||The New International Encyclopædia
|Edition of 1905. See also Bechuanaland Protectorate on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.|
BECHUANALAND, be-chwä'nȧ-lănd. A name applied to the territory in southwestern Africa inhabited by the Bechuanas (q.v.) (Map: Cape Colony, H 4). It includes the Crown colony of Bechuanaland, annexed to Cape Colony since 1895, and the Bechuanaland Protectorate. The latter comprises all the territory bounded by the Molopo and the Zambezi rivers, the Transvaal Colony, southern Rhodesia, and German Southwest Africa. Its area is estimated at 213,000 square miles. Bechuanaland is for the most part a high plateau, with an elevation of from 4000 to 5000 feet, and is more adapted for cattle-raising than for grain. In spite of its almost tropical situation, the climate is only a little inferior to that of Cape Colony and is very healthful for Europeans. The country is poorly watered, and there are several dry river-beds, which fill up during the rainy season. The chief industry is cattle-raising. The protectorate is administered by the native chiefs under the guidance of a British Resident. The revenue is derived from customs and a hut-tax, the latter collected by native chiefs. There is a railway line open beyond Buluwayo, in Rhodesia. The population is estimated at 200,000, and consists chiefly of the tribes of Bamangwato, Bakhatla, Bakwena, Bangwaketse, and Bamaliti. They have their fixed boundary lines, and have retained some of their political institutions. Consult: Annual British Colonial Reports (London): Macnab, On Veldt and Farm (London, 1900).