A member of the Rhodesian Light Infantry.

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Rhodesia had some blacks who could vote while some whites could not. They had the most advanced medical and school systems in Africa, and the local black population exploded by 300% after the introduction of Western medicine into the rural populations.

Rhodesia was not Apartheid. It was, rather, a system of parliamentary democracy crafted in the same way the early English and American systems were built — that is, the right to vote was based on your wealth or land ownership.

Clearly, this system unfairly favored the White settlers. In particular, land ownership was deeply unbalanced in favor of Whites. They had the most fertile land, while the Black Africans were “given” land that was difficult to farm.

But apartheid it was not. Only South Africa had that. Rhodesia had no “white only” zones, the defining characteristic of apartheid. Rhodesia also had a large black middle class, mixed race schools, and interracial marriage was legal.

It was, per /u/WH1TEZIMBABW3AN, wholly more progressive than South Africa. The collapse of Rhodesia, from an economy the size of South Korea to poorer than Somalia, is one of the great tragedies of the 20th century. And many people who supported the Lancaster House Agreements have expressed deep regret for turning over the country to pure majority rule before it was ready.

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