The events occurring between 1963 and 1967 signalled the height of the several development processes which had been taking place in South Yemen since the 1930s. These processes derived from the dialectical encounter between Britain’s modernising innovations and a rigid, traditional society and polity. À variety of conflicts sprang from this encounter. First between those who joined the new social and political elites in the British reformed regime and the rest of the population. The former became increasingly powerful both because of the military levies, which they controlled, their higher education and the financial benefits provided by the British. Whereas for the latter, mostly tribesmen, peasants, lower ranking administrators and workers, the new regime either deprived them of their former livelihood, or failed to offer them any of the new benefits. This was particularly true of workers in Aden who experienced new and very difficult conditions. Secondly a conflict developed between the different administrative units, generated by Britain. The existing disparities in the degree of modernisation grew and heightened the tension between these units, notably between Aden and the Protectorate Princedoms. A third conflict was between the South Yemeni people, except for the new elites, and the British administration. Together these conflicts contained social, political, administrative and nationalist strands.