ABSTRACT

Following the electoral victory of the Rhodesian Front (RF) in 1962 under the leadership of Winston Field, the tenor of white politics altered dramatically. 2 More so than ever, the tepid rhetoric of multiracialism appeared outdated and irrelevant in the face of increasing racial polarisation. In the 1950s, the belief of Rhodesia’s white liberals in extending the franchise was predicated on the notion that it would only extend to “moderate” Africans. Multiracialism as practised and promoted by white liberals in the 1950s and early 1960s was thus concerned with co-opting “educated” Africans into the existing political system. The fi nal coda of multiracialism dovetailed with the end of Federation in 1963, a time which saw the liberals of the 1950s largely retreat from the political arena.