Friday, September 14, 2012

Lesotho - History (Africa).

Lesotho  officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, completely surrounded by its only neighbouring country, the Republic of South Africa. It is a small country with a population of approximately 2 million. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name Lesotho translates roughly into the land of the people who speak Sesotho. About 40% of the population live below the international poverty line of US $1.25 a day.
The present Lethoso ( then called Basutoland) emerged as a single polity under king Moshoeshoe I in 1822.
In 1854 the British pulled out of the region, and in 1858 Moshoeshoe fought a series of wars with the Boers in the Free State-Basotho War, losing a great portion of the western lowlands. The last war in 1867 ended when Moshoeshoe appealed to Queen Victoria, who agreed to make Basutoland a British protectorate in 1868. In 1869, the British signed a treaty at Aliwal North with the Boers that defined the boundaries of Basutoland and later Lesotho, which by ceding the western territories effectively reduced Moshoeshoe's kingdom to half its previous size.[citation needed]

Following the cession in 1869, the British initially transferred functions from Moshoeshoe's capital in Thaba Bosiu to a police camp on the northwest border, Maseru, until administration of Basutoland was transferred to the Cape Colony in 1871. Moshoeshoe died on March 11, 1870, marking the end of the traditional era and the beginning of the colonial era, and was buried at Thaba Bosiu. During their rule between 1871 and 1884, Basutoland was treated similarly to territories that had been forcefully annexed, much to the chagrin of the Basotho. This led to the Gun War in 1881. In 1884, Basutoland was restored its status as a Crown colony, with Maseru again its capital, but remained under direct rule by a governor, though effective internal power was wielded by traditional chiefs.
1959 stamps for the Basutoland National Council.
Basutoland gained its independence from Britain and became the Kingdom of Lesotho in 1966.