In 1888, Cecil Rhodes obtained a concession for mineral
rights from local chiefs. Later that year, the area that became Southern and
was proclaimed a British sphere of influence. The British South Africa Company
was chartered in 1889, and the settlement of Salisbury
the capital) was established in 1890. In 1895, the territory was formally named
after Cecil Rhodes under the British South Africa Company's administration.
In 1898 Southern Rhodesia became the official denotation for the region
south of the Zambezi, the region to the north was
later named Northern Rhodesia. Southern and
became self-governing British colonies in 1923.
Before 1964, the name "Rhodesia" had referred to the territory
consisting of Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia which formed the Federation
of Rhodesia and Nyasaland between 1954 and
1964. It consisted of modern Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and Malawi; however, when the former colony of Northern
Rhodesia renamed itself Zambia
on independence in 1964, Nyasaland renamed itself Malawi
in 1964, and the colony of Southern Rhodesia changed its name to simply "Rhodesia".
However, the change had not yet been officially ratified when Rhodesia declared itself independent, and as a
result, the British Government continued to refer to the breakaway colony as
"Southern Rhodesia" throughout its
existence, a stance it maintained regarding the June–December 1979 successor
state of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. Therefore, when Zimbabwe Rhodesia returned to
colonial status from December 1979 to April 1980, it was as "Southern
Rhodesia", which, according to Britain, it had never ceased to be
called. Southern Rhodesia subsequently gained international recognition of its
independence in April 1980, when it became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe.