Senior Project Advisor

Truschel, Louis William, 1943-

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2003


Mau Mau Rebellion


Kenya in the 1950’s was a turbulent colony full of racial, political and economic conflict. Kenya had been within the British sphere of influence since 1886 and was not given its independence until 1963. By the 1920s Africans began demanding more political and economic rights while the settlers called for more control over their African labor and an expanded color- bar. By 1952, the situation had reached a climax, and British officials began an armed conflict with those they termed as Mau Mau, who referred to themselves as the Land Freedom Army. This struggle has been viewed as the catalyst to Kenya’s independence. Known around the world as the Mau Mau Rebellion, it impacted the lives of every person in Kenya: Europeans, Africans and Asians. The significance of this deadly conflict is evident from the vast amount of written sources from the 1950’s, both African and European. These included government documents, literature, non-fiction and commentary. One thing is clear from these sources: everyone seemed to hold an opinion about their own and others’ work. Whether loyal to Britain or critiquing the government and settlers, most writers usually dealt with the causes of the rebellion, the best ways to end the conflict and how Kenya should be governed in the future.



Subjects - Topical (LCSH)

Decolonization--Public opinion--History--20th century; Imperialism--Public opinion--History--20th century; Public opinion--Europe; Public opinion--Great Britain

Geographic Coverage

Kenya--History--Mau Mau Emergency, 1952-1960; Kenya--Politics and government--To 1963; Great Britain--Colonies--Kenya; Great Britain--Colonies--Public opinion--History--20th century; Great Britain--Foreign public opinion, European


student projects; term papers




Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this document for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission.

Rights Statement