General issues: British Bechuanaland, British colony 1886-1890, Bechuanaland, British protectorate 1888-1890, Bechuanaland British colony & protectorate, Bechuanaland, British protectorate 1895-1966, Bechuanaland, Self government 1965-1966
Country name on general issues: British Bechuanaland, Bechuanaland Protectorate
Currency: 1 Pound = 20 Shilling, 1 Shilling = 12 Pence 1886-1961, 1 Rand = 100 Cent 1961-1966
Population: 109 000 in 1900, 525 000 in 1965
Political history Bechuanaland
Bechuanaland is located in southern Africa. Bechuanaland has taken its name from the Tswana, the largest population group. The Tswana in the 1880’s request protection from the British to support them against neighbouring Bantu peoples and the Boer from the South African Republic that have established the United States of Stellaland on Tswana territory. Although long relucant to do so, the British take possession of the land of the Tswana in 1885. The interest of the British is on the one hand to stop further advances of the Boer; on the other hand to maintain an open connection with the British sphere of influence in central Africa.
In the southern part of the land of the Tswana the British in 1885 establish the colony of British Bechuanaland. Stellaland – also taken by the British in 1885 – is made part of British Bechuanaland. British Bechuanaland becomes part of Cape of Good Hope in 1895 and, with Cape of Good Hope, part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.
In the northern part of the land of the Tswana, the British establish the protectorate of Bechuanaland in 1885. In 1890, the territory of the protectorate is extended further north while, in the southwest, part of the territory of the protectorate is transferred to British Bechuanaland. The borders are thus defined as we know them until today. Bechuanaland protectorate is one of the High Commission Territories, together with the protectorates of Basutoland and Swaziland. The High Commissioner has his seat in Mafeking, currently called Mafikeng. Bechuanaland protectorate in 1965 gains self government and in 1966 full independence as the republic of Botswana.
Postal history Bechuanaland
The first stamps for British Bechuanaland are issued in 1886. The stamps issued by British Bechuanaland are overprints on the stamps of Cape of Good Hope or Great Britian, the overprint reading ‘British Bechuanaland’. The stamps of British Bechuanaland are, from 1890, also used in Bechuanaland protectorate as the two countries form a postal union. The stamps of British Bechuanaland are from 1895 superseded by those of Cape of Good hope and from 1910 by those of the Union of South Africa.
The first stamps for the Bechuanaland protectorate are issued in 1888. These are overprints on the issues of British Bechuanaland, with an additional overprint reading ‘Protectorate’ or issues of Cape of Good Hope with an overprint reading ‘Bechuanaland Protectorate’. After the postal union with British Bechuanaland, from 1890 to 1895, stamps are again issued in 1897. The issues are overprints on stamps of Great Britain reading ‘Bechuanaland Protectorate’. One exception is an issue in 1910, when a revenue stamp from Transvaal is overprinted and postal use is allowed. The first definitives are not issued until 1932. The stamps of Bechuanaland protectorate are from 1966 superseded by the issues of Botswana.