Tanganyika is the name of an East African territory lying between the largest of the African great lakes: Lake Victoria, Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika. From 9 December 1961 to 26 April 1964 it was also an independent nation. Once part of the colony of German East Africa ( _de. Deutsch-Ostafrika), it comprised today's Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania with the exclusion of Zanzibar. After World War I the parts that are today's Rwanda and Burundi were included in the Belgian Congo colony. The major part, however, came under British military rule and was transferred to Britain under the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. This was confirmed by a League of Nations Mandate in 1922, later becoming a United Nations Trust Territory. Britain changed the name to the "Tanganyika Territory".

On 9 December 1961 Tanganyika became independent as a constitutional monarchy, and on 9 December 1962 it became the "Republic of Tanganyika" within the Commonwealth of Nations. In 1964, it joined with the islands of Zanzibar to form the "United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar", later in the year changed to the "United Republic of Tanzania".

Although Tanganyika still exists within Tanzania, the name is no longer used formally for the territory and its use can be politically sensitive, not only as throwback to colonial times, but also if it implies opposition to the union with Zanzibar. These days the name "Tanganyika" is used almost exclusively to mean the lake.


The name 'Tanganyika' is derived from the Swahili words "tanga" meaning 'sail' and "nyika" meaning an 'uninhabited plain' or 'wilderness'. At its simplest it might therefore be understood as a description of the lake — 'sail in the wilderness'. [ [http://home.frognet.net/~jaknouse/gaz-af.html John Knouse: A Political World Gazetteer: Africa] website accessed 1 May 2007.]

As European explorers and colonialists penetrated the African interior from Zanzibar in the second half of the 19th century, to Europeans Tanganyika came to mean, informally, the country around the lake, chiefly on the eastern side. In 1885 Germany declared it intended to establish a protectorate, named German East Africa in the area, under the leadership of Carl Peters. When the Sultan of Zanzibar objected, German warships threatened to bombard his palace. Britain and Germany then agreed to divide the mainland into spheres of influence, and the Sultan was forced to acquiesce. After charges of brutality in the repression of the Maji Maji Rebellion of 1905, and reform under the leadership of Bernhard Dernburg in 1907, the colony became a model of colonial efficiency and commanded extraordinary loyalty among the natives during the First World War. The German educational program for native Africans, including elementary, secondary and vocational schools, was particularly notable, with standards unmatched elsewhere in tropical Africa [East, John William. "The German Administration in East Africa: A Select Annotated Bibliography of the German Colonial Administration in Tanganyika, Rwanda and Burundi from 1884 to 1918." [London? 1989] 294 leaves. 1 reel of microfilm (negative.) Thesis submitted for the fellowship of the Library Association, London, November 1987."] [Farwell, Byron. "The Great War in Africa, 1914–1918". New York: W. W. Norton & Company. 1989. ISBN 0393305643] .

After the defeat of Germany in 1918 in World War I, under the Treaty of Versailles German East Africa was divided among the victorious powers, with the largest segment being transferred to British control (except Rwanda and Burundi which went to Belgium, and the small Kionga Triangle which went to Portuguese Mozambique). A new name was needed, and Tanganyika was adopted by the British for all of its part of the territory of German East Africa.

In 1927, Tanganyika entered the Customs Union of Kenya and Uganda, as well as the East African Postal Union, later the East African Posts and Telecommunications Administration. Cooperation expanded with those countries in a number of ways, leading to the establishment of the East African High Commission (1948–1961) and the East African Common Services Organisation (1961–1967), forerunners of the East African Community.

Tanganyika ceased to exist as a nation in 1964, when it was loosely united with Zanzibar, to form the nation of Tanzania.

ee also

*German East Africa
*Postage stamps and postal history of Tanganyika
*Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic


* Gordon-Brown, A., FRGS, (editor), "The East Africa Year Book and Guide", London, 1954, 87pps, with maps.
* Hill, J.F.R., and Moffett, J.P., "Tanganyika - a Review of its Resources and their Development", published by the Government of Tanganyika, 1955, 924pps, with many maps.
* Mwakikagile, Godfrey, "Life in Tanganyika in The Fifties", New Africa Press, 2008, 428pps, with maps and photos.
* Moffett, J.P., "Handbook of Tanganyika", published by the Government of Tanganyika, 1958, 703pps, with maps.

External links

* [http://unimaps.com/tanzania1886/index.html Map of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1886]

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  • Tanganyika — [tan΄gən yē′kə, taŋ΄gə nē′kə] 1. mainland region of Tanzania, on the E coast of Africa: a former British territory, it became a member of the Commonwealth as an independent republic in 1961: united with Zanzibar to form Tanzania (1964) 2. Lake… …   English World dictionary

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  • Tanganyika — Flagge der Republik Tanganjika (1961 1964) Tanganjika (Tanganyika) ist die Bezeichnung für das Festland von Tansania ohne Sansibar und Pemba, aber mit der Insel Mafia; oder: für das ehemalige Gebiet von Deutsch Ostafrika ohne Ruanda, Burundi und… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Tanganyika — noun 1. the longest lake in the world in central Africa between Tanzania and Congo in the Great Rift Valley • Syn: ↑Lake Tanganyika • Instance Hypernyms: ↑lake • Part Holonyms: ↑Africa 2. a former state in East Africa; united with Zanzibar in… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Tanganyika — Tanganyikan, adj., n. /tan geuhn yee keuh, geuh nee , tang /, n. 1. a former country in E Africa: formed the larger part of German East Africa; British trusteeship (Tanganyika Territory) 1946 61; became independent 1961; now the mainland part of… …   Universalium

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