Bechuanaland

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Political map of South Africa, in 1885

Bechuanaland was a federation of Tswana lands stretching from the territiry of the Bangwato in present day Botswana to the Batlhaping area around present day Kimberley,South Africa. The area included present day Botswana and large parts of what is now the North West and Northern Cape provinces of modern day South Africa.

Bechuanaland was declared of British protectorate, in 1885, and subsequently divided the territory along the Molopo River.

The areas to the South of the Molopo became British Bechuanaland and would later be handed over to the Cape Colony, which in 1910 was part of the two British colonies (Cape Colony and Natal) which united with the Boer republic's (Transvaal and Orange Free State to form the Union of South Africa).

To the territory of modern-day Botswana, North of Molopo became Bechuanaland Protectorate until independence in 1966.

Great Britain offered protection against the Boer Republics after the Boers invaded Bechuanaland in the early 1880s establishing Stellaland and Goshen within Bechuanaland around present day Vryburg, South Africa.

The Christian missionary John MacKenzie of the London Missionary Society (LMS) convinced Bangwato ruler Khama III and other Tswana rulers to seek Protectorate status and the Warren Expedition was dispatched from the Cape in 1885 to remove the Boers from Stellaland and Goshen and proclaim Bechuanaland a British Protectorate.

It had a territory of approximately 582,000 square kilometres (225,000 sq mi).

After the British divided Bechuanaland into two, the capital of Bechuanaland Protectorate now fell outside its territory: It was the modern-day city of Mahikeng, then called Mafeking, in South Africa.