Rhodesia was an unrecognised state in southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.
In the late 19th century, the territory north of the Transvaal was chartered to the British South Africa Company, led by Cecil Rhodes. Rhodes and his Pioneer Column marched north in 1890, acquiring a huge bloc of territory that the Company would rule until the early 1920s. In 1923, the Company's charter was revoked, and Southern Rhodesia attained self-government and established a legislature. Between 1953 and 1963, Southern Rhodesia was joined with Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
The decolonisation of Africa in the early 1960s alarmed Rhodesia's white population.