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Word Count: 1,773
The Discontent of the Kikuyu In 1942 Macmillan had recognised that a serious peasant revolt was inevitable within ten years unless the settlers were ditched or bought out of the White Highlands and replaced by Kikuyu peasants organised in collective farms Time was running out As foreshadowed above the post WWII era if not changed was leading toward a massive Kikuyu revolt During the 1930s and 40s extensive land reforms and changes throughout the colony plagued the Kikuyu farmers It was estimated in 1944 that all of the Africans in Kenya were crowded into 30 million acres while 1890 Europeans had 11 million acres and only cultivated half a million The Kikuyu reserves were over populated over cultivated and over grazed land and there was extensive over-crowding and unemployment in Nairobi There was no suitable place for an African native to settle and earn a living Time was running out as we will see the squatters and peasants that occupied the reserves and the alienated people of the city would no longer stand for the exploitations of their labor and land by the colonial powers It is these actions taken by the reservist squatters and city people and they helped lay the foundational beliefs of the Mau Mau The Reservist and Squatters As early as the 1930s the colonial government became concerned with the state of the land on the Kikuyu reserves Erosion and over production left the soil in incredibly poor condition Yet throughout the duration of WWII the Kikuyu farmers were encouraged to maximize production for the good of economy of the colony and for the troops As David Thourp says To abandon settler farming and to rely upon the peasant option had appeared to be too big a risk Thus the conflict was set Either the peasants or the settlers had to be given the favor of the government and in this instance
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