Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences



Committee Chair

Robert Maxon


By the early 1950s, two-thirds of the manpower in the British Colonial Service -- some 10,000 out of 15,000 expatriates -- was concentrated in Africa. The total disbursements on research showed the same Africanist bias: fifty-eight percent of the research money spent between 1940 and 1961 went into British African territories. These facts are indicative not only of the obvious -- the massive investment obliged by planned decolonization -- but also of the more opaque and protean: the influence of Lord Hailey's African survey, begun in the late 1930s, which culminated in his Native Administration and Political Development in Tropical Africa. Hailey's signally-important survey revolutionized imperial ideology towards Africa by shifting the objectives of the colonial administration from responsibility for law and order to concern for social life and standards of living of the indigenous population.;My paper examines this sweeping ideological "shift"-- not only its evolution, but also the set of colonial values and beliefs that informed the designs of its predecessors. To create a legible framework for this discussion, I have couched my study within a comparative analysis of the two largest and most ambitious development programs introduced by the British Colonial Government in the Sudan: the Gezira and Zande Schemes, projects with rather different administrative lineages. An understanding of the contrasts between these two projects is important for a number of reasons. Firstly, and practically-speaking, it is difficult to atomize imperial policy into the constituent precipitating events that gave rise to ideological divergences in Africa during the colonial period -- the "shift" mentioned above -- and, should that considerable task be accomplished, the theoretical understanding of such complex and mutually supporting variables is rather more daunting without an examination of how such relations and variables play themselves out on the ground as specific practices. Secondly, the historiography of the British Sudan is curiously absent a direct comparative study of these two undertakings -- an eyebrow-raising oversight when it is considered that such an analysis would go a long way toward understanding not only the evolution of social development within the essentially fluid imperial schemata of the late-colonial period, but also help to contextualize events which would happen much later, such as the Sudanese Civil War.