From circa 1250-1629, the area that is known as Zimbabwe today was ruled under the Mutapa Empire, also known as Mwene Mutapa, Monomotapa or the Empire of Great Zimbabwe, which was renowned for its gold trade routes with Arabs. However, Portuguese settlers destroyed the trade and began a series of wars which left the empire near collapse in the early 17th century. In 1834, the Matabele people arrived while fleeing from the Zulu leader Shaka, making the area their new empire, Matabeleland. In the 1880s, the British arrived with Cecil Rhodes' British South Africa Company. In 1898, the name Southern Rhodesia was adopted.
As colonial rule was ending throughout the continent, and as African-majority governments assumed control in neighbouring Northern Rhodesia and in Nyasaland, the white-minority Rhodesia government led by Ian Smith declared unilateral independence on November 11, 1965. The United Kingdom deemed this an act of rebellion, but did not re-establish control by force. The white-minority regime declared itself a "republic" in 1970. It was not recognised by the UK or any other state, other than white minority-led South Africa.
Zimbabwe, infos taken from Wikipedia
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