According to Localcollegeexplorer, Tanzania is an East African state, born in 1964 from the union between Tanganyika and the island of Zanzibar. Inhabited by over 120 ethnic groups – linguistically unified by the use of Swahili (➔ Swahili) – with a low demographic density and an 80% rural population, it is a resource-poor country with an economy based on agriculture. Bantu language groups they were already settled in the territories of the current Tanzania in the second half of the first millennium. Towards the 9th century. the coasts were affected by the activities of traders, who came from the Arabian Peninsula and the Persian Gulf and interested in ivory, gold, precious woods and slaves, who introduced Islam. On this basis and in the interaction and mingling with the locals, the Swahili culture was born. The commercial expansion transformed the ports into important urban centers (12th century) and the Sultanate of Kilwa, which controlled the gold trade, dominated the coast until the 15th century. In the continental North, the Masai, Nilotic-speaking semi-nomadic breeders, gave life to a confederation of communities based on male military companies and divided into age groups that remained autonomous until the end of the century. 19 °. At the beginning of the sixteenth century the Portuguese imposed themselves by force along the coasts, acquiring control of the traffic, but undergoing Dutch competition (17th century) and therefore losing their positions in favor of the Omanis (18th -19th century.), who established their operations center in Zanzibar, developing exchanges with the hinterland (textiles, firearms, ivory, slaves). Centralized kingdoms did not develop in the interior, except in the far north-west, in the regions bordering Burundi and Rwanda. At the end of the nineteenth century the Germans secured control over the continental part of the Tanzania, while the British imposed themselves in Zanzibar (1890).
The German protectorate (1890-1918) called South-East Africa (Tanganyika), also incorporated the protectorates of Rwanda and Burundi and was the scene (1905-07) of a vast rural resistance movement (➔ Maji-Maji, revolt of) severely repressed by the colonizers. Occupied by the British during the First World War (1916), Tanganyika was assigned to them by the League of Nations (1920). Anti-colonial nationalism was hegemonized by the Tanganyika African national union (TANU), led since 1954 by JKB Nyerere, who was inspired by the principles of African socialism. Independent in 1961, it became a federal republic through the union with Zanzibar (1964) and took the name of Tanzania (from the initial syllables of the names of the two countries): de facto the two states have remained distinct, with a certain legislative and administrative autonomy guaranteed in Zanzibar (which is repeatedly affected by separatist upsets). Swahili and English were adopted as the official languages. With the Arusha Declaration (1967), President Nyerere, in the context of a one-party system, launched a program of African socialism based on the concept of ujamaa (community / solidarity): he exalted the importance of education, nationalized the productive sectors and promoted a cooperative agriculture inspired by the Chinese Maoist experience, launching a great program of concentration of the rural population in community villages (villagging).
The plan, implemented with managerial and authoritarian methods, ended up alienating the consent of the peasants and in any case produced poor results in terms of production, thanks to the recurring droughts. In 1977 the single party of the TANU merged with the single party of Zanzibar, forming the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), party of the revolution. In foreign policy, Tanzania established friendly relations with the countries of the socialist bloc and with Beijing; supported the liberation struggles in the odds. Mozambique and Zimbabwe and overthrew the Ugandan dictatorship of Idi Amin, in 1979. The one-party system entered into crisis due to the economic recession, indebtedness, rampant corruption and the loss of consensus. Nyerere resigned in 1985, retaining the presidency of the CCM. The successive presidents (Ali Hassan Mwiny, 1985-95; Benjamin Mkapa, 1995-2005; Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, from 2005) who, amid social and religious tensions, the autonomist thrusts of Zanzibar and the hardness of the structural adjustment plans imposed by Fondo International monetary policy and the World Bank initiated the transition to multi-partyism (1992) and liberalism in economics, dismantling the statist dirigisme of the Nyerere era, they all come from the ranks of the CCM, still dominant in the political arena.