Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

Degree Name



Political Science


This is a study of American reactions to United Nations sanctions against Rhodesia 1965-1977. It examines in par ticular the reaction of four American administrations (Johnson, Nixon, Ford and Carter) towards Ian Smith's minor ity regime. The study is based on a review of the literature in books, journals and newspapers on American policy towards Rhodesia and the entire Southern Africa Sub-Continent. Chapter I looks at the theory of sanctions, defines and looks at conditions under which economic sanctions will be effective or ineffective. Chapter II presents a chronological account of American reactions to U.N. sanctions against Rhodesia under the Johnson administration, following the 1965 Unilateral decla ration of Independence. It traces the growing gap between the Johnson administration's anti-minority regime rhetoric and its more limited anti-Smith action. Chapter III looks at American reaction during the Nixon and Ford years. This chapter is called the "Kissingerian Period" due to the dominance of the Secretary of State in international affairs, and it traces the shift in American rhetorical support of U.N. sanctions to a policy of "Com munications" and contact with the racist minority regime of Southern Africa. Chapter IV examines the changes in the Carter admini stration from "Communications" to a return of rhetorical support of United Nations Sanctions on Rhodesia. Chapter V illustrates American complicity in the erosion of U.N. sanctions by U.S. corporations. It also lists and discusses sanction breaking activities by U.S. government. Chapter VI, concludes that the major differences in these four administrations were rhetorical. The Carter and Johnson administrations appeared to support sanctions but offered no concrete support against the.illegal minority regime in Rhodesia. In the "Kissingerian Period" there was actual opposition to sanctions. The study thus concludes that the United States under all four administrations was consistently committed to preserving the status quo in Rhodesia.