Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Melvin E. Page

Committee Members

Henry J. Antikiewicz, Stephen G. Fritz


The Kikuyu, the largest ethnic group in Kenya, resisted colonial authority, which culminated into what became known as Mau Mau, led by the Kenya Land Freedom Army. During this time, the British colonial government imposed laws limiting their access to land, politics, and independence. The turbulent 1950s in Kenyan history should be considered a revolution because of its violent nature, the high level of participation, and overall social change that resulted from the war.

I compared many theories of revolution to the events of the Mau Mau movement. Then, I explained the contention for land in the revolution, the role of women, and the place of Mau Mau in modern historiography. I concluded that Mau Mau should be considered a revolution even though its representation during the war and misunderstandings after independence did not classify it as such.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.