The present political uncertainty in Rhodesia has complex origins. Until 1965 the country was a member of the British Commonwealth. It enjoyed “Responsible Government” (in the constitutional sense) which allowed its politicians much latitude in running affairs to suit their own desires. The black majority of the population had virtually no voice in the government. Britain retained a few residual legal rights arising from the situation when Rhodesia was colonized in 1890. In 1965 the Rhodesian politicians representing the white population of under 250,000 renounced their obligations in terms of these British rights and proclaimed their country a sovereign, independent power. The British government responded to the unilateral declaration of independence (U.D.I.) by imposing an economic blockade on Rhodesia. Rhodesia's financial assets abroad were frozen and its export trade embargoed. Its access to foreign money markets to raise investment capital was blocked.