Ethnocracy is basically a political system based on kinship, real or presumed. It can take the form of an ethnically exclusive state, in which citizenship is basically governed by biological descent. When the British arrived in Uganda, they found a number of societies, some of which had state structures. Tanganyika and Zanzibar each also had an elaborate system of representation by races, Uganda combined the racial principle of representation with the beginnings of ethnic tensions among Africans themselves. The colonial antecedents of ethnocratic tendencies include the consequences of racial and sometimes tribal stratification under British rule. As independence approached, the nature of ethnic politics began to shift away from race as the ultimate line of cleavage to tribe and region. The British themselves also had a vested interest in the demilitarization of Buganda. British military recruitment turned to other areas, thus reinforcing the Baganda's own increasing inclination to look for alternative avenues of honor, income, and achievement.

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