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Many of these settlers imagined an "empty" Africa where they hoped to recreate a society that mirrored their fantasy of manorial Europe, where they would rule as lords and Africans would serve as retainers.
In 1903 there were just fewer than 400 European settlers in British East Africa; by 1912 about 1000.
Along with Kenyan Asians, Europeans and their descendants were given the choice of retaining their British passports and suffering a diminution in rights, or acquiring new Kenyan passports.
Few chose to acquire citizenship, and many white Kenyans departed the country.
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Realising that a unilateral declaration of independence course like Rhodesia's was not possible after the Mau-Mau uprising, the majority of the 60,000 white settlers considered emigration.
The British government offered 99- and 999-year leases to encourage settlement, as well as land tax exemption into the 1930s.
The state also subsidized white farmers' produce so that black smallholders could not compete in open markets.
Europeans typically acquired plantation estates covering five hundred acres, most of which then fell fallow.
The inexpensiveness of the land (as little as 1d./acre) led to many land purchases by speculators.The region soon sparked the imagination of other adventurers, and gradually their stories began to awaken their governments to the potential of the area.