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South African History

Colonialism began at around 1652 in South Africa by the Dutch which brought about slavery and forced labour. The first colony was established at Cape Town in 1652 by Jan Van Riebeeck, an official of the Dutch East India Company. Their primary concern was to establish a supply station for its fleets travelling between Holland and south and Southeast Asia. Slavery began as negotiations to acquire livestock and labour which as soon as it diminished, slavery was implemented, (Jonas, n.d.).

Insufficient supply of labour led to some of the company officials being allocated land for farming along the Liesbeeck River. They were then called the Free Burghers. The plan to acquire substantial labour from the Khoikhoi was unsuccessful since they were unwilling to work for the Dutch. The Khoikhoi community was pressured and land was seized from the locals despite their heroic struggles since the Dutch settlement had expanded. To acquire labour, slaves were imported captured by the Dutch from a Portuguese slaver enroute to Brazil in 1658, (Jonas, n.d.)

British forces seized Cape colony from the Netherlands. The Dutch resisted and fought battle (battle of Muzienberg) they later gave in to the British forces, (history of South Africa, n.d.). The British increased the division between whites and blacks and accentuated separation of the indigenous settlers and the metropolitan leaders. The British had the aim to protect their route to South Asia and manage their supply station in Cape Town, (history of South Africa, n.d.).

The Boers trekked to the interior of South Africa seeking land to graze their cattle and also to be free from the British in the hope of creating their own form of organization. While in the interior, they created two republics; The Southern African Republic also known as Transvaal and the Orange Free State. They both depended on subsistence farming and hunting. They settled in areas with few locals along the mines where they had their rights governed by white males, (history of South Africa, n.d.).

Conflicts emerged between the Dutch and the British after the discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1884). The mineral industry boosted the economic and political structure of the country although the gap between the British and the Boer continued to grow. The whites occupied the mines and enforced the Africans to work for them and subjected them to harsh laws and discriminatory features. This brought about the rural homelands, urban ghettos in the course of the industrial revolution, (history of South Africa, n.d.).

The discovery of mines brought tension between the British and the Boers though the mines and gold industries were being primarily controlled by the British. The Boers were excluded and did not benefit from the investment which contributed to the growth of Europe rather than South Africa. In the period between 1899 and 1902 there was a primary fight between the British and the Boers with each having the aim to have the control over gold (Anglo-Boer war)? Although the Boers lost, attempts of peace were made. On 31 May (the peace treaty of Vereenging) was signed between the Boers and the British, (Jonas, n.d.).

Africans were exempted from electoral rolls and were not allowed ownership of land in any part of South Africa. Two movements were formed, the Afrikaner nationalist appealed to the Africans whore were dissatisfied with their living conditions. The Black Nationalist movement on the other hand led by the African National Congress (ANC 1912) was to seek justice for black South Africans. Despite the Afrikaners achieving peace, they did not recover their land in the end. The white having occupied the mines, forced the Africans to move to the cities for low-paid work since they could not access good jobs, (History of South Africans, n.d.).

Africans started their own secret movements and societies with their aim being to rule South Africa. With time, the Afrikaner nationalist movement gained popularity. The NP was rather in the favor of the whites and denied Africans, Asians or coloureds from fully participating in the political process. This meant that the Africans had to rely on the ruling of the British government. This led to the formation of separate organizations for the representation of their interests. Their leaders however did not confront but rather adopted accomodationist. They had considerable benefits of the British rule such as education, Christianity and law, (Jonas, n.d.)

The British rule did not necessarily come to an end but rather there was respect for ethnicity and brought about the concept of equality. The Native Land Act (1913) discriminated upon a persons colour or ethnicity to acquire land or other resources. This act brought about protest led by an Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, (Jonas, n.d.).

The Blacks protested against the apartheid in1950s led by Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo. The ANC aimed at implementation of apartheid rule by inciting the mass not to cooperate with the new laws. The efforts to change the NP policies were not successful though it won support and new membership for the party.

The representatives of ANC in collaboration with other organizations opposed apartheid and drafted a charter that stated for equality and that no particular group of people was to be favored by the law over others. During the demonstrations, thousands were detained and others tried for treason, (History of South Africa, n.d.).

The ANC youth league was formed in April 1944 with AM Lembede being is fist president and nelson Mandela being the secretary. United Nations ideals cited the countries racial inequity where the Indian government also worked hard in ending the white minority rule. Surprisingly, the National Party acquired power that it would not give up upon until 1994. The official ideology of the government then became apartheid.

The History of South Africa begins long before the 1650s when European navigators sailed across the cape, some of them did not quite make it and came upon the wild country which they soon inferred as a suitable location for refreshment restocking of ships enroute to their destination. The Dutch became the first Europeans to settle in the area and mingle with the indigenous people. Needless to say, there was initially a language barrier but this was ironed out with time as the visitors became assimilated with the locals and imported slaves from Dutch colonies. The Boer Community came up and attempted to establish themselves away from the British administration which eventually took control. The History of this country is marred by conflicts between the various indigenous peoples and the immigrants from Europe. These indigenous peoples are unjustly removed from their land and pushed further and further into the periphery; the Boers of the Transvaal and their counterparts of the Orange Free State continually fight to maintain their independences but are eventually overpowered, and more indigenous people stand up seeking to maintain and even expand their borders against the encroaching settlers. The establishment of the Union of South Africa, although on the preceding end of apartheid marks the growth of South Africa for over two centuries.

Works Cited

History of slavery and early colonisation in South Africa. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2016, from

History of South Africa (including apartheid). (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2016, from

History of South Africa. (n.d.). Retrieved March 14, 2016, from


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