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Essay on African Apartheid

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Although apartheid in South Africa was not legally enacted until 1948, to fully understand the circumstances which allowed for such racism and segregation we must first understand key events beginning with the colonization of South Africa by the Dutch in 1652.
Jan van Riebeeck came to what is now known as South Africa in April of 1652. He laid claim to land which was already inhabited by the Khoikhoi and founded the Fort of Good Hope on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. This port was to be a replenishment station for Dutch vessels along the trade route to India. Although it is believed that it was not the original intent of the Dutch East India Company to colonize the area, they were the first of what would become a permanent European presence in South Africa.
As more ships used this port to resupply it became clear that a labor force would need to be established in order to maintain them. The Dutch and English had a long history in Indonesia using the slave model to force indigenous peoples to farm and cultivate spices that could not be grown in Europe but, here in South Africa the Khoikhoi had land of their own and were not easily forced into labor. “The indigenous peoples with whom the Dutch first came into contact, the Khoikhoi, had been settled in the region for at least a thousand years before the Dutch arrived, and were an unwilling labour force. This is because the Khoikhoi were a pastoral people, and as long as they had their lands, flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, they could not be pressed into service for the Dutch settlers” (History n.d.). Because of this Dutch settlers had to look elsewhere for their forced labor. The had already freed many East India Company members from their contracts to work the lan...


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...Early Colonisation in South Africa."South African History Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Apr. 2014. .
Turton, A. R. (2009). “A South African Diary: Contested Identity, My Family – Our Story, Part A: Pre-1700” from How many bones must you bury before you can call yourself an Africa? [online]. Available from www.anthonyturton.com [Accessed 1 April 2014]
Turton, A. R. (2009). “A South African Diary: Contested Identity, My Family – Our Story, Part D: 1886-1909” from How many bones must you bury before you can call yourself an Africa? [online]. Available from www.anthonyturton.com [Accessed 1 April 2014]
"The Union of South Africa 1910."South African History Online. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014. .


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