While racism did factor into later practices of Apartheid, racism was merely a byproduct of the social and cultural effects of the institution. When evidence is examined, the real cause of Apartheid becomes obvious. This era of South African history was not simply based on social practices such as racism; Apartheid was rooted in the cultural and political beliefs of Afrikaners, the minority of whites that descended from early Dutch colonizers. In light of this knowledge, it is clear that Afrikaner nationalism was the main force behind Apartheid. The development of Afrikaner nationalism led to the creation of Apartheid.
The American essayist James Baldwin states in his essay ?Down at the Cross? the meanings of the words integration and independence. (Baldwin 337) He claims that each word carried its own fiery meaning but the intent of the movements sparked by these words has not completely fulfilled its purpose. The colonization and political exploitation of Africa was rooted in extreme ethno-centric views. Integration and independence cannot manifest themselves as reality as long as there exists feelings of racial superiority.
Yet many believed Africa to be the Dark Continent, a continent of poverty, harsh climate, and political turmoil (Woods 10). Though apartheid officially began in 1948, Africa’s history of racial domination and oppression began as early as the mid-17th century when the Dutch East India Company set up a provisioning station on the Cape (US Government Source). White settlers from the Netherlands arrived in South Africa in the mid 17th century, forcing the occupants of South Africa out of their land or using them as laborers. The “Scramble for Africa” then came in the18th and 19th century where the French, British, Portuguese, Germans, Belgians, Spanish, and Dutch colonized and took control of almost all of the Fifty states which make up the African nation (Woods 15). By the 20th century, the British controlled most of northeast, east, west, center, and South Africa, and the French controlled most of northwest Africa.
However, South Africa was one of the few countries that created formal laws to endorse full-blown racism. The term “apartheid” directly translated from its Afrikaans origin means “separateness,” and absolute separation of rights, based on race, is what the laws of apartheid embodied. Through a brief recap of South African historical events, it is evident that native Africans have been treated as less than humane for centuries. The laws that governed slaves (known as Tulbagh Slave Code), dates back to 1753, and includes such laws as: curfews that required slaves to carry passes; slaves were forbidden to make any noise at night, including singing or whistling; slaves could not converse on the streets of Cape Town; and should they revolt in any manner perceived as violent, they were put to death (Mountain, 2005). Although its title changed, the practices of slavery continued in South Africa until 1994.
French and British Colonialism and Imperialism in Africa Africa is home to countless cultures that all have their own unique ideas and customs. During the past couple of centuries, these cultures were threatened to the point where they almost ceased to exist. The Berlin Conference was a very important occurrence in Africa and Europe's history. It legitimized what the European powers, mainly France and Britain, had been doing for the past hundred years, without the approval of any African country. During the late nineteenth century, France and Britain began imperialistic ventures into Africa, which eventually led Leopold II to conquer the Congo.
From 1948 to 1994 non-white Africans were subjected to horrific treatment, enforced by the South African National Party. The repulsive forms of racial segregation in South Africa, resulting from race and color, not only oppressed the colored majority group, but also denied them of any rights or human dignity. It can be easily stated that the apartheid movement bestowed cruel and unusual punishments upon the people of South Africa, in order to execute its purpose. However, apartheid could have not been carried out if they were not individuals who believed in its principles. In order to understand the National parties ideologies regarding the issue of apartheid, it is essential to acknowledge the history of Boer soc... ... middle of paper ... ...nica.
Davidson, Basil. Black Man's Burden: African and the Curse of the Nation-State. New York Times Books; 1992. 1 Austen, Ralph. African Economic History.
Columbia Essays on Modern Writers. New York: Columbia UP, 1970. 17-21. McLynn, Frank. Hearts of Darkness: The European Exploration of Africa.