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Apartheid and Afrikaner Nationalism

History is subjective because it is a subject that is based on a person’s knowledge and opinions. While some events have obvious causes, other events must be analyzed to find their true impetus. One complicated era from history that has a debatable cause is Apartheid. While some historians cite complex causes for Apartheid, most people in the general public simply believe racism was the root of the institution. 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. Afrikaner nationalism was a combination of the cultural and political beliefs of Afrikaners in South Africa. The philosophy not only reflected the beliefs of Afrikaners, but it eventually embodied the ethnic identity of this group. While the rise of Afrikaner nationalism is hard to pinpoint, the earliest notions of nationalism can be found in the separate culture that developed among early South African colonists. Martin (2006), a psychologist and author, notes that over the years white settlers in South Africa developed, “…a unique culture of their own…They called themselves Afrikaners because they spoke a Dutch-based language called Afrikaans. Almost all of them belonged to the Dutch Reformed...

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