History of Apartheid in South Africa

Essay by pturboUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, August 2005

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The History of Apartheid in South Africa

"Afrikaners believed they were a superior but native African tribe whose territories had been encroached upon by warlike and primitive black tribes from the north. To the blacks and their outside sympathizers, the Afrikaners were no more than particularly barbarous colonial plunders who enslaved and repressed their peoples. The truth was altogether more complicated."

I. Introduction

South Africa's expedition of colonization by the English and Dutch started in the seventeenth century (Nordic settlers). English domination over the Dutch descendents (known as Boers or Afrikaners) resulted in the Dutch establishing the new colonies of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. The discovery of diamonds in these lands around 1900 resulted in an English invasion which sparked the Boer War. Following Dutch independence from England, an uneasy power-sharing between the two groups held authority until the 1940's. By this time the Afrikaner National Party was able to gain a strong majority in government.

Strategists in the National Party implemented the use of apartheid as a means to fortify their control over the economic and social system in South Africa. Initially, the aim of the apartheid was to maintain white domination while extending racial separation.

Starting in the 60's, a plan of 'Grand Apartheid' was executed, emphasizing territorial separation and police repression. Apartheid implemented by law; racism, segregation, and chauvinism against anyone who wasn't Afrikaner. Afrikaner's believed that to rule South Africa was their divine right. And that the non-Afrikaner settlers were there to be ruled by the supreme white race. This paper will discuss the racist theories in which the Afrikaners implemented apartheid.

II. Implementation of Apartheid

"Apartheid was nothing less than the philosophy of a white tribe 'gone native'..." With the enactment of apartheid laws in 1948, racial discrimination was institutionalized. Race laws...