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South African History Response Paper One

South African History Response Paper One

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Published by kathleen

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: kathleen on Jan 21, 2010
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12/25/2010

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Kathleen FitzgeraldWhen the Nationalist Party won the election of 1948, the party leaders whogained governance over South Africa were those who had an “alliance with the Afrikaner Party of N.C. Havenga, which [were] essentially those who remained faithful toHertzog’s legacy.”
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This Nationalist win ushered in the beginning of a new legal age— that of apartheid (lawful ‘separateness’). The apartheid age was a time in which manyviolent actions and oppressive laws were forced against the black Africans. [[[use quotesfrom “Mine Boy” or some other personal victim account of apartheid]]] In order to trulyunderstand the ruling class’s motivation for enacting these violent legal measures duringapartheid, it is necessary to first comprehend the historical journey that brought the ruling party—the Afrikaners—to that point.By following the Boer 
Afrikaner 
 Nationalist struggles, it becomes clear thatthe racist ideology which motivated Afrikaner hatred towards the black Africans hadexisted since the seventeenth century. The forefathers of Hertzog’s Afrikaner radicalideology had always been driven by their biblically-based belief in white supremacy andGod’s destined (Manifest Destiny-style) plan for his “Elect” people. But while theseAfrikaner predecessors (the Boers) had never hesitated to use violence or force againstthe black Africans, it was only after living under British rule for over one hundred yearsthat this soon-to-rule Dutch cohort truly understood the value of legal subordination— that is, they recognized how the British (whose comprised a minority of South Africa’swhite population) had used laws to force the majority of dissenting whites (the Afrikanersand their sympathizers) to submit to their imperialist, political desires. Thus, theAfrikaners realized they too could utilize a system of laws to subjugate the black majority
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Ross, p. 114.
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of South Africa to their plans. Furthermore, the British imperial rule also exacerbated theAfrikaner feelings of animosity toward the black Africans. British lawmakers enactedofficial measures that stripped the Afrikaner of his freedom to deal with blacks however he wished, and the radical Afrikaners accused the British of colluding with the black Africans in order to subordinate the Dutch. Afrikaner frustration with these laws quicklyturned to angry rage after the concentration camp atrocities of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), from which the Afrikaner people took horrific images and stories to supporttheir claims against the ‘bullying’ British. These long-standing feelings of persecutionadded to the base racist ideology that the Afrikaners had always possessed. This anger and hatred mixed with their newfound appreciation of legal force to create the perfectmotivating palate for the 1948 Afrikaner-dominated South African government to ratify aviolent, legalized form of racial insubordination—a form of government known as“apartheid.”From the very beginning of Dutch colonization in South Africa, theBoer/Afrikaner interpretation of the Bible led them to believe they were a part of God’s“Elect” or chosen people, and as such, that God expected them to ensure his plan for their dominance at any cost. By 1690, agricultural and political frustrations with the Cape ruledrove settler farmers across the mountains and onto land that was previously that of theKhoikhoi peoples.
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These Dutch farmers immediately identified themselves with theIsraelites, as both were distinctly identified as “God’s people,” who suffered in thewilderness, but were actively guided through a history of hardships by God.
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These
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Ross, p. 25.
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Moodie, Intro., ix.Templin, p. 7Even much later, in Rev. Coenraad Spoelstra’s 1897 sermond, he says: “Brothers & Sisters, there arerepeated instances of the noteworthy similarities which exist between Israel’s history and the history of our land and people.”
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Afrikaner predecessors “had confidence that they had a special mandate from God to possess the land, and that God was protecting their faith as well as testing it.”
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For the“Elect,” the first of these so-called “tests” had recently come in the form of theindigenous black African.The black Khoikhoi peoples had first tested “God’s plan” by refusing to supplythe Cape colony with sufficient cattle in the earliest days of the Dutch colony. Withinone decade of settlement, it became clear “that even under duress the Khoikhoi wereunable or unwilling to supply the meat demanded by several thousand.”
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For the Dutchancestors of the Afrikaner, this was not only intolerable to them, it was also mostunacceptable in the eyes of the Almighty. After all, to them, the Bible seemed to supportthe white Elect’s claim that blacks should aid God’s chosen people as a subservient labor force. The Dutch viewed their Elect status as a guarantee that their culture would remaindominant in South Africa.
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Since the black Africans were obviously not a part of thechosen people—due to dissimilarities in skin color, religion, and culture—then God musthave intended for blacks to assist the “Elect” on their journey towards fulfillment of HisWill. Consequently, the Boers saw the black African as a Son of Ham, “destined to be ahewer of wood and drawer of water for his white compatriot.”
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When the black Khoikhoi, however, refused to satisfy this intended role, the more radical of the Boers(who were also the predecessors of the Afrikaners) started to see the black Africans as athreat to God’s plan and their very own way of life. “Because of the divine election of 
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Templin, p. 19
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Ross, p. 22.
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Templin, p. 9.Understanding themselves to be God’s Elect people caused them to see cultural destiny as one whichshould dominate. Because black Africans did not possess the same European culture, it was obvious to thewhites that the blacks were not to dominate, according to God’s Will.
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Moodie, p. 245.
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