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Exploitation, Apartheid and South Africa

Elias Van Sickle
10H HB
Period 1
April 8, 2011


Thesis: The 19th century conquest of South Africa in pursuit of financial gain, resulted in economic, social, and political oppression of blacks along with environmental devastation.  

I. Introduction
A. Background information
B. Why time period was optimal for European rule
1. Industrialization
2. Capitalism
C. Thesis
II. Early apartheid roots and Boer, British, African relations
A. Background information
B. Early European conquest of South Africa
1. Apartheid Roots/ Precursors
B. Boer, British, African tensions
1. Ideals and reason for presence in Africa
III. Diamonds gold and mining
A. Early stages of mining
B. Racism
C. Technological succession
D. Mining companies
1. Separation and Cecil Rhodes
IV. Apartheid injustices
A. Politics and apartheid
B. Economic suppression
C. Social injustice
D. Environmental destruction
1. Home land/ over population
V. Conclusion
A. Future effects
B. Examining oppression 
C. Positive outcomes

By the late 1800s England, France, Spain, Germany, and Portugal, had explored and colonized territories all over the world.  This Age of Exploration resulted in Europeans gaining much experience regarding maritime exploration and colonization.  Africa was one of the last regions exposed to European influence because  European territories there were viewed as of marginal importance up until 1870. The discovery of precious metals in South Africa in 1870 was the decisive event which captured the attention of the Europeans capitalists and accelerated its colonization. (Silver NP)  The economic boom resulting from Industrialization, the technological advantage Europeans then possessed, and the fact that individuals as well as governments were seeking new business opportunities changed the nature of colonization.  Therefore the 19th century conquest of South Africa in pursuit of financial gain, resulted in economic, social, and political oppression of blacks along with environmental devastation.

Apartheid or racial segregation in South Africa, is generally recognized to have begun after the election of the National party in 1948.(Webster Dictionary)  The National Party won the election based on a foundation of segregationist policies directed at the black native population.(Silver Np) Thus there is a measure of validity to the belief that Apartheid came about as a result of this election. Yet such segregationist ideals were noticeable in South Africa long before this election.  Referring to the election of the National Party, Narisa Silver describes the origin of apartheid as follows, “...segregationist policies and attempts to classify the South African population were already noticeable centuries before...” (NP).

The roots of British colonialism in South Africa date back to 1844. In that year the Berlin Conference was held, in which major European powers decided on which countries were to control which spheres of influence in Africa. Commonly referred to as the carving up of Africa, this was the first hint of future European rule in Africa, but by no means the first hint of Apartheid.  

Although the British were the main force behind Apartheid in South Africa, a group of Dutch settlers, the Boers, ultimately (though unintentionally) aided the British in their effort to suppress and segregate the black.  For this reason it is important to analyze the relationships between the three groups in order to understand the formation of Apartheid. 

The Boers arrived approximately a century before the British but did not maintain contact with their mother country as the British would do later.  Instead, they moved inland and created an independent culture which revolved around farming.  They lived in isolation, and despite patently racist views and hatred toward their native African neighbors, they did not fight them,...
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