Cecil Rhodes

Topics: Cecil Rhodes, British Empire, Zimbabwe Pages: 2 (447 words) Published: May 8, 2013
Many people contributed to modern Africa and its history. Cecil Rhodes not only contributed to African history, but to the British Empire’s history as well. Cecil Rhodes was born on July 5, 1853 in Bishop’s Stortford, England. He was the fifth son to Reverend Francis William Rhodes and Louisa Peacock Rhodes. As a boy, Rhodes suffered from asthma. Due to his poor health, Rhodes was shipped off to Natal, South Africa to join his brother Herbert to work on a cotton farm instead of attending college. It was there where the brothers realized that growing cotton was no way to make a living and especially not a way to make a fortune. By 1871, the “diamond fever” was hitting everyone because it promised fame and fortune. The Rhodes brothers were not behind and left Natal for the diamond fields in Kimberley, South Africa that were newly developed. They were determined to make their fortune in the diamond mines. Rhodes spent six months alone during the mid-1870’s. There he developed his British Imperialism philosophies while wandering the unsettled plains of Transvaal, South Africa. It was after his heart attack in 1877 where Rhodes wrote down his ideas of a secret society in his will. The secret society would “extend British rule throughout the world and colonize most parts of it with British settlers, leading to the ‘ultimate recovery of the United States of America’ by the British Empire.” In 1880, Rhodes was elected to the Cape Parliament. It was the governing body of South Africa. It was there that Rhodes “succeeded in focusing attention on the Transvaal and German expansion so as to secure British control of Bechuanaland by 1885.” Rhodes secured mining grants from Lobengula, King of the Ndebele in 1888. It gave him a claim to what would become Rhodesia in the near future. During this time, on March 13, 1888 to be exact, Rhodes launched the De Beers consolidated Mines with Charles D. Rudd, where he met at Oriel College, Oxford, as...
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