The History of Apartheid in South Africa

Topics: South Africa, Nelson Mandela, British Empire Pages: 4 (1262 words) Published: October 8, 1999
The History of Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid was a system employed by the dominantly white government that held the people of Africa apart for over half a century, and is only now being uplifted. It literally means ‘apartness’, and that states a lot about the system itself. The basis of it was to classify all the different people of Africa into races - of which there were four basic ones: White (European and Caucasian), Black (any native African), Indian (Pakistani and Indian) and Coloured (A mix of any of the above). Furthermore, these were sub-divided even more.

Apartheid officially came into use in 1948, when the National Party came into power, by a slim margin, but the history of discrimination goes much further back than that, to the beginning of the European settlement of South Africa in the 1600’s. The East India Trading Company set up a post at Cape of Good Hope to supply passing ships with fruits, vegetables and meat. The post was not meant to be a settlement, but those posted there built homes, cultivated crops, and got ‘settled in’.

The natives of the are understandably disliked strangers invading their land. The East India Company tried to keep the tension at a minimum, and limited the amount of land the settlers could use and the amount of crops they could grow. The amount grown was to be sold to the Company for a low price. The settlers did not take that well, and resorted to smuggling.

During the Napoleonic wars, the British took over the post as a naval station. Although the Dutch had been unhappy under the rule of the East India Company, the British turned out to be much worse for them. The British had a different language, different church, and a different way of dealing with the natives. Some of the more independent farmers sold their farms, and headed further inland, battling natives on the way. They established two independent countries, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal South...
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