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Looking at the historical and cultural/human geography of South Africa, what have been...

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accge | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted September 7, 2013 at 4:29 PM via iOS

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Looking at the historical and cultural/human geography of South Africa, what have been some of the historical challenges?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 7, 2013 at 4:51 PM (Answer #1)

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The major challenge in the cultural and human geography of South Africa has been the challenge of deciding how to accommodate the needs and desires of various nationalities of Europeans, groups of Africans, peoples of mixed races, and Indians.  This has challenged South Africa for hundreds of years and continues to do so today.

There have been challenges that have come of having Europeans come to South Africa, wanting to use the land that had been “owned” by the Africans.  This brought about conflict between the Africans and the Europeans, which were generally won by the Europeans due to their technological advantages.  There were also challenges that came of having Europeans from different nations.  The most famous of these was the challenge of accommodating both the Afrikaners and the English.  The Afrikaners had mainly been Dutch and German who had settled in South Africa and come to identify as Afrikaners.  They ended up in conflict with the English who were trying to establish a colony in South Africa.  This eventually led to the Boer War between the two groups.

After South Africa became an independent nation, challenges continued.  The whites set up a system of racial segregation called apartheid in which blacks and whites were kept strictly separated.  The system also separated mixed race people as well as Indians. 

This sort of conflict among ethnic and racial groups has been the biggest challenge for South Africa in terms of its human and cultural geography.

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