Nationalists Take Power in South Africa (Great Events: 1900-2001)
Article abstract: Winning a majority of Parliament seats in the election of 1948, Daniel Malan and his National Party began to set up a system of laws to guarantee what they called “apartheid”—complete separation of the races.
A Diverse Land
According to historians, the first Africans arrived in South Africa in about the fifth century. Dutch settlers arrived at the southern tip of Africa centuries later, in 1652. These new South Africans, who farmed cattle, soon began to move north and east in search of pasture for their herds. It was not long before they came upon native tribespeople who also had a claim on the land. Many of the Khoi-khoi and San people were killed by white hunting parties, in wars, or by smallpox.
As the Dutch (who came to be called Boers) pushed east, African groups tried to move west. Then the British arrived, occupying the Cape of Good Hope region in 1806. Waves of British settlers brought liberal ideas about equality of the races. Slavery was abolished in 1834, and British missionaries criticized the way the Boers treated black Africans.
In response, the Boers decided to move on, and the Great Trek began. Around 1836, the Boer farmers went to Natal, where they fought a series of bloody wars with the Zulu. When the British began appearing in Natal, the Boers moved on again, this time to the Transvaal (which they called the South African Republic) and the Orange Free...
(The entire section is 1079 words.)
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