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UNIT 20: Imperial Designs

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VIDEO SEGMENT: Imperialism in South Africa

This segment uses the example of South Africa to demonstrate the ways imperial strategies tended to become more formalized over time, and to demonstrate that imperial designs were not only the province of European states. European contacts with South Africa began in the fifteenth century with Portuguese traders, but accelerated by the seventeenth century when the Dutch began using the Cape of Good Hope as a fueling station. Soon, Dutch settlers began to call themselves Afrikaners, appropriated the surrounding land for themselves, and pushed the original inhabitants aside.

By the turn of the nineteenth century, the British had also established themselves at the Cape, and they began to impose a much more formal style of imperial rule on both Afrikaners and Africans. This new imperial style brought the British into conflict with the Afrikaners, who migrated into the interior. However, this migration led the Afrikaners into conflict with the Zulu, an African kingdom that was in the midst of its own territorial expansion.

By the last half of the nineteenth century, these overlapping conflicts were superseded by the imposition of formal British rule over South Africa's interior-an imposition prompted by the discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1885. Quickly, diamond and gold mines became critical to the British Imperial economy, and steps were taken to ensure that the profits from those mines remained in the hands of Europeans. Resulting policies increased control over African labor and African movement on the basis of race-policies that would eventually lead to the twentieth-century system of Apartheid.

SELECTED IMAGES AND MAPS


Anonymous, BOER WOMEN AND CHILDREN REFUGEES ON WAGON AND SOME WOMEN PULLING THE WAGON, SOUTH AFRICA (1901). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Frederic Remington, BOER SCOUTS ON THE NATAL BORDER, COVER ILLUSTRATION, HARPER'S WEEKLY (1899). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.


Anonymous, DIAMOND MINERS AT THE BOTTOM OF A GREAT SHAFT AT THE WESSELTON MINES, KIMBERLY, SOUTH AFRICA (1911). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Anonymous, MAP OF AFRICA (c. 1900). Courtesy of Torrence Royer.



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