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South Africa.rtf

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Political Science
POLI 211
Fillippo Sabetti

South Africa Introduction - one of the world's youngest democracies - seeks to escape a bitter political legacy - during the 2nd ½ of the 20th century the white minority government built a powerful/militarized state around institutions of racial oppression - discovery of minerals enabled the development of the industrial economy - africans and european settlers were in close contact in the country's burgeoning urban areas - political conflicts erupted between blacks who provided labor and whites who benefits from economic growth - old regime was dead set against political change until the late 1980s - apartheid (extreme racial segregation) seemed destined to end in violence - political leaders from both sides (especially Nelson Mandela, president of the African National Congress) realized long-term interest of South Africa's divided communities were intertwined - the opponents forged an elite pact that allowed the country to hold an open election and to install the first democratic government in 1994 - the transition marked the end of colonial rule in Africa and the burial of the last 20th century government based on racial supremacy - new institutions/policies redressed the exclusions and inequalities of the past - can the government redistribute wealth to blacks without inducing white flight? - does the government have the capacity to deliver the benefits promised by the new constitution? - absence of democratic heritage - omnipresence of crime and HIV/AIDs Global historical context - southernmost tip of africa: - dry region - rich in mineral resources - supported small hunting - from 2500 years ago the indigenous Khoisan peoples were joined by Bantu-speaking african migrants from the north - bantu-speaking migrants introduced herding, crop cultivation, and iron production - as the 2 groups mingled, they formed a succession of small- scale chieftaincies (they had little need to establish standing armies and other state institutions) - southern africa became less isolated from the rest of the world in the late 15th century (when spain was dispatching columbus to the americas) - portuguese mariners rounded the Cape of Good Hope in search of a route to India - the Dutch founded the first permanent european settlement there - the Cape Colony was run along the lines that established the foundations for modern South Africa - economic system and sexual liaison between white burghers/malay slaves/native blacks, gave rise to a complex society with racial and class lines - dominance of britain as a global power was marked in southern africa by its takeover of the Cape Colony in 1806 and arrival of english settlers on the frontier of the eastern Cape in 1820 - the colony remained predominately rural - population clustered into 4 mains groups: 1. english 2. afrikaners (dutch descendants who developed their own africanized culture and dialect) 3. cape coloureds (mixed-race people) 4. indigenous xhosa (on the eastern frontier) - political conflicts over land rights between these groups gave rise to demands for government - agitation against slavery by english missionaries drove many afrikaners to trek north to escape the reach of regulation - first colonial administrations were autocratic - former military officers drawn from the ranks of the english aristocracy were appointed as colonial governors - political precedent was set in 1853 when britain allowed the establishment of an elected legislative council - the country's political evolution diverged from india's - elected institutions weren't set up until almost a century later - cape colony resembled canada --> britain gradually granted self-government to a small/dominant group of white settlers - any adult male who owned property or earned a salary was allied to vote - africans and coloureds were excluded from political life because they were poor - in other settler colonies (i.e. US) contacts with white immigrants were devastating for indigenous peoples - during the rule of the Dutch East India Company the Khoisan hunters and herders of the western cape had been destroyed by european disease (small pox/measles) - by the mid 19th century bantu-speaking peoples lost their land, crops, and livestock due to euro invaders - foreign conquest wasn't achieved by strength of numbers (blacks always outnumbered whites in africa) - achieved by technological superiority of a metropolitan industrial economy that could mass-produce firearms - resistances against conquest: - xhosa in eastern cape in the 1840s - zulu in natal in the 1850s (zulu cultivated identity/organization of a warrior nation) - sotho, vend, and pedi in the interior highlands in the 1860s - 4 separate settler states were formed in the territory now known as south africa - british controlled natal (second colony on the eastern seaboard), imported labourers from colonial india (muslims and hindus) to develop sugar plantations and railways - christian missionaries were active in natal - established schools and hospitals - attracted dispelled africans into modernized lifestyles - high-altitude savannahs: afrikaner stock farmers set up 2 agrarian republics based on the institutions of individual land title and armed citizenry - orange free state: constitutional republic run by an elected assembly of white males - transvaal: rough-and-ready state held together by roving commandos - political/religious leaders of these republics constructed historical mythology of the afrikaners are a chosen people who threw off the bonds of the british empire and founded their own promised land - british colonies and afrikaner famed republics had distinct origins - shared patrimonial ideology - reduced relations between the races to master and servant - african peoples of the region were more resilient than the aboriginals of cape - they african peoples grew crops for sale to the settlers - provided labor on white commercial land - adopted christianized religions and western consumer goods - presence of missionaries, labor recruiters, and tax collectors int he african territories reduced influence of hereditary chiefs - chiefs' authority was undermined by conquest and colonization Path of development - economic growth reached a turning point in 1870 - discovery of the world's richest deposits of gold and diamonds - mining boom generated profits for investors in britain, europe, and north america - integrated southern africa into a global capitalist economy - industrialization accompanied urbanization - english-speaking immigrants and african migrant labourers converged on the boom towns of kimberley and johannesburg - industrial economy was constructed on racial lines - whites were awarded skilled jobs with high wages and supervisory responsibilities - black labourers were poorly paid and housed in male-only barracks - joint-stock companies that dominated the mining sector found common cause with colonial governments in controlling labor flow - controlled flow by introducing "pass" laws - ruled that no unemployed african could stay in an urban area without a valid identity document - political conflicts intensified over the country's newfound wealth - colonists united to crush the last remnants of african resistance - armed british expedition subdued the region's most powerful african kingdom in 1879 - zulu monarchy was abolished and zululand was divided into 13 weak parts under appointed chiefs - britain was determined to wrest political control of the goldfields from the afrikaners in the transvaal - resorted to war to guarantee imperial supremacy - south african war (1899-1902): orthodox british army (½ million soldiers) against a mobile guerrilla force - british victory was achieved only when boer (afrikaners) farms were burned and families were herded to disease-ridden camps - postwar peace settlement unified the region politically, gave birth to modern state of south africa - constitution of the union of south africa in 1910: - adopted the british westminster model - parliament was supreme within a unitary state, single centre instead of federation - absence of separation of powers - political party that controlled parliament enjoyed unchallenged control - plural culture of the new state was acknowledged when english and dutch were recognized as official languages of equal status - blacks were denied a share of political power and excluded from government in the new provinces of transvaal, orange free state, and natal - franchise laws of the former colonies remained in place - voting rights for blacks were protected in the more liberal cape province - white settlers set about consolidating control of a large/affluent african state whose autonomy was strengthened when the british parliament abandoned legislative oversight in 1934 - white-run union (later republic) of south africa can be divided into two periods: 1. anglicized afrikaners (1910-1948) 2. when afrikaner nationalists took over (1948-1994) - public policies during these periods differed in degree rather than kind - both aimed at racial segregation - post-1948 apartheid regime extended the separation of the races, drew biological distinctions between people and institutionalizing racial discrimination into the structure of the state - two countervailing forces offset these political developments: 1. expansion of the industrial economy required the creation of a stable urban workforce, brought races into close economic inter- dependence 2. enactment of discriminatory laws was matched at each stage by the emergence of new and more militant forms of black resistance, started with the formation in 1912 of the african national congress (ANC) - union government passed a native lands act (1913) that prohibited africans from buying/leasing farms designated for white people - effect: forced peasants into wage labor as farm workers/miners - state gave legal effect to customary colour bars in urban areas - industrial conciliation act (1924) denied africans the right to engage in collective wage bargaining - 1936 natives representation act removed africans from the ordinary voters' rolls in the cape province - indignities fuelled campaigns for legislative reform by a small elite of educated africans (clergy, lawyers, teachers) - strikes led by the industrial and commercial workers union - WWII (1939-1945) divided the white community - afrikaners were distressed that south africa entered a european conflict on the side of great britain - english-speakers were for the idea of mobilizing africa's resources - caused rapid build up of the country's coal, iron, and garment- manufacturing industries - the union party government sought to extend economic expansion after the war and recognize the reliance on black labor - 1948 election: electorate swung toward the national party - lead to the start of the apartheid experiment Apartheid experiment - national party government began by establishing: army, police, civil service, and publicly owned railways - ensured afrikaners became the prime beneficiaries of agricultural and educational subsidies and of public construction contracts - state power was used to enable social mobility for a population that had always resented the greater economic wealth of the english- speakers - developments + public services for segregated communities meant that the state in south africa became interventionist and patronage - basis of apartheid: - government classified every citizen under the population registration act (1950) into 4 racial categories: african, coloured, indian, or white - new laws were introduced to prohibit sex/marriage between people of different races - authorities broke up existing mixed-race families - group areas act (1950): black urban neighbourhoods were bulldozed and their inhabitants dispersed - every public facility was segregated - bantu education act (1953) abolished meson schools for africans and replaced them with public institutions - national party wanted to remove all politics rights for people of colour - architect of apartheid: hendrick verwoerd - prime minster 1958-1966 - had a vision that required geographical partition of the races - bantu homelands constitution act (1957) stripped africans of citizenship - relocation of africans took a toll on malnutrition, disease, and death - government policy of separate development contradicted the fact that south africa had become an economically integrated society - by 1980 more than ½ the nonwhite population continued to reside in towns where coloured residents outnumbered them - new generation of young leaders and nelson mandela recommitted the ANC to multiracial democracy - in 1955 the ANCs freedom charter declared that south africa belongs to all who live in it and that no government can claim authority unless its based on the will of the people - charter had a mix of liberal values (freedom of speech, right to vote, equality before the law) and socialist ideas (free education/healthcare, public ownership of mines and the industry) - resistance to apartheid began pe
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