British racism was crucial in shaping the racial order of South Africa. Much political influence of abolitionists. Passionate commitment to extending rights and freedoms to those in coerced labour systems. Idea of Africa as intrinsically backwards (and abolitionists did not throw this opinion away). Belief that because Africans were savage and backwards they would need European intervention, with the three C’s: Christianity, Commerce, and Civilizations. Missionaries were some of the most prominent settlers to come to cape colony.
In cape colony, the London missionary society was the most prominent, intending to convert the Khoikoi popoulations to Christianity (subversive in the context of the day, counter to the Afrikaner order that had already existed) Khoikoi testimony was not valid in court (they could not swear on the bible). Christianity gave a new sense of community to Africans. Increased rates of conversion with major events which took place (example, many Xhossa people converted after the cattle killing, when their beliefs had been destroyed- missionaries stepped into this vacuum) A racial order in action: in the eyes of missionaries a rejection of previous beliefs. Africans were considered the “other”. The only way of leaving was to assimilate to Christianity (living in missions had no land of their own, would have to work on a farm of a settler or serve in the cape regiment) This led to the beginnings of the formation of a subservient labouring class. Broader trend; most converts still struggled in their new societies. In the first ½ of the 19 th century 2 pieces of Legislation; Ordinance 50, 1828 which gave the Khoikoi equality, and Masters and Servers Ordinance, 1856, which was supposed to give everybody equality, but the two were contradictory of each other. Social Darwinism was a crass interpretation of darwins theory with respect to race (whites on top, blacks on bottom, confusing ideas for the arabs, east Asians, etc.). Idea that intermingling and producing offspring would harm the race. Expansion of colonial regions was probably a demonstration of power to other European regions. S.A was also an important zone for social darwinsim to take place in the real world. White capitalists required black labourers to extract gold from the mines. White desire for independence but require the labour of blacks. Before the mines, African labourers were dispersed over a large area on farms. Mines required urbanization, which occurred in Johannesburg. Whites had a fear that they would be overrun by blacks The “noble savage” Africans were most noble when untained by modern European life. Tried to segregate the cities, and regulate how long the blacks could live in cities. Tried to make Africans into seasonal workers. At the end of the 19 th century, Africans were still treated as subservient.
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- Fall '07
- History, The Bible