Apartheid and Afrikaner Nationalism Essay

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History is subjective because it is a subject that is based on a person’s knowledge and opinions. While some events have obvious causes, other events must be analyzed to find their true impetus. One complicated era from history that has a debatable cause is Apartheid. While some historians cite complex causes for Apartheid, most people in the general public simply believe racism was the root of the institution. While racism did factor into later practices of Apartheid, racism was merely a byproduct of the social and cultural effects of the institution. When evidence is examined, the real cause of Apartheid becomes obvious. This era of South African history was not simply based on social practices such as racism; Apartheid was rooted …show more content…
The Afrikaners formed a separate linguistic and cultural identity that included a set of religious beliefs that shaped their worldview. These developments not only separated Afrikaners from native Africans ethnically, but also provided a template from which nationalist beliefs were based. This connection between the cultural identity of Afrikaners and their nationalist ideology is found in the events that occurred shortly after Great Britain annexed South Africa. Afrikaners believed that the British would undermine the culture that had developed among Afrikaners by supporting the mixing of Afrikaner and native cultures. In response to this threat to their ethnic identity, Afrikaners created numerous political parties that advocated both a separate culture and country for Afrikaners. Drawing upon the reformed theology of Afrikaners, political organizations such as the Afrikaner Broederbond claimed that, “…God intended for each nation to develop separately…moreover, God had specifically created the Afrikaner nation as His chosen people to fulfill a divine destiny in southern Africa” (Beck, 2000, p. 111). Using a religious belief from the Afrikaner culture, political parties were able build a nationalism that promoted the segregationist agenda that would later be used for justifying Apartheid. So, Apartheid was not racist institution, it was merely a product of the nationalist belief that the Afrikaner people had the right to develop as a

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