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Rise Of Afrikaner Nationalism

After the Boer War, two Afrikaner generals, Jan Smuts and Louis Botha, sought conciliation with the British in forming the South African Party. Supporters also included enfranchised blacks. The South African Party defeated the Unionist Party in the 1910 elections. Cognizant of eroding political rights, members of the black educated elite formed the South African Native National Congress (later the African National Congress) in 1912. Racist legislation enacted during this period of "fusion" included the 1913 Land Act, which prohibited a type of sharecropping called farming-on-the-half, in which black sharecroppers negotiated with white farmers to farm part of the latter's land. Furthermore, blacks could not own land outside of designated areas.

Another Afrikaner general, J. B. M. Hertzog, led dissidents against a South African alliance with the British in World War I. A schism developed between Smuts and Hertzog over South African involvement in World War II, signaling the end of fusion. It was then that Hertzog advocated a South African republic outside the British Commonwealth. Further racist legislation included:

The Urban Areas Act of 1923, which legislated urban racial segregation, discouraging blacks from becoming town-rooted.

The Industrial Reconciliation Act of 1926, which introduced job protections for poor whites.

The 1936 Land Act, which reinforced the 1913 Land Act and designated homelands as areas for African land ownership.

A 1936 decree that struck Africans in the Cape Province from the common voters' roll.

The historian T. Dunbar Moodie has suggested that Afrikaner nationalism was a civil religion representing the integration of key symbolic elements. These include major events in Afrikaner history, the Afrikaans language, and Dutch Calvinism. From Moodie's perspective, Afrikaners viewed their history in terms of a repeating suffering-and-death cycle at the hands of the British through major events such as the Great Trek and the Boer War. The Broederbond, a secret society composed of Afrikaner professionals, formed the Federation of Afrikaner Cultural Organizations (FAK), affiliating cultural and language associations as well as church councils, youth groups, and scientific study circles in 1929.

Segregated bathrooms in Johannesburg, South Africa, 1984. When the National Party came to power in 1948, many laws were passed to segregate the population, one of which banned blacks and Indians from using the same public facilities as whites. © IAN BERRY/MAGNUM PHOTOS

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Anticolonialism in Southeast Asia - Categories And Features Of Anticolonialism to Ascorbic acidApartheid - Historical Background, Rise Of Afrikaner Nationalism, Black Resistance, Apartheid Legislation, Gender Issues, Nelson Mandela