Modern South Africa

History 112B

Spring 2013
Day & Time: 
TuTh 1230-2P

This course will examine three centuries of South African history that account for the origin and development of the recently dismantled apartheid regime. Our aim is to understand the major historical forces that progressively shaped what became a turbulent socio-cultural, economic, political, and racial frontier. We will look at the nature of indigenous African societies in South Africa on the eve of European arrival; initial European settlements and the origins of competition for resources; expansionist trends among Dutch settlers and the responses of African societies; mfecane/difacane and its aftermath; the role of the frontier in shaping race relations; emergence of Afrikanerdom and the creation of Afrikaner republics; competing African/Boer/British nationalisms; corporate mining and its impact on labour migrancy; the Anglo-Boer war and the creation of the Union. The 20th century witnessed the formulation, articulation, and racialization of trade unions, the emergence of increased political mobilization among African, Afrikaner, and Indian populations. The course will examine the complex relationship between key protagonists, and the creation and dismantling of the apartheid apparatus. Course requirements will include a midterm exam (40%), one review paper (20%), and a final exam (40%).