How Did British Imperialism Affect South Africa

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Like most of Africa during the past several centuries, European countries, namely the Dutch and British, influenced South Africa. The Dutch took initial control in the 1600s; therefore, by the time the British arrived in the early 1800s a significant minority of Dutch, known as Boers or Afrikaners already resided in South Africa (Gascoigne). As a result, quarrels between the Boers, British, and natives occurred for more than a century, all while policies were becoming increasingly discriminatory towards anyone of Asian, Indian, or African heritage, leading to apartheid. Apartheid, literally meaning “apartness” in Afrikaans, was the institutionalized segregation that plagued South Africa from 1948 to 1994, resulting in one of the worst cases of inequality in a developed country. To justify apartheid, white South Africans claimed it was the most effective way to govern due to a white man’s inherent superior intellect, which…show more content…
Britain exacerbated the already discriminatory situation in South Africa, despite significant warnings from politicians, protests from South Africans and eventually giving rise to one of the worst cases of institutionalized segregation in the 20th century as well as economic downfall which affects black South Africans today. However, Britain also played a largely inactive role in harming South Africa. During and before apartheid, Britain had the capability to possibly stop the discriminatory policies, but chose to remain a bystander towards the crisis in South Africa. Britain chose to not sanction South Africa when the UN requested them to, leading to the elongation of apartheid (Daniel). Britain’s actions, and lack thereof, show the undeniable harms of doing nothing when someone needs to take
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