Response to apartheid 1948 - 59

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What was life like in South Africa '48?

SAs already categorised- whites/natives/coloureds/Indians. Africans split by distinct languages, cultures - major challenge for nationalists 20th century- create common identity. Whites- British / Afrikaaners, more highly educated/ wealthy. Coloureds mostly Afrikaans speaking and significant minority. Indians- descendants of slaves/ traders mostly English spekaing and significant minority. UK handed SA self government '10 but hadn't required whites to share power with black, most electorate white except coloured/ africans in old Cape Colony- had to meet education/ property requirements. Africans completely disenfranchised '36. Before '48, Africans forced out of cites into townships- poor conditions. WW2 made it difficult ti import UK goods- SA industry increased & white men in army so more opportunity for blacks. Post WW2 blacks/ whites competed for jobs/ places in cities. Poor white (afrikaner) problem- NP appealed to insecurities- didnt want to work under blacks/ do 'black work'. Whites owned most of land but blacks majority on farms as labourers and tenants. '20s/ '30s increased Afrikaner pride-volk. 

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Why were National Party victorious '48 election?

Growth of Afrikaner nationalism & sense of injustice- ie Broederbond (inc. members of gvnmt)- ideological direction- Christian nationalist/ republican outlook. Calvinist Dutch Reformed Church- seperate volk, inter- marrying between races problem in '48 election. Anti WW2 movement- Ossewabrandwag, mass rallies, influenced by De facism, post war many members joined NP. Despite growing concern about universal human rights, found some international sympathy. Smuts was a pragmatist & brought in some liberal policies-NP used this against him, exploiting white fears of swart gevaar and oorstrooming leaving Afrikaner farmers w/out black workers. Malan won small majorities in rurral constituencies with fewer voters and joined together with small Afrikaner Party to secure narrow victory.  

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