On Nov 28, 2017 5:25 PM, "Stephen Williamson" wrote:
Subject: South Africa timeline, "Amazing Grace", anti-slavery, Mr Hitler, and Nelson Mandela
Chatting about that "Amazing Grace" movie last week, there’s talk in the media about Zimbabwe rejoining the Commonwealth of Nations.
Here’s a bit of a timeline on South Africa, "Amazing Grace", anti-slavery, Mr Hitler, and Nelson Mandela
1488 Bartholomew Diaz from Portugal sails around South Africa and on towards the east. Storms had forced his ship away from the land. On return journey, names that cape the "Cape of Storms" or "Torments" (in Portuguese). The King of Portugal renames it "Cape of Good Hope"
1601 British East India Company ships start stopping there occasionally, but prefer restocking via St Helena Island or Ascension Islands, much further west, before heading around the south.
1652 Dutch East India Company establish a settlement at the Cape with their own military. They bring in literally thousands of slave workers from East Africa and Java. Major wars develop with the local natives at times. Ouch.
1795 Britain, at war with Napoleon, take over the Cape settlement to prevent it falling into Napoleon's hands.
1803 Following a lull in the war with the French, the settlement is handed back to the Dutch.
1806 As war in Europe regains momentum, the British retake the settlement.
Also in that year they pass a new law, the Foreign Slave Trade Act, engineered by the Christian lawyer, James Stephens, friend of William Wilberforce and "Amazing Grace" songwriter John Newton.
It made it illegal for any British citizen to be involved in transporting slave-workers to settlements that were liable to be captured by Napoleon and thus potentially provide the French with "extra soldiers".
While slave trading on British ships was illegal, British citizens could work on foreign ships (say, under a neutral US flag) and although that was publicly disapproved of, it was still legal, due to the financial rewards it gave certain members in the House of Lords.
Right, this law paved the way for the Slave Trading Felony Act of 1811, making the slave trading act itself a felony for any British citizen. Gave extra moral fibre to the British Army at war with Napoleon.
Almost finally, the Slavery Abolition bill of 1833, made it a criminal offence for any British citizen to own slaves, pretty much anywhere. A £20 million compensation and apprenticeships scheme funded by the government, was then paid to slave-owners during that transition period. A pretty revolutionary law. In 1843, from "pretty much anywhere" it became "everywhere".
Today, although slavery is abolished by law in all countries, de facto practices akin to it continue in many places. Click here to see Wikipedia's timeline re the abolition of slavery and serfdom.
1820 Meanwhile, in this year, the British annex the Cape of Good Hope as a British colony.
Dutch farmers (Boers), feeling somewhat intimidated by these new laws, form a new state further inland, with separate militia groups to repel the British as well as Zulus, Matabeles and other warriors. Wars develop when diamonds and other precious stones discovered. Comes to a head with the two Boer Wars (1880-1881) and (1899-1902). Involved the Boers in guerrilla warfare vs the British army. Heavy casualties on both sides.
1910 Union of South Africa formed, to work with the British Government towards independence.
The "Apartheid" policy was announced as a formal policy about 1929, following Darwin’s theories, that the whites were Aryans – "nobles". These discrimination principles, as set out by Adolf Hitler, Mussolini, anti-communist, nationalist delusions, also glorified the kingdom of Persia (about to be renamed as "Iran").
1931 Sovereign Independence from Britain declared in South Africa, but remains a member of British Commonwealth of Nations.
1948 While Hitler and Mussolini had by now passed on, apartheid principles now formalised by segregating every person in the country into one of three separate races "Whites", "Blacks", and "Coloureds" (i.e. peoples of mixed descent). A fourth group, with numerous sub-groups, was added for Indians and other Asians.
1961 Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd exits South Africa from the Commonwealth of Nations, with their Governor-General Charles Swart becoming their first President.
Verwoerd was then assassinated in 1966. Succeeded as Prime Minister by Balthazar Vorster. Vorster had gone to jail during WW2 for endeavouring to sabotage the war effort and work in favour of Germany and Hitler. He was followed by Pieter Botha, then Frederik de Klerk. During these years, South Africa as a country became a pariah to groups everywhere.
1994 Nelson Mandela becomes President, apartheid is abandoned and South Africa rejoins the Commonwealth of Nations.
Blessings all Steve
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