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Biography Of Cecil Rhodes And His Quest Towards Domination Of South Africa And The Diamond Industry

2488 words - 10 pages

During the 1800's Cecil Rhodes of England seized an opportunity to exploit a weak, disorganized, and sparsely populated, Southern Africa. He established ruthless control by setting up a government beneficial to himself, and enjoying enormous profits through diamond mining. To people today this act may seem like robbery. Taking diamonds from local inhabitants and dominating the native people's homeland seems morally wrong. Yet this idea was not at all held by imperial Europe. Many European countries felt bringing jobs and a "civilized government" gave them the right to take natural resources from the land, and make huge profits. Although it may seem as if Cecil Rhodes "destroyed Africa" he ...view middle of the document...

Cecil was very disappointed that he could not be drafted into the army like four of his other brothers due to his illness, but the Rhodes Family was convinced that it was in Cecil's best interest to listen to the doctor. At 16 years old Cecil Rhodes left England to join his brother Herbert Rhodes, who was already in Africa, on a 200-acre cotton enterprise in Natal, South Africa.Rhode's determination to work hard for monetary success, and his ambition to create a successful enterprise were evident soon after he first arrived in Natal. He was given a letter saying his brother was working in the diamond fields in the interior of Africa and would be back to the farm in a couple of days. He was taken by horse to the cotton farm and immediately began work. He quickly discovered that his brother, Herbert, had not created a well-run cotton farm as he had led his family to believe. His brother "had spaced his (cotton) rows too close together. The cotton twisted and tangled and worms destroyed the bolls." Cecil took charge and fixed the farm. Part of the time Cecil was working on the cotton farm alone while his brother worked in diamond fields about 500 miles away. Although most people in Natal were cotton farmers or silk producers diamonds were the, "talk of the colony."Even with Cecil Rhodes' success at improving his brother's cotton farm, he too became excited by even more chance for success in diamond mining. When Cecil first set his eyes on a diamond he was ecstatic. Cecil said himself, "To hear talk and to see diamonds makes one's mouth water... people out here talk of nothing but diamonds... There are already 6,000 people up there, and every day hundreds more pour in." Rhodes excitement from diamonds could have possibly immediately sparked a desire to work in the diamond fields. Although Rhodes knew he had not come to South Africa to dig diamonds he constantly thought of the possibility of investing his time in diamonds.Cecil Rhodes did not give up the cotton farm, however, he was determined to become successful. As Cecil worked harder and harder on the cotton farm he finally finished planting and making the enterprise produce a profitable crop. Since Cecil had taken over the main roll of clearing the fields and planting, the farm had become more effective and produced higher quality product. But, as well as the crop did Cecil still had diamonds on his mind. Cecil constantly would try to convince himself that his cotton farm was sufficient and diamond mining was a waste of money by saying, "The accounts of the diamond fields are rather gloomy... there are, too, hundreds of men up there who are totally without money, and glad to work for a shilling a day," but his desire for diamonds was increasing. New finds of diamonds in rivers and on farms in Durban, a town close by to Natal, broke the thin wire that attracted Herbert to his cotton farm. In March of 1871 Herbert Rhodes abandoned Cecil on the cotton farm altogether. Herbert had left for the...

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