This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Mfecane Movement In South Africa

2215 words - 9 pages

In the early period of the nineteenth century, there were great social and political transformations occurring in southern Africa, which became known as the Mfecane. The period was characterized by historian Elizabeth Eldredge as one of “tremendous demographic upheaval and revolutionary and social change”. The period of the Mfecane consisted of vast migrations, random raids, battles and recurring periods of hardships and scarcity for many indigenous people in the region. The Mfecane over the years has become a very debatable topic amongst historians, who considered the causes that led to the mass migration, its importance on Africa’s more current history, and whether it even sanctions an account on the developing history of South Africa. Unfortunately, with the lack of first hand evidence, the Mfecane is still considered an evolving history, but as time passes, new sources are being discovered. Most historians believe and agree that the social disruption of the Mfecane came from the expansion of the Zulu Kingdom, which conquered their neighboring competition the Ndwandwe. By doing so, they were able to set the stage for the first modern African state. However, historians are questioning the reasons behind the expansion of the Zulu kingdom.
There have been four theories that various historians support for the causes and history of the Mfecane movement in South Africa. First theory presented on the Mfecane was written by historian George McCall Theal .He believed that Africans naturally waged ‘barbarous tribal wars’ until the arrival of white people, who ‘pacified’ the interior, occupied ‘vacant land’ and established civilized government. Second theory developed about the Mfecane by historians J.D Omer-Cooper and J.B Peires, looks at the importance of social and economic factors on competition for resources in the Nguni region. Third developing theory of the Mfecane was presented by Julian Cobbing who wrote a thesis challenging the view that Africans were at the center of the Mfecane, and that it was actually brought on by European trade. Finally, the last theory is a criticism of Cobbing’s thesis, which is challenged by Elizabeth Eldredge and Carolyn Ann Hamilton. In this essay, I will be exploring the different theories that are presented by the historians on the subject of the Mfecane movement and how there theories are relevant to the Mfecane movement itself.
One of the main issues regarding the history of the Mfecane is that there are few direct primary sources on the subject. As a result, most histories on the subject have been written in the years of the early nineteenth century, fifty years after the Mfecane movement. The most well know of these is George McCall Theal. Although his writings have been around for a while, historians still believe that his writings reveal useful information on South Africa to the outer world. However, the extent to which Theal writes about the early 18th century of Africa,, becomes an argumentative...

Find Another Essay On The Mfecane Movement in South Africa

The Origins of Apartheid in South Africa

715 words - 3 pages restricting their movement in their own country. The regime was however under constant disapproval by foreign nations. In 1961 South Africa was forced to withdraw from the British Commonwealth by member states who were critical of the apartheid system, and in 1985 the governments of the United States and Great Britain imposed selective economic sanctions on South Africa in protest of its racial policy. The architects most probably wanted to accomplish sovereignty of their rule over South Africa, however the 90’s revolution took place which landed Nelson Mandela as the first black African president.

The Gold Mining Industry in South Africa

1043 words - 4 pages Gold mining in South Africa has a large impact on the environment, the economy and social structure in South Africa. The environmental impact of gold mining on the environment includes water, air and noise pollution. The mining industry in South Africa is one of the largest in the world. It provides jobs for hundreds of thousands of people in the mining industry alone. The mining industry also indirectly provides jobs for about 400 000 with the

The language barrier in south africa

643 words - 3 pages In South Africa, we are fortunate, or maybe unfortunate of having 11 official languages, and five major spoken languages, namely English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. I say fortunate, because we can celebrate our diverseness, and our wonderful culture, but we also unfortunate, because with diverseness comes confusion, problems and inconveniences.Having 11 official languages sounds grand, and important, to some. It shows that we are multi

The Environmental Impact Assessment in South Africa

1760 words - 8 pages Introduction and the theme of the investigation The Environmental Impact Assessment (hereafter referred to as EIA), system originated in 1969 when it was first introduced in the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) in the United States of America (Baker and Wood, 1999) and later spread to countries around the world. Today South Africa is one of the countries around the world that has adopted and adapted the EIA system as part of its

The Demand for Electricity in South Africa

1621 words - 6 pages Introduction This report is based on the investigation and research on reducing electricity consumption of certain appliances and to improve energy usage at home. The demand for electricity in South Africa is increasing and it is exceeding electricity supply, research has shown that households contribute 15% to the countries total electricity consumption [1]. Efficient energy usage is very critical; electricity can be used very inefficiently

Apartheid in South Africa

856 words - 3 pages Apartheid, the Afrikaans word for “apartness” was the system used in South Africa from the years 1948 to 1994. During these years the nearly 31.5 million blacks in South Africa were treated cruelly and without respect. They were given no representation in parliament even though they made up most of the country. It was not until 1994 when a black man named Nelson Mandela came to power in the South Africa congress. Once elected Mandela removed

Apartheid in South Africa

1807 words - 7 pages of his role in the ANC, Mandela was convicted of going against the Suppression of Communism Act and sent to Johannesburg prison for six months. After the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, the ANC was outlawed. Mandela continued to fight for the rights of his people, traveling illegally outside South Africa in 1962, and addressing the Conference of the Pan African Freedom Movement of East and Central Africa. After his return to Africa, he was once

Apartheid In South Africa

2284 words - 9 pages -European groups in the Republic of South Africa” (“Apartheid”). According to Robin Cohen, South African apartheid was based on four basic premises: “white monopoly of political power, the manipulation of space to achieve racial segregation, the control of black labor, and urban social control” (qtd. in Massie 385). Apartheid was widely supported by powerful nations, including the United States. However, the validity of the arguments and

Investment in South Africa

1223 words - 5 pages Caltex plant was established in South Africa in 1977 after the owners decided to expand its operations in South Africa. The construction of the plant brought controversy over the interested parties, there were two dimensions of the utilitarian benefits of the Caltex plant, and there were violations of the justice and of moral rights whereas on the other side there were possible benefits to the South Africans. The plant setup was helpful in that

Apartheid in South Africa

1347 words - 5 pages Nelson Mandela helped bring an end to Apartheid in South Africa because he was a believer in basic human rights, leading both peaceful and violent protests against the white South African Government. His beliefs landed him in prison for twenty-seven years, almost three decades. In doing so, he became the face of the apartheid movement both in his country and around the world. When released from prison in 1990, he continued to honor his

Apartheid in South Africa

1600 words - 6 pages The word apartheid comes in two forms, one being the system of racial segregation in South Africa, and the other form is the form that only those who were affected by apartheid can relate to, the deeper, truer, more horrifying, saddening and realistic form. The apartheid era truly began when white South Africans went to the polls to vote. Although the United Party and National Party were extremely close, the National party won. Since they

Similar Essays

The Apartheid In South Africa Essay

1347 words - 5 pages Party stayed in power by making sure only white people could vote. South Africa is placed at the bottom of Africa and is on the trade route for ships. That is why the white people started to set up a settlement so that they could start a new life and start a business for a stop off point for ships travelling around the bottom of Africa. Dutch were the first white people to move there because they wanted to escape persecution for their religion in

The Gospel In South Africa Essay

1443 words - 6 pages settelers brought bitter disillusionment, that stood in stark contrast to their high hopes of coming to South Africa. The land given them by the British government of the Cape was unsuitable for agriculture, and their living conditions were appalling. The unnamed man who escorted the groups to their territory would always end his tour of their land by saying, “Gentlemen, when you go out to plough never leave your guns behind.” with that he would get on

The Legacy Of Apartheid In South Africa

1620 words - 6 pages . It can be easily stated that the apartheid movement bestowed cruel and unusual punishments upon the people of South Africa, in order to execute its purpose. However, apartheid could have not been carried out if they were not individuals who believed in its principles. In order to understand the National parties ideologies regarding the issue of apartheid, it is essential to acknowledge the history of Boer societies and Social Darwinism. Reason

The Gender Identity Transition In South Africa

1016 words - 5 pages executive positions. There have also been new policies implemented such as laws on domestic violence, and reproductive rights. Many of these achievements could be attributed to the work of the (WNC). The future for gender identities in South Africa, could effectively take two alternative paths. One being that the society remains stagnated as a patriarchal one or alternatively a society that shows an active transition in accepting different