Before 1580 native people lived in South Africa. After 1518 Europeans arrived in many things were different in South Africa after their arrival.

  1. In 1488 while searching for a water route to India a Portuguese boat saw South Africa after they went around Cape of Good Hope.
  2. The first European settlers in south Africa were Dutch. After the Dutch gained independence from Spain they sought trade as the key to moving forward. The Dutch had few natural resources and wanted to establish a supply station in the East Indies in 1652.
  3. Dutch farmers called Boers were allowed to leave the Dutch East India Company and settle in South Africa. They looked down upon the native Africans and acted like arrogant gods. By the 1700s they occupied a great deal of land for farming around Cape Town. They then took over drier areas for sheep and cattle ranches. Many native Africans were killed with the spread of smallpox. Any remaining Africans were servants to the Dutch. Dutch became the dominant language but as more European settlers, Asians and servants from Africa started mingling their language became known as Africaans.
  4. The Dutch Boers took over a rule of Cape colony in 1806. The Dutch were mad that British outlawed slavery so many Dutch moved north in what is called the great trek. The Dutch fought the native African Zulus. In the 1500s the Zulus came to South Africa led by Shaka. Shaka led wars and conquered many Boers between 1818-1828.
  5. There was an influx of British settlers and they took over more land as they arrived.


  7. The Boer war of 1899-1902 was caused by the discovery of gold and diamonds in the 1800s. There were a half million British soldiers against 87,000 Boer farmers, so the British won.
  8. The Union of South Africa was between the Cape colony and the Boer republics they were united by the British in 1910. They had a Constitution and a government run by whites, this was the beginning of apartheid.
  9. South Africa fought against Germany in World War I between 1914-1918.
  10. Boer politicians in the first two prime ministers tried to bring Afrikaners and English-speaking whites together in a rise of Afrikaner nationalism. Afrikaans became the official language of South Africa. They tried to break away from their dependence on Britain by creating new industries.
  11. In 1931 South Africa was given their full independence by Britain.
  12. Boers wanted Germany to defeat Britain at the start of World War II. Afrikaner nationalism was dealt a blow.
  13. In 1948 during World War II Daniel Malan, supporter of nationalism, started an apartheid program separating blacks and whites and giving the government legal power to promote racism and segregation among racial groups.

Facts not in the book
many prime ministers and South African government wanted to continue apartheid since 1958. In 1961 South Africa became a republic leaving the Commonwealth of Africa. In the 1970s the South African government began reducing apartheid laws. In 1989 FW de Klerk was elected president and released Nelson Mandela in 1990 who was imprisoned for 27 years.