The View from Pretoria

Philip E. Muehlenbeck

in Betting on the Africans

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195396096
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932672 | DOI:
The View from Pretoria

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Viewed from Pretoria, Kennedy looked to be apartheid’s worst enemy. Not only was the young American president strengthening US relations with black Africa both economically and morally, but he also took a stand against minority rule in southern Africa and in support of civil rights for African Americans in the United States. In reality, the specter of the New Frontier in Africa turned out not to be as bad as the South African government initially feared. Kennedy’s opposition to apartheid remained largely rhetorical as he rationalized that taking a tough line against the South African government would not convince it to change its racial policies but would only serve to militarize the conflict between the white minority and African majority. As a result, Kennedy refrained from taking stern action against Pretoria and did not send aid to the African National Congress as he had done for the Angolan nationalist movement.

Keywords: Kennedy; South Africa; Apartheid; Nationalism; African National Congress

Chapter.  7213 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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