Architects and Earthquakes

Ryan M. Irwin

in Gordian Knot

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199855612
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199979882 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in International History

Architects and Earthquakes

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This chapter is about the origins of the global apartheid debate. It opens with a section about Harold Macmillan’s famous 1960 ‘Wind of Change’ speech in Cape Town—in which the British Prime Minister celebrated the arrival of African nationalism and warned that Afrikaner leaders needed to abandon apartheid—and then shifts attention to the history of apartheid and African nationalism in South Africa. The first section explains the country’s place in the British empire, the intellectual rationale of ‘separate development,’ and the political infighting between apartheid pragmatists and apartheid theorists before 1960. The second section highlights the nonwhite community’s efforts to overcome racial discrimination in South Africa, lingering on the tensions between cosmopolitan liberalism—embodied by the African National Congress (ANC)—and African nationalism of Anton Lembede and later Robert Sobukwe. These two parallel stories came together only one month after Macmillan’s visit to South Africa in the form of the Sharpeville Massacre.

Keywords: winds of change; Apartheid; National Party; Hendrik Verwoerd; African Nationalism; African National Congress; Pan Africanist Congress; Anton Lembede; Robert Sobukwe

Chapter.  10786 words. 

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