Vocabulary Fossil—the remains of ancient humans, animals and plants that have turned into stone
Early Humans and Civilizations Scientists believe that the first humans who may have existed lived in Eastern Africa over 2 million years ago. Scientists believe this because they have discovered fossils of early human skeletons—skeletons that look somewhat human, but also somewhat ape-like. It is believed that once “humans” first appeared they left Africa and spread throughout the world.
Vocabulary Boers—the Dutch word for “farmers”; Dutch people who settled in Southern Africa in the 1700 and 1800s Ethnocentrism—the belief that a person’s culture is superior to, or better than, another culture
Europeans in Eastern and Southern Africa We’ve already learned about the Transatlantic slave trade, where Europeans in the 1600-1800s bought African slaves and shipped them to the Americas. While some slaves did come from Southern Africa, most came from Western African further north. Beginning in the 1700s, however, some Europeans moved to Southern Africa to become traders or even farmers. Most of these Europeans came from the Netherlands, who speak a language called Dutch. They called themselves Boers, and many more came in the late 1700s when diamonds were discovered in Southern Africa. Eventually, the United Kingdom took the Dutch colony from the Boers.
Europeans in Eastern and Southern Africa Many, if not most Southern and Eastern Africans hated colonial rule. We have already learned some of the negative effects colonialism and imperialism had on Africa. These were still true in Southern Africa, with one difference: few Europeans came to actually live in Western and Central Africa, while many did come to live in Southern Africa, taking land from the native Africans. Many Europeans justified their theft of African land with ethnocentrism—the belief that they (Europeans) were “better” or “superior” to the Africans and so had a right to take their land. On a positive note, Europeans did build a lot of schools and infrastructure in Southern Africa.
Vocabulary Mau Mau—a movement against British rule in Kenya in the 1940s-1960s Apartheid—the official government policy of South Africa keeping whites and non-whites separate from each other
Winning Independence in Eastern Africa Eastern Africa, like the rest of the continent, was colonized by European countries in the 1800 and 1900s. Unlike in Western and Central Africa, however, many East African countries had to fight for their independence. In Kenya, the Mau Mau movement sought to get rid of British rule. The Mau Maus fought the British violently— actually attacking British authorities. The U.K. gave Kenya its independence in 1963, and other countries nearby became independent soon after. – President Obama’s grandfather was a fighter in the Mau Mau rebellion against the British in Kenya.
Apartheid in South Africa South Africa gained independence from the U.K. in 1910. When it became a country, less than 10% of the population was white—the rest were either black African or of mixed ancestry. The whites in charge of the South African government wanted to keep it that way. In the 1940s the South African government passed a series of laws known as Apartheid meant to keep whites and non-whites separate as well as preventing non-whites from being able to vote. Apartheid kept non-whites out of power in South Africa for nearly 50 years even though they made up 90% of the population. Video!
Vocabulary African National Congress—a South African political party that has worked for civil rights; the party of Nelson Mandela
The End of Apartheid The man usually credited with helping to end Apartheid is Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela started a political party called the African National Congress (ANC) that opposed Apartheid. For many years Mandela, looking to the example set by Gandhi in India, led non-violent resistance to the government: protests, boycotts, sit-ins, etc. However, after many years of struggle the pro-Apartheid government did not give in. Frustrated, Mandela changed his mind and decided that violent resistance was the only way to end Apartheid in his country. The government of South Africa had Mandela arrested and sent to prison for nearly 20 years for plotting against the government.
The End of Apartheid By the 1990s many countries had stopped trading with South Africa because of Apartheid. In 1990 South Africa released Mandela from jail. In 1994 the government ended apartheid, allowed all South Africans to vote in elections, and Mandela became the country’s first non-white president. Mandela died last year, and it was a big deal in the news for a few days. Does anyone remember this happening?
Assignment! Does Violence Solve Anything? Read the directions carefully! Due next Monday, 5/12!