Union of South Africa

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Union of South Africa

Unie van Zuid-Afrika  (Dutch)
Unie van Suid-Afrika  (Afrikaans)
1910–1961
Motto:  Ex Unitate Vires
(Latin for "From Unity, Strength")
Anthem: "God Save the King" (1910–52); "God Save the Queen" (1952–57) [lower-alpha 1]

"Die Stem van Suid-Afrika" (1938–61) [1]
(English: "The Call of South Africa")
Union of South Africa in its region.svg
Location of the Union of South Africa. South West Africa shown as disputed area (occupied in 1915, administered as 5th province of the Union under a C-mandate from the League of Nations).
Capital Cape Town (legislative)
Pretoria (administrative)
Bloemfontein (judicial)
Pietermaritzburg (archival)
Largest city Johannesburg [2] [3]
Government Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Monarch  
 1910–36
George V
 1936
Edward VIII
 1936–52
George VI
 1952–61
Elizabeth II
Governor-General  
 1910–14
The Viscount Gladstone (first)
 1959–61
Charles Robberts Swart (last)
Prime Minister  
 1910–19
Louis Botha
 1919–24, 1939–48
Jan Smuts
 1924–39
J.B.M. Hertzog
 1948–54
D.F. Malan
 1954–58
J.G. Strijdom
 1958–61
H.F. Verwoerd
Legislature Parliament
Senate
House of Assembly
History 
  Union
31 May 1910
  Republic
31 May 1961
Area
19612,045,320 km2 (789,700 sq mi)
Population
 1961
18,216,000
Currency South African pound (1910–61), South African rand (1961)
ISO 3166 code ZA
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Cape Colony 1876-1910.svg Cape Colony
Flag of the Natal Colony 1875-1910.svg Colony of Natal
Flag of Orange River Colony.svg Orange River Colony
Flag of the Transvaal Colony 1904-1910.svg Transvaal Colony
Flag of Transvaal.svg Transvaal
South Africa Flag of South Africa (1928-1994).svg
Today part ofFlag of Namibia.svg  Namibia
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Union of South Africa Red Ensign (1912-1928) Merchant ensign until 1951 Red Ensign of South Africa (1912-1928).svg
Union of South Africa Red Ensign (1912–1928) Merchant ensign until 1951
Union of South Africa Blue Ensign (1910-1928) Blue Ensign of South Africa (1910-1912).svg
Union of South Africa Blue Ensign (1910–1928)

The Union of South Africa (Dutch : Unie van Zuid-Afrika, Afrikaans : Unie van Suid-Afrika Loudspeaker.svg pronunciation  ) is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony. It included the territories that were formerly a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European (White), Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Contents

Following the First World War, the Union of South Africa was granted the administration of South West Africa (now known as Namibia) as a League of Nations mandate. It became treated in most respects as another province of the Union, but it never was formally annexed.

South West Africa former country, a mandate of South Africa

South West Africa was the name for modern-day Namibia when it was under South African administration, from 1915 to 1990.

Namibia republic in southern Africa

Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia, is a country in southern Africa. Its western border is the Atlantic Ocean; it shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 metres of the Zambezi River separates the two countries. Namibia gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek, and it is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations.

League of Nations 20th-century intergovernmental organisation, predecessor to the United Nations

The League of Nations, abbreviated as LN or LoN, was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.

Like Canada and Australia, the Union of South Africa was a self-governing autonomous dominion of the British Empire. Its independence from the United Kingdom was confirmed in the Balfour Declaration 1926 and the Statute of Westminster 1931. It was governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with the Crown being represented by a governor-general. The Union came to an end with the enactment of the constitution of 1961, by which it became a republic and temporarily left the Commonwealth.

Canada Country in North America

Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

A Dominion was the "title" given to the semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867. "Dominion status" was a constitutional term of art used to signify an independent Commonwealth realm; they included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon. The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire", and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence.

Constitution

Main features

The provinces of the Union Map of the provinces of South Africa 1910-1976 with English labels.svg
The provinces of the Union

The Union of South Africa was a unitary state, rather than a federation like Canada and Australia, with each colony's parliaments being abolished and replaced with provincial councils. [4] A bicameral parliament was created, consisting of the House of Assembly and Senate, with members of the parliament being elected mostly by the country's white minority. [5] During the course of the Union, the franchise changed on several occasions always to suit the needs of the government of the day. [6] Parliamentary supremacy was a convention of the constitution, inherited from the United Kingdom; save for procedural safeguards in respect of the entrenched sections of franchise and language, the courts were unable to intervene in Parliament's decisions. [7]

Unitary state state governed as a single unit with a supreme central government

A unitary state is a state governed as a single power in which the central government is ultimately supreme. The central government may create administrative divisions. Such units exercise only the powers that the central government chooses to delegate. Although political power may be delegated through devolution to local governments by statute, the central government may abrogate the acts of devolved governments or curtail their powers. A large majority of the world's states have a unitary system of government.

Federation A union of partially self-governing states or territories, united by a central (federal) government that exercizes directly on them its sovereign power

A federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing provinces, states, or other regions under a central federal government (federalism). In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body. Alternatively, federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs. It is often argued that federal states where the central government has the constitutional authority to suspend a constituent state's government by invoking gross mismanagement or civil unrest, or to adopt national legislation that overrides or infringe on the constituent states' powers by invoking the central government's constitutional authority to ensure "peace and good government" or to implement obligations contracted under an international treaty, are not truly federal states.

The provincial councils were the legislatures of the four original provinces of South Africa. They were created at the foundation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, and abolished in 1986 when they were replaced by a strengthened executive appointed by the State President. The four provincial councils were the Cape Provincial Council, the Natal Provincial Council, the Transvaal Provincial Council and the Orange Free State Provincial Council.

Capitals

Owing to disagreements over where the Union's capital should be, a compromise was reached in which every province would be dealt a share of the benefits of the capital: the administration would be seated in Pretoria [8] (Transvaal), Parliament would be in Cape Town [9] (Cape Province), the Appellate Division would be in Bloemfontein [10] (Orange Free State). Bloemfontein and Pietermaritzburg (Natal) were given financial compensation. [11]

Pretoria National administrative capital of South Africa, located in Gauteng province

Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng province in South Africa. It straddles the Apies River and has spread eastwards into the foothills of the Magaliesberg mountains. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the seat of the administrative branch of government, and of foreign embassies to South Africa. Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the Human Sciences Research Council. The city also hosts the National Research Foundation and the South African Bureau of Standards making the city a hub for research. Pretoria is the central part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve. There have been proposals to change the name of Pretoria itself to Tshwane, and the proposed name change has caused some public controversy.

Cape Town Capital city of the Western Cape province and legislative capital of South Africa

Cape Town is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the Mother City. It is the legislative capital of South Africa and primate city of the Western Cape province. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality.

Bloemfontein Place in Free State, South Africa

Bloemfontein is the capital city of the province of Free State of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals and is the seventh largest city in South Africa. Situated at an altitude of 1,395 m (4,577 ft) above sea level, the city is home to approximately 520,000 residents and forms part of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality which has a population of 747,431.

Relationship to the Crown

The Union initially remained under the British Crown as a self-governing dominion of the British Empire. With the passage of the Statute of Westminster in 1931, the Union and other dominions became equal in status to the United Kingdom and it could no longer legislate on behalf of them. [12] The Monarch was represented in South Africa by a Governor-General, while effective power was exercised by the Executive Council, headed by the Prime Minister. [13] Louis Botha, formerly a Boer general, was appointed first Prime Minister of the Union, heading a coalition representing the white Afrikaner and English-speaking British diaspora communities. Prosecutions before courts were instituted in the name of the Crown (cited in the format Rex v Accused) and government officials served in the name of the Crown.

British Empire States and dominions ruled by the United Kingdom

The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It originated with the overseas possessions and trading posts established by England between the late 16th and early 18th centuries. At its height, it was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, was the foremost global power. By 1913, the British Empire held sway over 412 million people, 23% of the world population at the time, and by 1920, it covered 35,500,000 km2 (13,700,000 sq mi), 24% of the Earth's total land area. As a result, its political, legal, linguistic and cultural legacy is widespread. At the peak of its power, the phrase "the empire on which the sun never sets" was often used to describe the British Empire, because its expanse around the globe meant that the sun was always shining on at least one of its territories.

Louis Botha South African politician

Louis Botha was a South African politician who was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa—the forerunner of the modern South African state. A Boer war hero during the Second Boer War, he would eventually fight to have South Africa become a British Dominion.

Boer descendants of Dutch-speaking settlers in Southern Africa

Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun for "farmer". In South African contexts, "Boers" refers to the descendants of the then Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th and much of the 19th century. From 1652 to 1795 the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806.

Languages

An entrenched clause in the Constitution mentioned Dutch and English as official languages of the Union, but the meaning of Dutch was changed by the Official Languages of the Union Act, 1925 to include both Dutch and Afrikaans. [14]

Final days of the South Africa Act and legacy

Most English-speaking whites in South Africa supported the United Party of Jan Smuts, which favoured close relations with the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Unlike the Afrikaans-speaking National Party, which had held anti-British sentiments, and was opposed to South Africa's intervention in the Second World War. Some Nationalist organisations, like the Ossewa Brandwag , were openly supportive of Nazi Germany during the Second World War.

Most English-speaking South Africans were opposed to the creation of a republic, many of them voting "no" in the 5 October 1960 referendum. But due to the much larger number of Afrikaans-speaking voters, the referendum passed, leading to the establishment of a republic in 1961. The Afrikaner-dominated Government consequently withdrew South Africa from the Commonwealth. Following the results of the referendum, some whites in Natal, which had an English-speaking majority, called for secession from the Union. [15] Five years earlier, some 33,000 Natalians had signed the Natal Covenant in opposition to the plans for a republic. [16]

Subsequently, the National Party government had passed a Constitution that repealed the South Africa Act. The features of the Union were carried over with very little change to the newly formed Republic. The decision to transform from a Union to Republic was narrowly decided in the referendum. The decision together with the South African Government's insistence on adhering to its policy of apartheid resulted in South Africa's de facto expulsion from the Commonwealth of Nations.

Segregation

Encyclopedia Britannica Films documentary about South Africa from 1956

The South Africa Act dealt with race in two specific provisions. First it entrenched the liberal (by South African standards) Cape Qualified Franchise system of the Cape Colony which operated free of any racial considerations (although due to socio-economic restrictions no real political expression of non-whites was possible). [17] [18] The Cape Prime Minister at the time, John X. Merriman, fought hard, but ultimately unsuccessfully, to extend this system of multi-racial franchise to the rest of South Africa.

Second it made "native affairs" a matter for the national government. The practice therefore was to establish a Minister of Native Affairs.

According to Stephen Howe, colonialism in some cases—most obviously among white minorities in South Africa—meant mainly that these violent settlers wanted to maintain more racial inequalities than the colonial empire found just. [19]

Previous attempts at unification

Several previous unsuccessful attempts to unite the colonies were made, with proposed political models ranging from unitary, to loosely federal.

Early unification attempt under Sir George Grey (1850s)

Sir George Grey, the Governor of Cape Colony from 1854 to 1861, decided that unifying the states of southern Africa would be mutually beneficial. The stated reasons were that he believed that political divisions between the white-controlled states "weakened them against the natives", threatened an ethnic divide between British and Boer, and left the Cape vulnerable to interference from other European powers. He believed that a united "South African Federation", under British control, would resolve all three of these concerns. [20]

His idea was greeted with cautious optimism in southern Africa; the Orange Free State agreed to the idea in principle and the Transvaal may also eventually have agreed. However, he was overruled by the British Colonial Office which ordered him to desist from his plans. His refusal to abandon the idea eventually led to him being recalled.

The imposition of confederation (1870s)

In the 1870s, the London Colonial Office, under Secretary for the Colonies Lord Carnarvon, decided to apply a system of Confederation onto southern Africa. On this occasion however, it was largely rejected by southern Africans, primarily due to its very bad timing. The various component states of southern Africa were still simmering after the last bout of British expansion, and inter-state tensions were high. The Orange Free State this time refused to even discuss the idea, and Prime Minister John Molteno of the Cape Colony called the idea badly informed and irresponsible. In addition, many local leaders resented the way it was imposed from outside without understanding of local issues. [21] The Confederation model was also correctly seen as unsuitable for the disparate entities of southern Africa, with their wildly different sizes, economies and political systems. [22]

The Molteno Unification Plan (1877), put forward by the Cape government as a more feasible unitary alternative to confederation, largely anticipated the final act of Union in 1909. A crucial difference was that the Cape's liberal constitution and multiracial franchise were to be extended to the other states of the union. These smaller states would gradually accede to the much larger Cape Colony through a system of treaties, whilst simultaneously gaining elected seats in the Cape parliament. The entire process would be locally driven, with Britain's role restricted to policing any set-backs. While subsequently acknowledged to be more viable, this model was rejected at the time by London. [23] At the other extreme, another powerful Cape politician at the time, Saul Solomon, proposed an extremely loose system of federation, with the component states preserving their very different constitutions and systems of franchise. [24]

Lord Carnarvon rejected the (more informed) local plans for unification, as he wished to have the process brought to a conclusion before the end of his tenure and, having little experience of southern Africa, he preferred to enforce the more familiar model of confederation used in Canada. He pushed ahead with his Confederation plan, which unraveled as predicted, leaving a string of destructive wars across southern Africa. These conflicts eventually fed into the first and second Anglo-Boer Wars, with far-reaching consequences for the subcontinent. [25]

Second Boer War (1899–1902)

After gold was discovered in the 1880s, thousands of British men flocked to the gold mines of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State. The newly arrived miners were needed for the mines but were distrusted by the politically dominant Afrikaners, who called them "uitlanders" and imposed heavy taxes and very limited civil rights, with no right to vote. The British, jealous of the gold and diamond mines and highly protective of its people, demanded reforms, which were rejected. A small-scale private British effort to overthrow Transvaal's President Paul Kruger, the Jameson Raid of 1895, was a fiasco, and presaged full-scale conflict as diplomatic efforts all failed. [26] [27] [28]

War started on 11 October 1899 and ended on 31 May 1902 as the United Kingdom was aided by its Cape Colony, Colony of Natal and some native African allies. The British war effort was further supported by volunteers from across the Empire. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion in them was largely hostile to Britain. Inside Britain and its Empire there also was a significant Opposition to the Second Boer War because of the atrocities and military failures. [29]

The British were overconfident and underprepared. Prime Minister Salisbury and his top officials, especially colonial secretary Joseph Chamberlain, ignored the repeated warnings of military advisors that the Boers were well prepared, well armed, and fighting for their homes in a very difficult terrain. The Boers struck first, besieging Ladysmith, Kimberly, and Mafeking in early 1900, and winning important battles at Colenso, Magersfontein and Stormberg. Staggered, the British fought back, relieved its besieged cities, and prepared to invade first the Orange Free State, and then Transvaal in late 1900. The Boers refused to surrender or negotiate, and reverted to guerrilla warfare. After two years of hard fighting, Britain, using over 400,000 soldiers systematically destroyed the resistance, raising worldwide complaints about brutality. The Boers were fighting for their homes and families, who provided them with food and hiding places. The British solution was to forcefully relocate all the Boer civilians into heavily guarded concentration camps, where about 28,000 died of disease. Then it systematically blocked off and tracked down the highly mobile Boer combat units. The battles were small operations; most of the dead were victims of disease. The war ended in victory for the British and the annexation of both republics, which became the Transvaal Colony and the Orange River Colony. [30]

Reasons for unification

The first Union cabinet Botha gouvernment 1910.jpg
The first Union cabinet

At the close of the Anglo-Boer War in 1902, the four colonies were for the first time under a common flag, and the most significant obstacle which had prevented previous plans at unification had been removed. Hence the long-standing desire of many colonial administrators to establish a unified structure became feasible.

South African customs union and trade tariffs

The matter of trade tariffs had been a long-standing source of conflict between the various political units of Southern Africa. Essentially at the heart of the crisis lay the fact that the Transvaal was a landlocked economic hub that resented its dependence on its neighbours, as well as the costs it was incurring through rail and harbour customs.

The Cape Colony was heavily dependent upon customs as a source of tax revenue and subsequently was directly competing with both Natal and Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). At the time of unification the bulk of cargo destined for the Witwatersrand area entered through Lourenço Marques (now Maputo in Mozambique) owing largely to the relative distance and the ZARs policy of reducing its dependence on the British Empire. The South African Customs Union came into existence in 1906, but various problems existed with the arrangements particularly because the Transvaal was insistent on dominating the Union.

After Unification the South African Customs Union continued to exist including the other British territories (the Protectorates and Rhodesia).

Union of South Africa and Southern Rhodesia

In 1922 the colony of Southern Rhodesia had a chance (ultimately rejected) to join the Union through a referendum. The referendum resulted from the fact that by 1920 British South Africa Company rule in Southern Rhodesia was no longer practical with many favouring some form of 'responsible government'. Some favoured responsible government within Southern Rhodesia while others (especially in Matabeleland) favoured membership in the Union of South Africa. Politician Sir Charles Coghlan claimed that such membership with the Union would make Southern Rhodesia the "Ulster of South Africa". [31]

Prior to the referendum, representatives of Southern Rhodesia visited Cape Town where the Prime Minister of South Africa, Jan Smuts, eventually offered terms he considered reasonable and which the United Kingdom government found acceptable. Although opinion among the United Kingdom government, the South African government and the British South Africa Company favoured the union option (and none tried to interfere in the referendum), when the referendum was held the results saw 59.4% in favour of responsible government for a separate colony and 40.6% in favour of joining the Union of South Africa.

Union of South Africa and South West Africa

Background

The inhospitable coast of what is now the Republic of Namibia remained uncolonised up until the end of the 19th century.

From 1874, the leaders of several indigenous peoples, notably Maharero of the Herero nation, approached the Cape Parliament to the south. Anticipating invasion by a European power and already suffering Portuguese encroachment from the north and Afrikaner encroachment from the south, these leaders approached the Cape Colony government to discuss the possibility of accession and the political representation it would entail. Accession to the Cape Colony, a self-governing state with a system of multi-racial franchise and legal protection for traditional land rights, was at the time considered marginally preferable to annexation by Portugal or Germany.

In response, the Cape Parliament appointed a special Commission under William Palgrave, to travel to the territory between the Orange and Cunene rivers and to confer with these leaders regarding accession to the Cape. In the negotiations with the Palgrave Commission, some indigenous nations such as the Damara and the Herero responded positively (Oct 1876), other reactions were mixed. Discussions regarding the magisterial structure for the area's political integration into the Cape dragged on until, from 1876, it was blocked by Britain. Britain relented, insofar as allowing the Cape to incorporate Walvis Bay, which was brought under the magisterial district of Cape Town, but when the Germans established a protectorate over the area in 1884, South West Africa was predominantly autonomous. [32] [33] [34]

Thereafter, South West Africa became a German colony, except for Walvis Bay and the Offshore Islands which remained part of the Cape, outside of German control.

South African occupation

South West Africa stamp: Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret on the 1947 Royal Tour of South Africa SWA sur AfSud filles royales 1947.jpg
South West Africa stamp: Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret on the 1947 Royal Tour of South Africa

Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 the Union of South Africa occupied and annexed the German colony of German South West Africa. With the establishment of the League of Nations and cessation of the war, South Africa obtained a Class C Mandate to administer South West Africa "under the laws of the mandatory (South Africa) as integral portions of its territory". Subsequently, the Union of South Africa generally regarded South West Africa as a fifth province, although this was never an official status.

With the creation of the United Nations, the Union applied for the incorporation of South West Africa, but its application was rejected by the U.N., which invited South Africa to prepare a Trusteeship agreement instead. This invitation was in turn rejected by the Union, which subsequently did not modify the administration of South West Africa and continued to adhere to the original mandate. This caused a complex set of legal wranglings that were not finalised when the Union was replaced with the Republic of South Africa. In 1949, the Union passed a law bringing South West Africa into closer association with it including giving South West Africa representation in the South African parliament.

Walvis Bay, which is now in Namibia, was originally a part of the Union of South Africa as it was a part of the Cape Colony at the time of Unification. In 1921 Walvis Bay was integrated with the Class C Mandate over South West Africa for the rest of the Union's duration and for part of the republican era.

Statute of Westminster

The Statute of Westminster passed by the British Parliament in December 1931, which repealed the Colonial Laws Validity Act and implemented the Balfour Declaration 1926, had a profound impact on the constitutional structure and status of the Union. The most notable effect was that the South African Parliament was released from many restrictions concerning the handling of the so-called "native question". However the repeal was not sufficient to enable the South African Parliament to ignore the entrenched clauses of its constitution (the South Africa Act) which led to the coloured-vote constitutional crisis of the 1950s wherein the right of coloureds to vote in the main South African Parliament was removed and replaced with a separate, segregated, and largely powerless assembly.

Military

See also

Notes

  1. Remained the royal anthem until 1961.

Related Research Articles

Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability, the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. Governments in Westminster democracies are responsible to parliament rather than to the monarch, or, in a colonial context, to the imperial government, and in a republican context, to the president, either in full or in part. If the parliament is bicameral, then the government is responsible first to the parliament's lower house, which is more representative than the upper house, as it has more members and they are always directly elected.

Transvaal Colony former British colony

The Transvaal Colony was the name used to refer to the Transvaal region during the period of direct British rule and military occupation between the end of the Anglo-Boer War in 1902 when the South African Republic was dissolved, and the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. The physical borders of the Transvaal Colony were not identical to the defeated South African Republic, but was larger. In 1910 the entire territory became the Transvaal Province of the Union of South Africa.

Jameson Raid raid on Transvaal Republic

The Jameson Raid was a botched raid against the South African Republic carried out by British colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Company troops and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96. Paul Kruger was president of the republic at the time. The raid was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The workers were called the Johannesburg conspirators. They were expected to recruit an army and prepare for an insurrection. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place, but it was an inciting factor in the Second Boer War and the Second Matabele War.

Orange Free State independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa

The Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which later became a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province. Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein.

The year 1870 in the history of the Cape Colony marks the dawn of a new era in South Africa, and it can be said that the development of modern South Africa began on that date. Despite political complications that arose from time to time, progress in Cape Colony continued at a steady pace until the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer Wars in 1899. The discovery of diamonds in the Orange River in 1867 was immediately followed by similar finds in the Vaal River. This led to the rapid occupation and development of huge tracts of the country, which had hitherto been sparsely inhabited. Dutoitspan and Bultfontein diamond mines were discovered in 1870, and in 1871 the even richer mines of Kimberley and De Beers were discovered. These four great deposits of mineral wealth were incredibly productive, and constituted the greatest industrial asset that the Colony possessed.

Elections in South Africa are held for the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and municipal councils. Elections follow a five-year cycle, with national and provincial elections held simultaneously and municipal elections held two years later. The electoral system is based on party-list proportional representation, which means that parties are represented in proportion to their electoral support. For municipal councils there is a mixed-member system in which wards elect individual councillors alongside those named from party lists.

Monarchy of South Africa

From 1910 to 1961 the Union of South Africa was a self-governing country that shared a monarch with the United Kingdom, and other Dominions of the British Empire. The monarch's constitutional roles were mostly delegated to the Governor-General of the Union of South Africa.

John X. Merriman South African politician

John Xavier Merriman was the last prime minister of the Cape Colony before the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

1910 South African general election

The 1910 South African general election was held for the 121 seats in the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, on 15 September 1910. This was the first general election, after the Union came into force on 31 May 1910.

The following lists events that happened during 1872 in South Africa.

South Africa Act 1909 decesion creating the Union of South Africa

The South Africa Act 1909 was an Act of the British Parliament which created the Union of South Africa from the British colonies of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange River Colony, and Transvaal. The Act also made provisions for admitting Rhodesia as a fifth province of the Union in the future, but Rhodesian colonists rejected this option in a referendum held in 1922. The South Africa Act was the third major piece of legislation passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom with the intent of uniting various British colonies and granting them some degree of autonomy. Earlier, the British North America Act, 1867 had united three colonies and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1900 had united the Australian colonies.

History of South Africa (1815–1910)

During the Napoleonic Wars, the Cape Colony was annexed by the British and officially became their colony in 1815. Britain encouraged settlers to the Cape, and in particular, sponsored the 1820 Settlers to farm in the disputed area between the colony and the Xhosa in what is now the Eastern Cape. The changing image of the Cape from Dutch to British excluded the Dutch farmers in the area, the Boers who in the 1820s started their Great Trek to the northern areas of modern South Africa. This period also marked the rise in power of the Zulu under their king Shaka Zulu. Subsequently several conflicts arose between the British, Boers and Zulus, which led to the Zulu defeat and the ultimate Boer defeat in the Second Anglo-Boer War. However, the Treaty of Vereeniging established the framework of South African limited independence as the Union of South Africa.

John Charles Molteno South African politician

Sir John Charles Molteno was a soldier, businessman, champion of responsible government and the first Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.

South African Wars (1879–1915)

Ethnic, political and social tensions among European colonial powers, indigenous Africans, and English and Dutch settlers led to open conflict in a series of wars and revolts between 1879 and 1915 that would have lasting repercussions on the entire region of southern Africa. Pursuit of commercial empire as well as individual aspirations, especially after the discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886), were key factors driving these developments.

Postage stamps and postal history of South Africa

This is a survey of the postage stamps and postal history of South Africa.

Jacobus Wilhelmus Sauer South African lawyer (1850-1913)

Jacobus Wilhelmus ("J.W.") Sauer, was a prominent liberal politician of the Cape Colony. He served as Minister in multiple Cape governments, and was influential in several unsuccessful attempts to enshrine equal political rights for black South Africans in the constitution of the Union of South Africa. He was also a strong early supporter of women's rights and suffrage.

Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope

The Parliament of the Cape of Good Hope functioned as the legislature of the Cape Colony, from its founding in 1853, until the creation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, when it was dissolved and the Parliament of South Africa was established. It consisted of the House of Assembly and the legislative council.

The 1903 Southern African Customs Union Agreement was a multilateral treaty between the British colonies and protectorates in Southern Africa that created a customs union between the territories.

Palgrave Commission

The Palgrave Commission (1876–1885) was a series of diplomatic missions undertaken by Special Commissioner William Coates Palgrave (1833–1897) to the territory of South West Africa. Palgrave was commissioned by the Cape Government to meet with the leaders of the nations of Hereroland and Namaland, hear their wishes regarding political sovereignty, and relay the assembled information to the Cape Colony Government.

National Convention (South Africa)

The National Convention, also known as the Convention on the Closer Union of South Africa or the Closer Union Convention, was a constitutional convention held between 1908 and 1909 in Durban, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. The convention led to the adoption of the South Africa Act by the British Parliament and thus to the creation of the Union of South Africa. The four colonies of the area that would become South Africa - the Cape Colony, Natal Colony, the Orange River Colony and the Transvaal Colony - were represented at the convention, along with a delegation from Rhodesia. There were 33 delegates in total, with the Cape being represented by 12, the Transvaal eight, the Orange River five, Natal five, and Rhodesia three. The convention was held behind closed doors, in the fear that a public affair would lead delegates to refuse compromising on contentious areas of disagreement. All the delegates were white men, a third of them were farmers, ten were lawyers, and some were academics. Two-thirds had fought on both sides of the Second Boer War.

References

  1. "South Africa Will Play Two Anthems Hereafter". The New York Times. New York. 3 June 1938. p. 10. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. travelfilmarchive (8 November 2012). "The Union of South Africa, 1956" via YouTube.
  3. darren lennox (23 February 2017). "British Empire: The British Colony Of The Union Of South Africa 1956" via YouTube.
  4. South Africa Act, 1909, Part V, sections 68 to 94.
  5. "The South Africa Act, 1909". The American Journal of International Law. 1 January 1910 via Internet Archive.
  6. See Representation of Natives Act, No. 12 of 1936 and Separate Representation of Voters Act, No. 46 of 1951.
  7. Hahlo & Kahn, Union of South Africa, Stevens & Sons Limited, London, 1960, pp. 146 to 163.
  8. Section 18 of South Africa Act, 1909.
  9. Section 23 of South Africa Act, 1909.
  10. Section 109 of South Africa Act, 1909.
  11. "The South Africa Act, 1909". The American Journal of International Law. 1 January 1910 via Internet Archive.
  12. Hahlo & Kahn, supra, p. 146 et seq.
  13. "The South Africa Act, 1909". The American Journal of International Law. 1 January 1910 via Internet Archive.
  14. "The South Africa Act, 1909". The American Journal of International Law. 1 January 1910 via Internet Archive.
  15. Secession Talked by Some Anti-Republicans, Saskatoon Star-Phoenix , 11 October 1960
  16. Jeffery, Keith (1996). An Irish Empire?: Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire. Manchester University Press. pp. 199–201.
  17. Robertson, Janet (1971). Liberalism in South Africa: 1948–1963. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  18. "EISA South Africa: Historical franchise arrangements". Eisa.org.za. Archived from the original on 9 May 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  19. Howe, Stephen (2002). Empire A very Short Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 75.
  20. V.C. Malherbe: What They Said. 1795–1910 History Documents. Cape Town: Maskew Miller. 1971.
  21. P.A. Molteno: A Federal South Africa. Sampson Low, Marston & Co, 1896. ISBN   1-4367-2682-4
  22. Phyllis Lewsen (ed.). Selections from the correspondence of John X. Merriman, 1905–1924. South Africa: Van Riebeeck Society, 1969
  23. Frank Richardson Cana: South Africa: From the Great Trek to the Union. London: Chapman & Hall, ltd., 1909. Chapter VII "Molteno's Unification Plan". p.89
  24. Solomon, W. E. C: Saul Solomon – the Member for Cape Town. Cape Town: Oxford University Press, 1948.
  25. Illustrated History of South Africa. The Reader's Digest Association South Africa (Pty) Ltd, 1992. ISBN   0-947008-90-X. p.182, "Confederation from the Barrel of a Gun"
  26. J.A.S.Grenville, Lord Salisbury, and Foreign Policy (1964) pp 235–64.
  27. Iain R. Smith, The Origins of the South African War, 1899–1902 (1996).
  28. William L. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism (1950), pp. 605–28, 651–76
  29. Denis Judd and Keith Surridge, The Boer War: A History (2013) pp 1–54.
  30. Judd and Surridge, The Boer War: A History (2013) pp 55–302.
  31. Jeffrey, Keith (1996). An Irish Empire?: Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire. Manchester University Press. p. 196. ISBN   0719038731.
  32. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  33. P. A. Molteno: The life and times of Sir John Charles Molteno, K. C. M. G., First Premier of Cape Colony, Comprising a History of Representative Institutions and Responsible Government at the Cape. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1900. Vol.I. p.284.
  34. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 February 2014. Retrieved 14 June 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Bibliography

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