HST286: Southern Africa and the Wider World (1750-1918)
20 credits (semester 2)
Module Leader: Dr Miles Larmer
Pass in at least two of the Level One modules offered by the Department of History.
At the turn of the 19th century, Southern Africa was one of the most dynamic and turbulent regions on earth. The discovery of gold and diamonds in the Cape Colony and the Transvaal boosted not only the local economy, but also let loose imperial tensions, both between the Boer republics and Cecil Rhodes' Cape Colony, and among Germany, Great Britain and Portugal. The Berlin Congo conference cemented the division of the region among the colonial powers. Germany founded its own protectorate in Southwest Africa and all along the African coast from Angola to Mozambique colonial states were introduced in the hinterland. The first experiments with the creation of an Apartheid system were undertaken in today's Namibia. The areas which later became Zambia and Zimbabwe were included in the British sphere of influence. The South African war (1899 – 1903) and the German Herero and Nama war (1904-1908), which soon turned into genocide, were some of the most notorious of all colonial wars. In 1915 South Africa invaded the neighbouring German colony and put an end to the German colonial empire, which was formally acknowledged in the Paris Treaty negotiations after the end of the First World War. The Treaty of Versailles then introduced the principles of trusteeship and accountability of the colonial powers into international law and paved the way for the later decolonisation.
After examining the history of the pre-colonial African societies the economic and political dynamics of European imperialism will be analysed, both on the international and the local stage, demonstrating both their metropolitan and regional causes. This module will look at the societies of both the colonisers and the colonised, also paying attention to African responses and resistance.
Lectures provide an efficient way of providing information, encouraging ideas and guiding students´ private study. Seminars will provide opportunities for students to present their ideas and interpretations to the wider group.
The word limit for essays includes footnotes, but excludes the bibliography.
- Oxford History of the British Empire, 5 vol. Oxford, (1998) (chapters on
- UNESCO General History of Africa, (1981) (chapters on Southern Africa).
- Cambridge History of Africa (1982) (chapters on Southern Africa).
- T.R.H. Davenport & C. Saunders, South Africa: A modern history (2000).
- R. Ross, A Concise History of Africa (1999).
- L.M. Thompson, A History of South Africa, 3rd ed. (2001).
- C. Saunders & N. Southey, Historical Dictionary of South Africa (2000) – electronic resource via STAR.
- J. Iliffe, Africans: The History of a Continent (1995).
Intended Learning Outcomes