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The Making of the Apartheid Plan, 1929-1948

Hermann Giliomee
Journal of Southern African Studies
Vol. 29, No. 2 (Jun., 2003), pp. 373-392
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3557368
Page Count: 20
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The Making of the Apartheid Plan, 1929-1948
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Abstract

Apartheid as an ideology and operational plan for the Afrikaner nationalist movement was not, as the current orthodoxy suggests, the product of an Afrikaner Broederbond intelligentsia based in the Transvaal and affected by German romantic nationalism and Nazi racial thought. The main influences were German missiology, as applied by Dutch Reformed Church missionary strategists in the Orange Free State and, more importantly, the secular intelligentsia in the Western Cape with good access to D. F. Malan's Cape National Party. Both the missionary strategists and Western Cape secular intellectuals were in the mainstream of the scholarship of racial thought and social engineering in Western Europe and the USA. The segregationist practice of the American South was particularly influential. The break with traditional South Africa segregation that apartheid represents was due mainly to party political competition between the National Party and United Party, obliging the former to come up with an alternative that was both more radical and more 'idealistic', and to the polarisation of white politics after South Africa's controversial entry into the Second World War. In essence, apartheid was a modernised form of both paternalism and trusteeship, on the one hand and, on the other, elements of liberal ideology not used by segregationists. The most sophisticated version, espoused first by N. P. van Wyk Louw and G. B. A. Gerdener, had a surprisingly enduring appeal.

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