Ethnic Pride and Racial Prejudice in Victorian Cape Town
Nineteenth-century Cape Town, the capital of the British Cape Colony, was conventionally regarded as a liberal oasis in an otherwise racist South Africa. Longstanding British influence was thought to mitigate the racism of the Dutch settlers and foster the development of a sophisticated and colour-blind English merchant class. Vivian Bickford-Smith skilfully interweaves political, economic and social analysis to show that the English merchant class, far from being liberal, were generally as racist as Afrikaner farmers. Theirs was, however, a peculiarly English discourse of race, mobilised around a 'Clean Party' obsessed with sanitation and the dangers posed by 'un-English' Capetonians in a period of rapid urbanisation brought about by the discovery of diamonds and gold in the interior. This original contribution to South African urban history draws on comparative material from other colonial port towns and on relevant studies of the Victorian city.
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Abdol Afrikaner Bond April artisans August Black Capetonians bourgeois bourgeoisie British Cape Argus Cape Colony Cape government Cape liberalism Cape Town Cape Town Municipal Cape Town's dominant Capetonians census city's Clean Party Coloured committee Dirty Party District Six divisions of labour docks dominant-class Dutch economic election elite employers English ethnic mobilisation European farmers February franchise Fredrickson Heyningen houses ideology immigration industrial J. C. Hofmeyr January July Kaffirs Kimberley Lantern late nineteenth century legislation letter London lower classes Malays March McKenzie members of Cape merchants migrants mission schools Muslims Native Ndabeni newspapers November October organisation political poor Whites population poverty race racialised racism railway Report rural sanitation segregation separation September smallpox smallpox epidemic South African St Leger Table Bay Table Bay Harbour town council Town's dominant class tradition Union urban vote Western Cape White and Black White ethnicity White Supremacy workers