1887

n Historia - Apartheid en die politieke grondverskuiwing van 1948

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Abstract


This article examines the effect of the racial question on white politics in the 1940s with special emphasis on the general election of 1948. Whereas the United Party (and its Labour Party ally) were neither inclined nor prepared to make an election issue of the racial question, the Herenigde Nasionale Party as well as its election ally, the Afrikaner Party, deliberately chose it as an election weapon. That, however, does not mean that the racial issue was the real reason why voters returned the HNP to power.
The author concludes that although the racial issue and the apartheid propaganda by the Nationalists were indeed a factor in the election, it was not the predominant one. In the first place, racial tension was most critical in the urban areas; thus, had it been the major determinant in the election, the swing away from the UP would have been far more dramatic in the urban areas. In reality the HNP won because of the inroads it made in the countryside (especially in the Transvaal), because of the advantage gained by the "unloading" of rural constituencies. Secondly, the Afrikaner voters, who were the crucial factor in 1948, did not appear to be perturbed by the "black peril" (despite massive propaganda by the HNP) to the extent that they would have voted HNP solely for that particular reason. A more acceptable explanation is that the HNP was the only party since fusion in 1934 that had represented the cultural, economic and political interests of almost all groups in the ranks of Afrikanerdom. Apartheid formed part of a broader policy designed to fulfil the needs of the Afrikaner.

Die doel van hierdie artikel is om die uitwerking van die rassevraagstuk op die blanke politiek in die veertigerjare te bepaal, met spesiale verwysing na die algemene verkiesing van 1948. Terwyl die Verenigde Party en sy Arbeidersparty-bondgenoot nòg bereid nòg voorbereid was om van die rassevraagstuk 'n verkiesingsaangeleentheid te maak, het die Herenigde Nasionale Party en sy Afrikanerparty-bondgenoot dié vraagstuk doelbewus as verkiesingswapen gekies. Maar dit beteken geensins dat die kiesers vanweë die rassevraagstuk die HNP aan bewind gestel het nie.


Die skrywer kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat die rassevraagstuk en die Nasionaliste se apartheidspropaganda wel 'n faktor in die verkiesing was, maar nie die oorheersende een nie. Daar is twee redes vir hierdie stand punt. Eerstens was die rasseprobleem eintlik in die stedelike gebiede akuut; as dit dus die deurslaggewende faktor in die verkiesing was, sou die swaai weg van die VP meer dramaties in die stedelike gebiede gewees het. Die HNP het egter gewen omdat dit die plattelandse setels (veral in Transvaal) verower het vanweë die voordeel wat dié party uit die "ontlaai" van plattelandse kiesafdelings getrek het. Tweedens blyk dit dat die Afrikanerkiesers - wat in die 1948-verkiesing die deurslag gegee het - nie so verontrus is deur die "swart gevaar" (ondanks die grootskaalse propaganda deur die HNP) dat hulle bloot om daardie rede vir die HNP sou stem nie. 'n Meer aanvaarbare verklaring is dat die HNP die enigste party was wat sedert samesmelting in 1934 die kulturele, ekonomiese en politieke belange van bykans alle groepe onder die Afrikaners verteenwoordig het. Apartheid het deel gevorm van 'n breër beleid wat aan die behoeftes van die Afrikaner moes voldoen.

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/content/hist/38/1/EJC37770
1993-05-01
2016-12-09
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