1887

n Historia - "In the crisis, who would tamper with the existing order?" The political and public reaction of English-speaking South Africans to the 1914 Rebellion

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Abstract

Academic writing about white political history has been rather limited since the 1980s. Nevertheless, cognisance should be taken of a growing interest in the issue of the identity of various South African groups during the past two decades. Much attention has been paid to African and Afrikaner identities but identity formation amongst English-speaking South Africans has been somewhat neglected. John Lambert's work on the history of a white English-speaking identity in South Africa is a singular exception.


Mindful of this, the article aims at recovering the history of these ignored observers of the 1914 Rebellion. A major question it addresses is identity formation among English-speaking South Africans within a dual context: that of the British Empire and that of a specific South African setting. Both were shaped by the First World War. English-speakers' reactions to the rebellion were prompted by the decision taken by the South African government to join the Allied war effort, and they should be understood within this context. For white South African English-speaking politicians and newspaper editors, the rebellion was initially inexplicable. The article highlights the efforts of these two very influential groups to gain insight on why some Afrikaners rebelled. Specific attention is paid to their views on the role of the military and political Afrikaner leaders during the rebellion. Lastly, the article considers the views of these opinion makers relating to the sentences and penalties meted out to the rebels.

Akademiese werk oor blanke politiekegeskiedenis het sedert die 1980's getaan. Desnieteenstaande moet kennis geneem word van die groeiende belangstelling in vraagstukke rondom identiteit. Hierdie ontwikkeling het veral gedurende die afgelope twee dekades plaasgevind. Heelwat aandag is aan identiteitsvorming onder Afrikane en Afrikaners gegee. Gevolglik het die onderwerp sover dit Engelssprekende Suid-Afrikaners aanbetref het, agterweë gebly. Dit was eintlik net die werk van John Lambert oor die geskiedenis van identiteitsvorming onder Engelssprekende Suid-Afrikaners, wat werklik aandag hieraan gegee het.


Met dit in gedagte, ondersoek hierdie artikel aspekte van die geskiedenis van hierdie voorheen geïgnoreerde waarnemers van die 1914 Rebellie. Die artikel spreek spesifiek die volgende vraagstuk aan: wat was die aard van die identiteit van Engelssprekende Suid-Afrikaners binne 'n dubbele konteks; lojaliteit aan die Britse Ryk enersyds en die spesifieke Suid-Afrikaanse omstandighede andersyds, beide teen die agtergrond van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog. Hul reaksie teenoor die rebellie moet verstaan word binne die konteks van die Suid-Afrikaanse regering se besluit om die Geallieerde oorlogspoging te steun. Die rebellie was vir die Engelssprekende Suid-Afrikaanse politici en koerantredakteurs onverklaarbaar. Hierdie artikel lig hierdie twee baie invloedryke groepe se reaksie uit aangesien hulle gepoog het om te verstaan waarom sommige Afrikaners gerebelleer het. Die artikel fokus spesifiek op hul siening van die rol van die militêre en politieke Afrikaner leiers in die rebellie. Ten slotte word die sienings van hierdie Engelssprekendes oor die skuldig bevindinge en opgelegde strawwe van die rebelle ondersoek.

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/content/hist/59/2/EJC163425
2014-11-01
2016-12-06
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