1887

n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - F.A. van Jaarsveld se na vyftig jaar - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 48, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract


F.A. van Jaarsveld is usually regarded as one of the most prominent South African historians of the twentieth century. In 1957 he published a monograph entitled of which an English translation, , appeared in 1961. For many years this book has been regarded by scholars of South African history as the major study on the origin of Afrikaner nationalism. Van Jaarsveld's contribution to historical writing has been discussed and evaluated by several scholars, but, although some of these academics refer to as his most important contribution none of them provide an extensive discussion of this monograph. Since 1957 a number of scholars have been researching the topic of Afrikaner nationalism. This has led to new interpretations on its origin and early phase. The purpose of this article is to ascertain to what extent changing views of nationalism, and particularly of Afrikaner nationalism, have influenced the value of van Jaarsveld's book and whether it can still be regarded as the major study on this topic.
Van Jaarsveld's use of the expression "awakening of nationalism" indicates that he was influenced by the views of nineteenth century German philosophers on the character of nations, but it is also apparent from his book that he was familiar with the studies of early twentieth century theorists of nationalism, such as Hans Kohn. Although elements of an Afrikaner nationalist interpretation of history appear in some of van Jaarsveld's writings, in nationalism he describes and discusses nationalism, and also Afrikaner nationalism, from a critical perspective. He views nationalism as mainly a political phenomenon and argues that Afrikaner nationalism originated during the period 1868-1881 as a reaction to British imperialism in South Africa. However, Afrikaans historians such as J.J. Oberholzer and M.C.E. van Schoor maintain that the origin of Afrikaner nationalism dates back to the early nineteenth century. There are strong indications that their interpretations are influenced by an Afrikaner nationalist view of history. On the other hand there are a number of academics, inter alia Isabel Hofmeyr and Dan O'Meara, who argue that Afrikaner nationalism did not exist before the beginning of the twentieth century. Hermann Giliomee is of the opinion that the whole period 1870-1915 should be seen as the period of the origin and early development of Afrikaner nationalism, but that the years after 1900 were the crucial years in the formation of Afrikaner nationalism.

F.A. van Jaarsveld word as een van Suid-Afrika se vernaamste twintigste-eeuse historici beskou en sy studie van 1957, , 1868-1881, as een van sy belangrikste werke. Hierdie boek, wat ook in Engels vertaal is, is lank in Suid-Afrika en in die buiteland aanvaar as die belangrikste studie oor die oorsprong van Afrikanernasionalisme. Sedertdien het daar 'n aantal wetenskaplike werke verskyn waarin beskouinge gehuldig word wat in verskeie opsigte van dié van Van Jaarsveld verskil. Hierdie werke word kortliks bespreek en daar word aangedui dat hul interpretasies in baie gevalle beïnvloed is deur algemene teorieë oor die aard van nasionalisme. Daar word in die artikel tot die slotsom gekom dat Van Jaarsveld se werk nie as verouderd afgemaak kan word nie. Inteendeel, dit bly een van enkele goed nagevorste studies oor vroeë Afrikanernasionalisme en is steeds van groot waarde, ook binne die konteks van huidige invloedryke teorieë oor nasionalisme.

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/content/akgees/48/3/EJC20100
2008-09-01
2019-08-23

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