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n South African Journal of Cultural History - Interpreting South African cultural clashes through Darwinian eyes : Ramsden Balmforth in Cape Town (1902-1911)

Volume 25, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1018-0745
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Abstract

The Cape Town minister, literary critic, and reformer, Ramsden Balmforth, sought to promote reconciliation between cultures and ethnic groups in South Africa for four decades after emigrating from England in 1897. Although deeply rooted in the social egalitarianism of the Fabian Society, he nevertheless adopted and propagated modified, social Darwinist views, which he believed, if properly understood, could be applied to reforms in South Africa and ameliorate clashes of cultures there. After unsuccessfully attempting to forestall war in 1899, Balmforth argued for an acceptance of what would soon be known as Afrikaans culture as no less worthy and civilised than that of the British and for the application of a radically adapted version of social Darwinism to conflicts between white and black South Africans.


Die Kaapstadse predikant, literêre kritikus en hervormer, Ramsden Balmforth, het vier dekades lank gepoog om rekonsiliasie tussen die kulturele en etniese groepe in Suid-Afrika te bevorder, nadat hy in 1897 uit Engeland geïmmigreer het. Hoewel diep gewortel in die sosiale egalitarisme van die Fabianiese samelewing, het hy die sosiale Darwiniese beskouings aanvaar en aangepas. Hy het geglo dat hierdie beskouings, as dit korrek vertolk word, toegepas kon word op hervorming in Suid-Afrika om kultuurbotsings te temper. Na onsuksesvolle pogings om oorlog in 1899 te voorkom, het Balmforth dít bepleit wat spoedig as Afrikanerkultuur bekend sou staan - naamlik dat dit net so waardig en beskaafd as dié van die Britte is. Verder was hy 'n kampvegter van die toepassing van 'n radikaal aangepaste vorm van sosiale Darwinisme om konflik tussen wit en swart Suid-Afrikaners te voorkom.

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/content/culture/25/1/EJC30797
2011-06-01
2016-12-10

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