History of everyday life: the new German Alltagsgeschichte movement. ""Everyday life"" history actually means ""people's history"" which is not without relevance to South Africa. It deals with local history in which the focus is on ordinary or common people who have experienced the effects of political or economic decision-making. Concrete reality is brought to the fore and man rediscovered as a subject of history; it is an alternative history resulting from protest against the existing professional historical writing. The author analyses some recent examples of Alltagsgeschichte and explains the nature of people's history. He also analyses the reasons for the rise of the new movement -a new intellectual climate in West Germany, a reaction against the new kind of abstract social science history and influences from abroad such as the Ruskin College's History Workshop Movement. He also descriptionbes the advantages and disadvantages of the new trend.
This paper discusses various concepts of History, as they have been developed from man's contingent (changing, variable) experience of reality and the needs, problems and aspirations emerging from this basic human experience. In terms of a few prominent historical models, it is shown how the meaning of history changes together with the changing Zeitgeist. It is demonstrated that historical theories breathe a definite Zeitgeist and reflect the concrete needs, problems, and aspirations of contemporaries. In this way, the practical and existential character of historical theories emerges, as does man's striving for self-understanding. The scientific character of historical theories, as of all other theories, consists in their being methodological constitutions of a specific type of human experience, in this case historical experience. Method makes these theories truth-perspectives, which derive their meaning from the specific perception of the historical conditions prevailing at the time. In terms of man's contingent experience of reality, from which, ultimately, all theories, of whatever type, are conceived, the argument that history has no meaning is refuted. Such a perception rests on the absolutization of one particular method, namely, that of the natural sciences. Historical theories, as all other theories, are controversial and problematic, entering into a critical relationship with one another, in terms of which the argument on the meaning of History continues.
James Read and the Tlhaping, 1816-1820. In South African historical writing, James Read (1777-1852) is remembered mainly as the ""philanthropist"" who was responsible for the ""Black Circuit""; his missionary aims. Work and methods, particularly among the Tlhaping, have been neglected. Read's views on missionary work differed considerably from those of his colleagues. Firstly, his approach to mission was not characterised by an excessive notion of cultural and social superiority, as was the case with his well-known successor, Robert Moffat. Consequently, he did not overtly link conversion to a demand for westernisation. Secondly, Read was convinced that evangelisation should be accompanied by practical work; in sum, the ""Bible and the plough"" should go together. This approach permitted Read access to Tlhaping society. He was willing to comply with the requirements of the chiefdom for European technology. He repaired women's shoes, hunted buffaloes for Tlhaping chiefs and gave presents to influential Tlhaping. Moreover, it appears that Read did not openly condemn Tlhaping customs and practices, which made him personally acceptable to the chiefdom. Despite this, the Tlhaping largely rejected Christianity, since this religion proved to be no more functional than their own. They were willing, though, to adopt certain Christian practices when they were compatible with their customs. Ironically, despite his tolerance, Read contributed to the disruption of Tlhaping society. By 1817, chief Mothibi had become dependent on the missionary, to the extent that he lost his influence as well as the support of some sections of the Tlhaping confederation.
Less well-known Voortrekker leaders. This study shows that apart from the eight or so ""notable"" figures who led groups of Voortrekkers from the Cape Colony in the years 1835 to 1842, numerous other, ""less well-known"", ones also led groups. Of the latter leaders, virtually all are now unknown and most of us are not even aware of their having acted as trek leaders. Of these ""minor leaders"", twenty-one are discussed briefly, and in each case reasons are given why he should in fact be regarded as a Voortrekker leader. Genealogical data are provided for each leader, as well as further information (if available) on, for example, the district and ward where that person lived in the Cape Colony, any public offices held by him in the Colony, the size of his party, the date of their departure, their routes, and his subsequent influence as a leader. It is also argued that a few of these so-called minor leaders were in fact more influential and better qualified for their role than some of the well-known ones.
Why did the ""Bittereinders"" remain on commando during the Anglo-Boer War of1899-1902? Various reasons can be put forward for the decision of the ""Bittereinders"" to remain on commando ""until the bitter end"" and not to forsake the Republican war effort as did the ""Handsuppers"". In this article eight factors are singled out: patriotism and a desire for independence; religious beliefs; resistance to the British scorched-earth policy; the role played by the Boer leaders in encouraging their men; favourable but false rumours; fear of captivity; the hold that group feeling had on the burghers; and the phenomenon that their existence on commando had become such a way of life to some of the burghers, that they were not prepared to renounce it. It can be accepted that reasons such as these did not weigh equally with all ""Bittereinders"" and that a combination of factors influenced a burgher to remain on commando. In May 1902 the Boer delegates at Vereeniging were, however, of the opinion that circumstances were such that peace was desirable, even though this meant sacrificing the independence of the Boer Republics.
The influence of the Helpmekaar Movement in South Africa 1915-1920. The Helpmekaar Movement originated in the Orange Free State as a result of the Rebellion of 1914-1915. After an initial slow start the movement gathered momentum, achieving its aim and reaching its climax in 1917with the settlement of the rebelsï¿½ debt. In the process the Helpmekaar influenced political, economic and cultural aspects of Afrikaner society. It stimulated the growth of the National Party on the one hand and the decline of the South African Party on the other. Apart from the immediate financial relief to the rebels through the movement's funds, it also assisted the economic renaissance of the Arikaner and helped to build his financial confidence. The spiritual traits of the Afrikaner, namely his religious disposition and the intimate relation between people (volk) and church, were reconfirmed and further embedded in his character. The Afrikaners' participation in the Helpmekaar events also created an opportunity for intense cultural identification especially with regard to his language and history. The Helpmekaar Movement was more comprehensive in its activities and its influence on the Afrikaner was far greater than it is generally given credit for.