Original Research

Afrikanerliberalisme in die tydperk 1775 - 1975 – die interpretasies van GD Scholtz en H Giliomee

P de Klerk
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 7, No 2 | a234 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v7i2.234 | © 2011 P de Klerk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 March 2016 | Published: 31 December 2011

About the author(s)

P de Klerk, Vakgroep Geskiedenis, Noordwes-Universiteit (Vaaldriehoekkampus), South Africa

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Abstract

Two historians, GD Scholtz and H Giliomee, have written extensively about liberal political thought among Afrikaners during the period 1775-1975. Their interpretations of the influence of liberalism on Afrikaner political thought differ from one another in some respects. Scholtz acknowledges the influence of the political ideas of the Enlightenment on the Cape Patriot movement of the late eighteenth century, but does not regard these ideas as a form of liberalism. He views liberalism as a political ideology alien to the Afrikaners, that was introduced to South Africa in the early 1800s by British officials and missionaries. Since the middle of the nineteenth century the main exponents of liberal political thought in South Africa were British colonists and their descendants. There were always a few Afrikaners with liberal political ideas, but they were strongly influenced by British culture or by English-speaking South Africans. Giliomee, however, is of the opinion that there were already Afrikaners with liberal ideas at the beginning of the nineteenth century. It appears from his study that, although none of the major Afrikaner political leaders from the eighteenth century until the present can be described as a liberal, in the course of two centuries a number of politicians and intellectuals with an Afrikaans background played an important role in various liberal political movements and had a significant influence on the development of Afrikaner political thought. Although Scholtz and Giliomee have both made an important contribution to research on Afrikaner liberal political thought, it is clear that more research should lead to a better understanding of this phenomenon.

Keywords: South African Historiography; Afrikaner Political Thought; GD Scholtz; H Giliomee; Liberalism; Democracy; Cape Patriot Movement; Cape Franchise; Segregation; Apartheid Disciplines: Political History; Intellectual History; Political Philosophy

Keywords

South African Historiography; Afrikaner Political Thought; GD Scholtz; H Giliomee; Liberalism; Democracy; Cape Patriot Movement; Cape Franchise; Segregation; Apartheid

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