An Economic History of South Africa

An Economic History of South Africa : Conquest, Discrimination, and Development

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This book is the first economic history of South Africa in over sixty years. Professor Charles H. Feinstein offers an authoritative survey of five hundred years of South African economic history from the years preceding European settlements in 1652 through to the post-Apartheid era. He charts the early phase of slow growth, and then the transformation of the economy as a result of the discovery of diamonds and gold in the 1870s, followed by the rapid rise of industry in the wartime years. The final chapters cover the introduction of apartheid after 1948, and its consequences for economic performance. Special attention is given to the processes by which the black population were deprived of their land, and to the methods by which they were induced to supply labour for white farms, mines and factories. This book will be essential reading for students in economics, African history, imperial history and politics.
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Product details

  • Online resource
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 5 maps 47 tables
  • 1139165453
  • 9781139165457

Review quote

'An Economic History of South Africa [is] an excellent overview of the county's history. it will be of interest to anyone who wants an introduction to South Africa. It would be a shame if the readership of this accessible volume were confined to those studying economic history, for no one reading this book will doubt the difficult legacy of social inequality and economic injustice inherited by the post-apartheid South African government.' Economic History Review '... an authoritative work destined for the student in the fields of (South) African economics, history and politics.' The Journal of Modern African Studies '... a masterful contribution to our understanding of the interplay between the processes of conquest, discrimination and economic development in South Africa up until the advent of democracy in 1994. ... this book is essential.' Journal of African History
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About Charles H. Feinstein

Charles H. Feinstein is Emeritus Professor of Economic History at the University of Oxford. His previous publications include The European Economy between the Wars (1997) and Making History Count (2002).
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Table of contents

1. Setting the context: South Africa in international perspective; 2. Seizing the land: conquest and dispossession; 3. Making the labour force: Coercion and discrimination; 4. Creating the colour bar: formal barriers, poor whites, and 'civilized' labour; 5. Exporting the gold: the vital role of the mineral revolution; 6. Transforming the economy: the rise of manufacturing and commercial agriculture; 7. Separating the races: the imposition of apartheid; 8. Forcing the pace: rapid progress despite constraints; 9. Hitting the barriers: from triumph to disaster: 10. Confronting the contradictions: the final crisis and the retreat from apartheid.
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Rating details

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