Puslapio vaizdai

be less than 120,000, and this is the only population. But unluckily South Africa was part of South Africa where the density of colonized in much earlier days, when the imthe population and the stress and strain of portation of negro slaves was deemed the life remind the traveler of England and the easiest means of securing cheap and abunUnited States. This district, which twelve dant labor. Slaves were first brought in years ago was a solitary waste, high and 1658. Thereafter, until slavery was abolbare, where a farm of three thousand acres ished by the British Parliament in 1834, all could be bought for fifty pounds, has now the hardest and humblest kinds of work were become the focus of South African industry done by slaves. The white people lost the and finance, and the seat of a new commun- habit of performing manual labor, and acity, whose struggles with the government of quired the habit of despising it. No one the republic have made Johannesburg (as we would do for himself what he could get a shall presently observe) the center of gravity black man to do for him. New settlers from in South African politics.

Europe fell into the ways of the country, Though both coal and iron are abundant in which suited their disinclination to exert the two British colonies and in the Trans- themselves under a burning sun. Thus, when vaal, manufactures have not yet sprung up, at last the abolition of slavery arrived, the even in the older parts of Cape Colony, nor custom of leaving all the menial and toilis there any present sign of their develop- some work to the colored people, who formed ment. It is cheaper to import from Europe the majority of the population, continued. such articles as the country needs; for white It is as strong as ever to-day. Both on farms labor is dear, black labor is unskilled, and and in towns it is by the «Cape boys >> the poorer classes have not begun to demand or by the Kafirs that all unskilled labor is a tariff to protect their local industries performed. The only considerable excepagainst the competition of other countries. tion was afforded by the German colonists

The mention of labor brings us to a ques- who were planted in the eastern part of Cape tion of the greatest interest, which touches Colony after the Crimean War of 1854, the central problems of economics and poli- which they had served among the British tics in South Africa. Who will form the bulk forces. These colonists cultivated the land of the laboring class in the future-the whites themselves, and cultivated it far more effior the blacks? And how will the difference of ciently than did the surrounding Kafirs. But color affect the relations of one part of the to-day one is told that their children are now laboring class to the other, or of the labor- disinclined to do so, and that they have ing class generally to the other classes of the either sold or let their allotments to the nacommunity?

tives, or else are working the land by hired The question of labor is largely a question native labor. All other immigrants from of climate. Now the climate of South Africa Europe adopt the habits of the country in is peculiar. It is hot-much hotter than the a few weeks or months. The English carclimate of southern Europe (except a few spots penter has a « boy» to carry his tools for along the Mediterranean coast) or than that him; the English bricklayer has a native of Virginia, Kentucky, or Missouri; but it is hodman to hand the bricks to him, which he not an exhausting climate, because the nights proceeds to set. Work requiring skill is very are nearly everywhere cool, and the air is dry. often done by whites, because they do it much European races can thrive and multiply both better; but white labor leans on and uses in the British colonies and in the two republics. black labor. So on the railways the stationIt is only on the flats of the east coast and masters and guards are white, but the heavy in the valley of the Zambesi that the condi- jobs which need little skill fall to the blacks; tions of health become really unfavorable. so field-hands and those who actually herd Elsewhere the heat, even of a summer day, the cattle are natives, though there are is not greater than the peoples of southern usually whites over them in a position of Europe - Portuguese, for instance, or Sicil- authority. In all new countries skilled labor ians-could well support. And probably the is dear, but in South Africa it is exceptionraces of northern Europe, such as the Dutch ally dear, because the skilled white man inand the English, could, in most parts of the sists on having blacks beneath him, and black country, do out-of-door work without injury. labor, though it is cheap if measured by the Had South Africa, like California or New price paid for it, is really dear if measured South Wales, been colonized solely by white by what it accomplishes; for it is unskilled men, South Africa, like those countries, and uncertain, the native, except in a few of would probably have had a white laboring the older parts of the country, not yet having acquired that habit of steady and patient the respect felt for their bravery has tended industry which makes labor effective. It is to efface the recollection of their frequent of course in the newest districts, where the cruelties. Neither is it caused (except as natives are still raw and scarcely removed respects the Indian traders) by the dislike of from a savage state, that this uncertainty is the poorer whites to the competition with most felt. In the gold-fields of the Transvaal them in industry of a class living in a much and Mashonaland the supply of native work- rougher way and willing to accept much people oftenfalls short, although at Johannes- lower wages. It seems to spring partly from burg a native can earn three pounds (fifteen the old feeling of contempt for the slaves (a dollars) a month besides his food and such feeling which has descended to a generation lodging as he needs. The development of that has never known slavery as an actual the mines is of course to some extent re- system), partly to physical aversion, and partly tarded by this difficulty of obtaining a per- to an incompatibility of character and temper manent supply of labor.

which makes the faults of the colored man The facts we have been considering have more offensive to the white than the (pera bearing upon still wider questions. They haps morally as grave) faults of members of indicate that, as the bulk of the population his own white race. Even between civilized is now black, so it will remain. The sub- peoples, such as Germans and Russians, stratum of society, which is larger than the Frenchmen and Englishmen, there is a disstrata that it supports, seems likely to be, position to be unduly annoyed by traits and probably forever, composed of colored peo- habits which are not so much culpable in ple. What, then, will be the relation of these themselves as distasteful to men constructed colored people to the whites? This is a ques- on somewhat different lines. This sense of tion of so much interest to American read- annoyance is of course more intense toward ers, who have in the Southern States of their a race so widely removed from the modern own country a similar problem to solve, that European as the Kafirs are. The attitude of it deserves a comparatively full discussion. contempt I am describing pervades all classes,

The colored population of South Africa though it is strongest in those rude and unconsists of far more diverse elements than cultivated whites who plume themselves all does that of the Southern States of America. the more upon their color because they have Besides the race which was formed by the little else to plume-themselves upon; while mixture of the imported negro slaves with among the most refined and thoughtful it is the indigenous Hottentots, there are a good restrained by self-respect, and by the sense many Malays in Cape Colony, and a still larger that allowances must be made for the defects number of East Indians in Natal and the of a backward race. There are always men Transvaal. Over and above these, there is a of weight in the Cape legislature who hold great host of Kafirs, some civilized and estab- it their duty to protect native interests, and lished as servants or agriculturists among who try to inculcate a friendly policy. The the Europeans, many more living under their general tendency, however, is that which I own tribal system and following their savage have described. It rarely if ever happens customs. The grades of advancement among that a native, whatever his rank, is received these natives from pure barbarism to civiliza- on any social occasion inside a white house; tion are almost infinite. Scarcely less varied indeed, he would seldom be permitted, exare the intellectual capacities of the different cept as a domestic servant, to enter a private elements in this mixed multitude of colored house at all. When Khama, the famous chief people. All, however,-the educated and the of the Ba-Mangwato, a Christian, and a man savage, the Christian and the heathen, the of admittedly high character, who has ruled African and the Indian, -are alike treated his people with singular wisdom and ability, by the whites as divided from themselves by was in England last autumn, and was there a wide and impassable gulf. No one can entertained at lunch by the Duke of Westimagine a social separation more complete minster and other persons of social eminence, than this is; nor is there any feature of South the news excited general annoyance and disAfrican life which strikes the visitor with a gust among the whites in South Africa. A more painful surprise than the sentiment, I story was told me of a garden party given will not say of hatred, yet certainly of repul- by the wife of a leading white ecclesiastic, sion, which he finds so generally entertained the appearance at which of a native clergyby the higher toward the less advanced races. man led many of the white guests to withThis sentiment is not chiefly due to the long draw in dudgeon. Once, when I was a guest and fierce wars waged with the Kafirs, for at a mission station in Basutoland, I was asked by my host whether I had any objec- intelligence qualifies them for the exercise tion to his bringing in to the family meal the of the suffrage, it excludes a large mass native pastor, who had been preaching to the whose ignorance and indifference to political native congregation. When I expressed some issues would put them at the mercy of rich surprise that he should think it necessary to and unscrupulous candidates. It appears less ask, he explained that race feeling was so open to objection than some of the attempts strong among the colonists that it would recently made in one or two of the Southern have been deemed improper and, indeed, in- States to evade the provisions of the latest sulting to make a white guest sit down at the amendments to the Constitution of the United same table with a black man, unless special States. In Natal the Kafirs are nearly all in permission had first been given. Thus one a tribal condition, and hardly any natives may say that there is no social intercourse enjoy the suffrage, though they are not exwhatever between the races; their relations pressly excluded. There has grown up, howare purely those of business. Now and then ever, a strong antagonism to the Indian imthe black man gets ahead of the white, but migrants, who are numerous and intelligent the latter's pride of race remains. I was told enough to cause disquiet to the small white of a white who condescended to be hired to population, and legislation has been prowork by a Kafir, but stipulated that the Kafir posed for excluding them from the electoral should address him as « Boss. Of intermar- suffrage. Probably, however, this legislation riage there is, of course, no question. It is will not take color per se as the disqualifying not forbidden by law in the two British colo- element, but will be based upon the fact that nies, as it is in most, if not all, of the South- the Indians come from a country where reern States of America, but it is excessively sponsible government has not been granted rare; nor does it appear that there are now to the inhabitants. The two Dutch republics other irregular unions outside marriage, as are much less indulgent than the two British there constantly were in the old days while colonies. Neither in the Orange Free State slavery existed. In this respect the case of nor in the Transvaal is any person of color South Africa remarkably resembles that of permitted to vote; indeed, he cannot even the Southern States, where also there is now hold land. Democratic republics are not very little mixture of blood, though there necessarily respectful of what used to be was a great deal fifty years ago. Prob- called « human rights. Indeed, the Transably in both cases it is better that the races vaal Dutch are accustomed to taunt the should not mingle their blood; for the white Cape colonists at being, to use their phrase, race would be likely to lose more than the « ruled by black men» though the colored black race would gain.

vote is an appreciable factor only in a few It must not, however, be supposed that constituencies of the colony, while it seldom this social severance is accompanied, at least or never happens that a colored man is either in the British parts of South Africa, by un- elected to the Assembly or appointed to any just laws or harsh treatment. Since the public office. famous ordinance of equal civil rights, pub- There is in the British colonies a certain lished in 1828, colored people (in Cape Col- amount of special legislation regarding the ony) have been, in the eye of the law, on a blacks, designed partly to protect them, level with whites. When the electoral fran- partly to impose restrictions on them in what chise was conferred on the colonists in 1853, is supposed to be the general interest of the no color-line was drawn. Some years ago the community. Cape Colony, for instance, has whites, and the Dutch party in particular, a so-called «curfew law,” obliging natives which is the specially anti-native party, be- who are out after dark to be provided with came uneasy at the strength of the colored a pass, a law which acts oppressively in the vote, though it was not a solid vote, and a case of the best class of natives, though destatute was accordingly passed introducing fended as necessary for public order and sea combined property and educational qualifi- curity, having regard to the large population cation, which will tend to reduce the number of the lower class and their propensity to of colored voters. The same restrictions are, petty thefts. The colony has also passed cerhowever, applied to whites also, so there has tain « labor laws » intended to check the been no inequality of treatment. Neither the disposition of the Kafirs living on the native natives nor their friends in the colony seem reserves to become idle or take to vagrancy. to complain of this act, which may be de- There is, no doubt, a danger that people who fended by observing that while, on the one have never acquired habits of steady indushand, it admits those colored people whose try (for the tribal Kafir leaves to his wives the cultivation of his plot of maize or sor- The lynching of natives is unknown. This ghum) may relapse into a laziness prejudi- is partly due to the presence of missioncial to their own advancement, seeing that a aries, who are always quick at reporting few weeks' labor is enough to provide all the offenses committed against natives in the food which the ordinary Kafir needs to sup- outlying districts; partly also to the high port him through the year. But as such laws sense of duty shown by the magistrates and are prompted not merely by a regard for the other officials, especially those of the impewelfare of the Kafir, but also by the desire rial government. It is, however, largely due of the white colonist to get plenty of labor, also to the general good conduct of the and to get it cheap, they are obviously open Kafirs themselves. There is much petty pilto abuse, and require great care in adminis- fering, and a disposition to acts of violence tration. · In the Dutch republics the laws against other natives, but much more rarely which control the natives are far more strin- against whites. Native morality is of course gent. The Transvaal Boers have sometimes lax in many of the points which whites deem worked their system of apprenticeship, and important; but outrages on women, such as the scheme of treating natives resident on are, unhappily, common in parts of the Southa farm as being attached to it for the pur- ern States of America, are extremely rare. poses of labor, in a way which can with diffi- Indeed, it is only in Natal, where the native culty be distinguished from predial serfdom. population is very large, and the white popuAnd even in the more liberal Orange Free lation small and scattered, that one hears of State a «pass law » is in force, which requires them at all. Thus the cause to which most every native moving from place to place to of the American lynchings are due is absent, be provided with a passport, in default of while the general respect for law and authorwhich he may be detained. On the other ity so conspicuous in South Africa, where hand, the laws which, in Natal and in the people do not carry arms (except for the Free State, and in the territories of the Brit- purposes of hunting), and murderous affrays ish South Africa Company, forbid the supply scarcely ever occur, has prevented the habit of intoxicating liquor to natives are clearly of taking the law into one's own hands from in the interest of the natives themselves, and growing up among the whites. it is much to be regretted that the influence Similar in many respects as is the position of the wine-growers and distillers in Cape of the natives in South Africa to that of the Colony has hitherto prevented a similar pro- colored people in the Southern States, there tection from being enacted there.

are also some remarkable differences. Though A survey of the laws in force is of course in point of natural capacity and strength of not enough to convey an impression of the character the Bantu races are equal, possibly actual treatment of the weaker, though more even superior, to the negroes brought from numerous, native element by the stronger Africa to America (most of whom seem to whites. That treatment is, in the two British have come from the Guinea coasts), the forcolonies and in the Orange Free State, as mer are, in point of education and in habits well as in the territory of the Company, sel- of industry, far behind the latter. They have dom harsh or unjust. Sometimes a farmer not been subjected to the industrial training punishes his servants with excessive severity, of nearly two centuries of plantation life or and escapes punishment because a local jury domestic service, while comparatively few refuses to convict him. A shocking case of have had that stimulation which the grant this kind occurred a few years ago. Some- of the franchise after the war of secession times an unscrupulous trader defrauds the has exercised upon a large section of the natives he has been dealing with on the out- American negroes, even in places where they skirts of civilization, and enjoys immunity have not been permitted to turn their nombecause it is hard to secure legal evidence inal rights to practical account. On the other of his misdeeds. Sometimes an employer hand, the South African natives are far more tricks his native workmen out of part of numerous, relatively to the whites, than the their wages, relying on their ignorance of negroes are in the Southern States. In the the modes of obtaining redress. But, on the two British colonies and the two Dutch rewhole, the natives have not much to com- publics the total number of Europeans is plain of in the way of positive injury; and about 650,000, that of colored people about public sentiment, if less strict than that of 2,450,000, or nearly four to one, whereas in England, is more strict than it used to be, the old slave States of America there were and more strict than it has been, at various in 1890) 13,000,000 of whites against 6,740,epochs, in the Southern States of America. 000 colored, or just half. Moreover, in America there are more than forty millions of stances which led to the establishment of whites in the other parts of the republic, and the two Dutch republics briefly sketched. I the strength of the white element is there- now come to the present relations of the two fore overwhelmingly in excess. This numer- races, a topic full of interest, but not easy ical preponderance of the blacks in South to discuss, because at the moment of writing Africa does not, indeed, constitute any pres- this article (March, 1896) the political posient political danger. The Kafirs and other tion is a critical one, and events may happen colored people are not only very backward, which will have transformed that position but have no cohesion whatever. Most of before these lines can be read in the United them live under their tribal chiefs, and the States. Common prudence requires that one tribes are divided from one another not only should avoid prophecies which a few weeks by differences of language, but by ancient may falsify, and be content with setting forth feuds. Zulu laborers, for instance, and Kafirs those broad features of the situation, a knowof the Xosa tribes will sometimes fight when ledge of which will at least help the reader employed side by side as railway plate-layers. to comprehend any and every event as it may The time is still far distant when all the na- supervene. tives will have learned to use one speech, The South African Dutch, or Boers (farmand when they will have so far advanced in ers), as we commonly call them, are a very knowledge and character as to be capable peculiar people, who, in isolation and backof combining and of producing from among wardness, if in little else, resemble the Spanthemselves leaders who can direct their col- iards of such a country as Ecuador more lective action. So far, therefore, as politics than they do any French or British colony. go, there is really no more reason for alarm They have little tie to Holland, little knowin South Africa for a century to come than ledge of, or interest in, anything that passes there is in the United States. It is not so in Europe. Their attachment is wholly given much the political as the social situation to Africa, so much so that some have even that here, as in the United States, may ex- disclaimed European origin, till it was pointed cite some apprehension. And this situation out to them that if not of European they is likely to grow rather worse than better must be of Kafir stock. The love they as time goes on; because the more educated bear to Africa is all the more intense beand capable the natives become, the more cause the mother-country has no share in will their industrial competition press upon it, and their detachment from the stream of the whites, and the less inclined will the na- modern life is increased by the fact that tives be to acquiesce, as they now do, in the they speak a tongue which is so unlike modsocial disparagement and inferiority to which ern cultivated Dutch that they have to learn the contempt and aversion of the whites con- that language as they would learn Latin or demn them.

English. Many cannot even understand the This race problem is one of the two clouds Dutch version of the Bible, or comprehend which hang over the future of South Africa. the talk of a Hollander when he comes among

a The other is the jealousy and rivalry of the them. Their speech-the taal, as they call Dutch and English. This latter seems for it- is very rude, with a small vocabulary, the moment to cover the sky. Yet it is really corrupted to some extent by native words, less menacing, for the difficulties it springs and incapable of expressing abstract ideas. from are difficulties which can be measured, It has helped to keep them ignorant and and which do not go so deep down into the curiously conservative in their social and roots of human feeling and character. Al- religious ideas. Not a few look upon the though the antagonism of the two European scab that afflicts their sheep as a direct visraces has been a great misfortune for the itation from the Almighty, against which it country, and may give a good deal more is impious to take human means. Some optrouble in the next few years or decades, it posed railways because God had made the need not be permanent; for a fusion is not country without them. So rigid is their ormerely possible, but even probable, if judi- thodoxy that one of the former Transvaal cious means are followed, whereas in the presidents lost his hold upon the people becase of blacks and whites fusion is evidently cause he became suspected of free opinions. out of the question.

1 The story is sometimes told that they distrusted him In the second of these three articles, the because he was reported to have declared in a sermon relations of the Dutch colonists to the Brit. -having been formerly a Predikant (preacher)—that ish government during the first years of resented with one in the old picture Bible which no

the devil had no tail, that personage being always repBritish rule were mentioned, and the circum- Boer family is without.

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