The Union at War: South African Society, 1914-1953

  • Ian van der Waag

Abstract

The Union of South Africa was a twentieth century experiment in state formation. Forged in May 1910, the Union lasted until its submergence into the Republic of South Africa fifty-one years later. The period might conveniently be considered in four timespans. The first was the age of Botha and Smuts (1910-24) and their policy of reconciliation between English and Afrikaans South Africans, who had come recently through a violent war, the latter seeing their two republics subsumed first into the British Empire and then into the Union in 1910. The second time span, of similar length, was marked by the prime ministership of Hertzog (1924-39) and his South Africa First policy. Hertzog’s fifteen years in power was arguably the quietest in terms of military activity. The return of Smuts to power (1939-48) marks the third period, while the advent of the first Nationalist governments under Malan and then Strydom and Verwoerd (1948-61) to the coming of the republic marks the fifth
Published
2016-12-12