Enfranchised Africans and disfranchising legislations : an analysis of the educated landowners of Queenstown as an African middle class, c.1872-1909.

Visser, Beaurel (2021-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2021.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The right to vote in public political elections for parliamentary representatives in the Cape Colony was determined by various legislations reflected through the Cape franchise. For 34 years, Africans had the right to vote for parliamentary representatives in the Cape Colony under the Constitution Ordinance of 1853 with no barriers of racial discrimination. Under Responsible Government (1872-1909), franchise requirement became more stringent with the aim of excluding Africans from being able to vote given that they had started to register more frequently. The battle of an emerging African middle class against economic and political forces is explored through the analysis of the implementation of stringent disfranchising legislations implemented in 1887, 1892 and 1894. Newspapers are used alongside a range of government publications to illustrate how the effects of disfranchisement legislations in the Cape Colony were complex and more nuanced than has been explored in existing historiography. The study illustrates some of the effects disfranchisement legislations had on the enfranchised African middle class and uses the Queenstown electoral division as a lens through which it brings this into focus. The primary tools that were used to achieve disenfranchisement were land and education which are themes used throughout the study to demonstrate persistent voter registration of the African middle class despite the implementation of disfranchisement legislations. The study moves away from the emphasis of African political participation as a primary contributor to maintaining certain politicians in parliament but rather illuminates the agency of Africans who desired to participate in Cape politics through the franchise. What this study aims to contribute to historiography is a perspective on the views and experiences of Africans towards disfranchisement as expressed in a selection of newspapers. These African perspectives are complemented by a statistical analysis of the voters' rolls which more precisely determines the size of affected African voters and adds to an understanding of the extent to which Africans participated beyond 1887 with a focus on the Queenstown electoral division.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Verskeie wette, soos weerspieël in die Kaapse kiesreg, het die reg bepaal om in die Kaapkolonie in openbare politieke verkiesings vir parlementêre verteenwoordigers te stem. Ingevolge die Grondwetlike Verordening van 1853 het swart mense 34 jaar lank stemreg gehad sonder die beletsel van rassediskriminasie. Onder die stelsel van verantwoordelike regering (1872-1909) het stemregvereistes egter strenger geword. Dit het ten doel gehad om swart mense uit te sluit van stemreg aangesien hulle al hoe meer as kiesers begin registreer het. Hierdie tesis ondersoek ʼn opkomende swart middelklas se stryd teen ekonomiese en politieke magte. Die ondersoek word gedoen deur die wetgewing van 1887, 1892 en 1894 vir die ontkiesering van swart mense te analiseer. Koerante en ʼn reeks regeringspublikasies word gebruik om te wys dat die gevolge van die wetgewing in die Kaapkolonie om swart mense van stemreg te ontneem komplekser en meer genuanseerd was as wat tot dusver in die historiografie ondersoek is. Die studie illustreer ʼn paar van die gevolge wat die wetgewing op ontkiesering op die stemgeregtigde swart middelklas gehad het en wel deur die Queenstown-kiesafdeling as lens te gebruik. Die primêre instrumente wat gebruik is om stemreg te ontneem was grond en onderrig. Laasgenoemde is regdeur die studie as temas gebruik om die volgehoue registrasie van kiesers uit die swart middelklas, ondanks die implementering van wetgewing op die ontneming van stemreg, aan te toon. Die studie beweeg weg van die klem op swart politieke deelname as ʼn primêre bydraer om sekere politici in die parlement te hou en belig eerder die agentskap van swart mense wat graag deur hul stemreg aan die Kaapse politiek wou deelneem. Hierdie studie poog omʼn perspektief op swart mense se sienings en ondervindings van ontkiesering, soos uitgebeeld in geselekteerde koerante, tot die historiografie by te dra. Hierdie perspektiewe word aangevul deur ʼn statistiese analise van die kieserslys wat die aantal swart kiesers wat beïnvloed is, meer presies bepaal en wat bydra tot ʼn begrip van die omvang van swart mense se politieke deelname na 1887 met ʼn fokus op die Queenstown-kiesersafdeling.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/109843
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