The Mineral Revolution in South Africa began took place after the discovery of diamonds in Kimberley in 1867 and continued with the discovery of deep-level gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886. The British were already colonising parts of Southern Africa at the time of the discovery of diamonds, and the Industrial Revolution in Britain made it a more powerful and determined colonising power. The new diamond wealth in South Africa gradually pulled the British into controlling the whole of South Africa.
Changes during the Industrial Revolution in Britain, and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in South Africa brought about by diamond mining and Britain’s increasing interests in South Africa.
Content and concepts
Changes during the Industrial Revolution in Britain
Urbanisation and changing living conditions – lives of the working class, including overcrowded housing, poverty and workhouses
The mines and factories - child labour in mills and mines
Swing Riots (agriculture); Luddites (industry)
Grand National Consolidated Trades Union (1833)
Southern Africa by 1860
India as a British colony
Reasons why labour was imported: Zulu kingdom was still independent
Reasons for demand for sugar in Britain
Conditions under which indentured labourers lived and worked
Passenger Indians 1869 onwards
Diamond mining in Kimberley 1867 onwards
Diamond-mining and the development of a monopoly: one person one claim; what happened to black claimholders; problems related to digging deeper; the formation of companies; Cecil John Rhodes and Barney Barnato; the formation of De Beers Consolidated Mines Limited; regulating supply and the price of diamonds