A Periodization of South African History

  • Anthony Butler


In this chapter, I provide an introductory periodization of South African history. This will serve three major purposes. First, it will provide the reader with the necessary contextual material to situate arguments of later chapters, and in particular the argument of chapter 3, which addresses conventional academic approaches to South African history and the ‘liberal-revisionist’ debate within English-language historiography.


National Party White Supremacy Separate Development Imperial Power Historical Writing 
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  1. 1.
    P. Maylam, A History of the African People of South Africa (London: Longman, 1991, 4th edition); L. Thompson, A History of South Africa (London: Yale University Press, 1990), chapter 1. I rely heavily on Thompson’s excellent compressed account of pre-1870s South Africa, and also on the collection M. Wilson and L. Thompson, (eds), A History of South Africa to 1870, (London: James Currey, 1982, 2nd edition).Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Anthony Butler 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anthony Butler
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NottinghamUK

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