What is Happening in South Africa?
The Shared Heritage of America and South Africa
To many Americans, South Africa is a regular news item of inexplicable turmoil and tragedy. Yet few realise the tremendous similarities between the history of the United States and that of South Africa. Nor do many appreciate how closely our fortunes and futures are connected.
Shortly after Portuguese explorer Bartholemeu Diaz first landed on the shores of South Africa in 1488, Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492.
Throughout the 1600’s both America and South Africa were settled by pilgrims seeking religious freedom from Holland, France, England, Scotland and Germany.
While American pioneers were moving Westwards in covered wagons to settle the vast, mostly uninhabited, interior; South African voortrekkers (pioneers) were embarking on the Great Trek Northwards and Eastwards, also in covered wagons.
Just as the American pioneers had to cross the Rocky Mountain Range so too the vooctrekkers crossed the vast Drakensberg mountains. As the pioneers drew their wagons in a circle to defend their families from the hostile attacks so the voortrekkers formed the laager.
Both South Africa and America had their gold rush. Both our countries fought the redcoats. Both our nations endured a vicious war between the states. South Africa was even known as the Union of South Africa (USA) between 1910 and 1960!