An ardent believer in British imperialism , Rhodes and his British South Africa Company founded the southern African territory of Rhodesia now Zimbabwe and Zambia , which the company named after him in South Africa's Rhodes University is also named after him. Rhodes set up the provisions of the Rhodes Scholarship , which is funded by his estate. He also put much effort towards his vision of a Cape to Cairo Railway through British territory.
The son of a vicar , Rhodes grew up in Bishop's Stortford , Hertfordshire, and was a sickly child.
British South Africa Company (BSAC)
He was sent to South Africa by his family when he was 17 years old in the hope that the climate might improve his health. He entered the diamond trade at Kimberley in , when he was 18, and over the next two decades gained near-complete domination of the world diamond market.
His De Beers diamond company, formed in , retains its prominence into the 21st century. Rhodes entered the Cape Parliament at the age of 27 in , and a decade later became Prime Minister. After overseeing the formation of Rhodesia during the early s, he was forced to resign as Prime Minister in after the disastrous Jameson Raid , an unauthorised attack on Paul Kruger 's South African Republic or Transvaal. One of Rhodes's primary motivations in politics and business was his professed belief that the Anglo-Saxon race was, to quote his will , "the first race in the world".
Ambitions such as these, juxtaposed with his policies regarding indigenous Africans in the Cape Colony—describing the country's native black population as largely "in a state of barbarism",  he advocated their governance as a "subject race",  and was at the centre of actions to marginalise them politically—have led recent critics to characterise him as a white supremacist and "an architect of apartheid ".
Historian Richard A. McFarlane has described Rhodes "as integral a participant in southern African and British imperial history as George Washington or Abraham Lincoln are in their respective eras in United States history.
He was proud of never having preached a sermon longer than 10 minutes.
Francis was the eldest son of William Rhodes , a brick manufacturer of Hackney, Middlesex. At age seven, he was recorded in the census as boarding with his aunt, Sophia Peacock, at a boarding house in Jersey , where the climate was perceived to provide a respite for those with conditions such as asthma. His father decided to send him abroad for what were believed the good effects of a sea voyage and a better climate in South Africa. When he first came to Africa, Rhodes lived on money lent by his aunt Sophia.
Sutherland , in Pietermaritzburg , Rhodes took an interest in agriculture. He joined his brother Herbert on his cotton farm in the Umkomazi valley in Natal. The land was unsuitable for cotton, and the venture failed. In October , year-old Rhodes and his year-old brother Herbert left the colony for the diamond fields of Kimberley in Northern Cape Province.
His monopoly of the world's diamond supply was sealed in through a strategic partnership with the London-based Diamond Syndicate.
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They agreed to control world supply to maintain high prices. Among his associates in the early days were John X. During the s, Cape vineyards had been devastated by a phylloxera epidemic.
The diseased vineyards were dug up and replanted, and farmers were looking for alternatives to wine. In , after consulting with Molteno, Rhodes began to pay more attention to export fruit farming and bought farms in Groot Drakenstein, Wellington and Stellenbosch. A year later, he bought Rhone and Boschendal and commissioned Sir Herbert Baker to build him a cottage there. In , Rhodes left his farm field in the care of his business partner, Rudd, and sailed for England to study at university.
He was admitted to Oriel College, Oxford , but stayed for only one term in He returned to South Africa and did not return for his second term at Oxford until He was greatly influenced by John Ruskin 's inaugural lecture at Oxford , which reinforced his own attachment to the cause of British imperialism. Due to his university career, Rhodes admired the Oxford "system".
Eventually, he was inspired to develop his scholarship scheme: "Wherever you turn your eye—except in science—an Oxford man is at the top of the tree". The shortcomings of the Freemasons, in his opinion, later caused him to envisage his own secret society with the goal of bringing the entire world under British rule.
During his years at Oxford, Rhodes continued to prosper in Kimberley. Before his departure for Oxford, he and C. Rudd had moved from the Kimberley Mine to invest in the more costly claims of what was known as old De Beers Vooruitzicht. It was named after Johannes Nicolaas de Beer and his brother, Diederik Arnoldus, who occupied the farm.
After purchasing the land in from David Danser, a Koranna chief in the area, David Stephanus Fourie, forebearer for Claudine Fourie-Grosvenor, had allowed the de Beers and various other Afrikaner families to cultivate the land. In and , the diamond fields were in the grip of depression, but Rhodes and Rudd were among those who stayed to consolidate their interests.
They believed that diamonds would be numerous in the hard blue ground that had been exposed after the softer, yellow layer near the surface had been worked out. During this time, the technical problem of clearing out the water that was flooding the mines became serious. Rhodes and Rudd obtained the contract for pumping water out of the three main mines. After Rhodes returned from his first term at Oxford, he lived with Robert Dundas Graham, who later became a mining partner with Rudd and Rhodes.
De Beers was established with funding from N. In , Rhodes prepared to enter public life at the Cape. With the earlier incorporation of Griqualand West into the Cape Colony under the Molteno Ministry in , the area had obtained six seats in the Cape House of Assembly. Rhodes chose the rural and predominately Boer constituency of Barkly West , which would remain loyal to Rhodes until his death. When Rhodes became a member of the Cape Parliament , the chief goal of the assembly was to help decide the future of Basutoland.
The Sprigg ministry had precipitated the revolt by applying its policy of disarming all native Africans to those of the Basotho nation, who resisted. He introduced the Glen Grey Act to push black people from their lands and make way for industrial development.
Rhodes's view was that black people needed to be driven off their land to "stimulate them to labour" and to change their habits. Given the growing number of enfranchised black people in the Cape, Rhodes raised the franchise property requirements in to counter this preponderance.
The change had drastic effects on the traditional Cape Qualified Franchise. To quote Richard Dowden , most would now "find it almost impossible to get back on the list because of the legal limit on the amount of land they could hold".
We must adopt a system of despotism, such as works in India, in our relations with the barbarism of South Africa. Rhodes also introduced educational reform to the area. His policies were instrumental in the development of British imperial policies in South Africa, such as the Hut tax.
Rhodes did not, however, have direct political power over the independent Boer Republic of the Transvaal. In , believing he could use his influence to overthrow the Boer government,  Rhodes supported the Jameson Raid , an unsuccessful attempt to create an uprising in the Transvaal that had the tacit approval of Secretary of State for the Colonies Joseph Chamberlain.
Frank Rhodes to jail in Transvaal convicted of high treason and nearly sentenced to death, and contributed to the outbreak of the Second Boer War. In , Rhodes was sued by a man named Burrows for falsely representing the purpose of the raid and therefore convincing him to participate in the raid. Burrows was severely wounded and had to have his leg amputated.
Rhodes used his wealth and that of his business partner Alfred Beit and other investors to pursue his dream of creating a British Empire in new territories to the north by obtaining mineral concessions from the most powerful indigenous chiefs. Rhodes' competitive advantage over other mineral prospecting companies was his combination of wealth and astute political instincts, also called the "imperial factor", as he often collaborated with the British Government.
Cecil rhodes british south africa company pdf
He befriended its local representatives, the British Commissioners , and through them organised British protectorates over the mineral concession areas via separate but related treaties. In this way he obtained both legality and security for mining operations. He could then attract more investors. Imperial expansion and capital investment went hand in hand.
The imperial factor was a double-edged sword: Rhodes did not want the bureaucrats of the Colonial Office in London to interfere in the Empire in Africa.
He wanted British settlers and local politicians and governors to run it. This put him on a collision course with many in Britain, as well as with British missionaries , who favoured what they saw as the more ethical direct rule from London.
Rhodes prevailed because he would pay the cost of administering the territories to the north of South Africa against his future mining profits.
The Colonial Office did not have enough funding for this. Rhodes promoted his business interests as in the strategic interest of Britain: preventing the Portuguese , the Germans or the Boers from moving into south-central Africa. Rhodes's companies and agents cemented these advantages by obtaining many mining concessions, as exemplified by the Rudd and Lochner Concessions. Rhodes had already tried and failed to get a mining concession from Lobengula , king of the Ndebele of Matabeleland.
In he tried again. He sent John Moffat , son of the missionary Robert Moffat , who was trusted by Lobengula, to persuade the latter to sign a treaty of friendship with Britain, and to look favourably on Rhodes's proposals.
Cecil Rhodes Biography
His associate Charles Rudd, together with Francis Thompson and Rochfort Maguire, assured Lobengula that no more than ten white men would mine in Matabeleland. This limitation was left out of the document, known as the Rudd Concession , which Lobengula signed.
Furthermore, it stated that the mining companies could do anything necessary to their operations. When Lobengula discovered later the true effects of the concession, he tried to renounce it, but the British Government ignored him. During the Company's early days, Rhodes and his associates set themselves up to make millions hundreds of millions in current pounds over the coming years through what has been described as a " suppressio veri This entity renamed itself the United Concessions Company in , and soon after sold the Rudd Concession to the Chartered Company for 1,, shares.
When Colonial Office functionaries discovered this chicanery in , they advised Secretary of State for the Colonies Knutsford to consider revoking the concession, but no action was taken.
Cecil John Rhodes
He obtained further concessions and treaties north of the Zambezi , such as those in Barotseland the Lochner Concession with King Lewanika in , which was similar to the Rudd Concession ; and in the Lake Mweru area Alfred Sharpe 's Kazembe concession.
Rhodes also sent Sharpe to get a concession over mineral-rich Katanga , but met his match in ruthlessness: when Sharpe was rebuffed by its ruler Msiri , King Leopold II of Belgium obtained a concession over Msiri's dead body for his Congo Free State.
Rhodes commented: "It is humiliating to be utterly beaten by these niggers. Johnston shared Rhodes's expansionist views, but he and his successors were not as pro-settler as Rhodes, and disagreed on dealings with Africans.
Because the gold deposits were on a much smaller scale, many of the white settlers who accompanied the BSAC to Mashonaland became farmers rather than miners.
Shortly after learning of the assassination of the Ndebele spiritual leader, Mlimo , by the American scout Frederick Russell Burnham , Rhodes walked unarmed into the Ndebele stronghold in Matobo Hills. In May , its name was officially changed to "Rhodesia", reflecting Rhodes's popularity among settlers who had been using the name informally since The designation Southern Rhodesia was officially adopted in for the part south of the Zambezi, which later became Zimbabwe; and the designations North-Western and North-Eastern Rhodesia were used from for the territory which later became Northern Rhodesia , then Zambia.
Rhodes decreed in his will that he was to be buried in Matopos Hills now Matobo Hills. After his death in the Cape in , his body was transported by train to Bulawayo.