Rhodes of Africa (1936) 

 

 

 

 

Director:     Berthold Viertel.

Starring:    Walter Huston (Cecil John Rhodes), Oskar Homolka (Ohm Paul Kruger), Basil Sydney (Dr. Jim Jameson), Frank Cellier (Barney Barnato; Rhodes competitor in diamond business), Peggy Ashcroft (Anna Carpenter), Renee de Vaux (Mrs. Paul Kruger).

Story of Cecil John Rhodes, British imperialist and developer of South Africa, Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia.

 

 

 

Spoiler Warning:

 

 

 

 


Historical Background:

Boers =  the original Dutch settlers of South Africa.
 

1853  --  Cecil John Rhodes born in England.

He attended the grammar school at Bishop's Stortford. 

He fell ill and developed weak lungs, so his parents sent him to Natal, South Africa to live with his brother.

1870  -- at age 17, he arrived in Durban, South Africa. He invested in diamonds with the 3,000 pounds that his aunt had given him. 

He joined his brother Herbert on a cotton farm in the Umkomaas Valley in Natal.  There he established the Rhodes Fruit Farms. 

1871 (October)  -- he went to the diamond fields of Kimberley.  His associates there were John X. Merriman and C. D. Rudd.

1873  --  Rhodes returned to England to complete his studies.  He left his business with his partner, C. D. Rudd.  He studied for only one term at Oriel College, Oxford.  His associates were Rochefort Maguire and Charles Metcalfe. 

1874-1875  --  depression in the diamond fields.

1877  --  the incorporation of Griqualand West into the Cape Colony.

1877  -  in his "Confession of Faith," Rhodes declared the British to be the finest race (sic) in the world.  He was a British imperialist who wanted the Brits to rule virtually everywhere. 

1880 (April)  --  Rhodes and Rudd combined many fields into the De Beers Mining Company. 

1880  --  Rhodes ran for office in the Cape House of Assembly. He represented a rural Boer constituency, Barkly West.

1880-1881  --  the Gun War against the native chiefs in today's Lesotho, South Africa.  The chiefs won.

1880  --  the Boer Paul Kruger becomes the president of the Transvaal.

1880-1881 – the Gun War (aka the Basuto War) was a conflict in the British territory of Basutoland (present-day Lesotho) in Southern Africa, fought between Cape Colony forces and rebellious Basotho chiefs over tribal rights. Although officially considered a stalemate, the final settlement favored the Basotho and is thus considered a marginal defeat of the British Empire.

1880-1881  --  the British attempt in 1880 to annex the Transvaal leads to the First Boer War, the British against the Boers. The British agree to Boer self-government in the Transvaal under a theoretical British oversight.  The Boers accepted the Queen’s nominal rule and British control over African affairs and native districts.

1889  --  Rhodes founded the British South Africa Company, modeled on the British East India Company.  It had its own paramilitary police force.  With the backing of the BSAC, white colonists took over the land that became known as Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), of course, named for Cecil Rhodes.  Further expansion led to the creation of Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). 

1890  --  Rhodes becomes Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.

1895  --  in the Jameson Raid, Rhodes supported an attack on the Boer Transvaal, which failed.  Rhodes had to resign.

Rhodes was instrumental in creating the Cape-Cairo Railroad.  It would cross the African continent south to north from the Cape, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt.

1898  --  Kruger elected President of the Transvaal for the fourth and last time.

1899 – British attempt to annex both the Transvaal and the Orange Free State (leading to the Second Boer War).

1899-1902  --  the Second Boer War.

1902  --  death of Cecil Rhodes.

 

 

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