The Changes Diamond Digging Brought to Kimberly Essay

979 WordsMay 20, 20154 Pages
The changes diamond digging brought to Kimberly 1. Introduction The industrial mining cities which developed to exploit these valuable minerals transformed the economic, social and political life of the subcontinent (Shilington 2012). This transformation is known to historians as the “mineral revolution”. It began with the discovery of diamonds in the region of modern Kimberly in the period 1869-71. The mineral revolution brought about great changes for South Africans. Before the revolution, most South Africans lived off the land in subsistence societies. Towards the end of the 19th century, South Africa was not one united country, it was separated into different areas, some of them were controlled by the British, some by the Boers and others were independent. At first, the economy revolved around trade and agriculture, but the discovery of diamonds changed all this. The following are the changes that diamond digging brought to Kimberly. 2. Economic changes The sudden rise of a city of 30 000 people in the southern Africa interior had important results on the people of the region. Kimberly provided a ready market for agricultural produce farmers from all over the region responded eagerly to the new opportunities (Shilington 2012). The other major impact of the diamond digging was the development of migrant labor. The mines of Kimberly in the 1870s employed about 50 000 black workers in a year they came from the colonies and republics and from the kingdoms beyond. Kimberley was the initial hub of industrialization in South Africa in the late nineteenth century, which transformed the country’s agrarian economy into one more dependent on its mineral wealth. A key feature of the new economic arrangement was migrant labor, with the demand for African labor in the mines of Kimberley. Kimberley has had a profound effect on the course of history in Southern Africa.

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