Empire settlement and South African immigration policy, 1910–1948
in Emigrants and empire
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Central to the definition of South African immigration policies was the attempt by the white communities to increase their racial dominance by increasing their numbers, but without altering their traditional use of 'ultra exploitable' unskilled black labour. It is important to pause and establish what type of immigrants were actually coming to the Union under their own steam in the period before the First World War. With the outbreak of the First World War, interest in immigration initially languished, apart from an enthusiastic but impractical scheme to bring in Belgian peasants. European emigres and demobilised British ex-servicemen with a little capital and no experience provided the land companies with potential customers. Under the Empire Settlement Act, Imperial government contributed a per capita grant for every settler, thus strengthening the ties between the 1820 Association and the official British emigration scheme.

Emigrants and empire

British settlement in the dominions between the wars

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