Cecil rhodes Essay

This essay has a total of 1744 words and 8 pages.

cecil rhodes

Thesis Statement:
Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) was the main factor in determining the economic and political
structure of today’s Zimbabwe (modern day Rhodesia). In the late 19th century, Cecil
Rhodes, along with a multitude of armed white settlers, invaded the country of present-day
Zimbabwe. All resistance was crushed and the British South African Company was created;
this later became the basis for colonization of the entire country. Once Cecil gained
control of the diamond and gold industry, he soon gained political power and eventually
became the political leader of the area. He soon after disregarded African rights to the
land and developed a mandatory labor in the mines that he created. Soon after, Rhodes
controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production under De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd.
The political dictatorship that Cecil Rhodes initiated at the time was to continue;
Rhodes’ political system dominated present-day Zimbabwe under British rulers until 1980
when it finally gained independence. Rhodes started an 80-year rule by corrupt and greedy
entrepreneurs who’s only goals were that of personal net worth and complete political

What I already know:
-Cecil Rhodes was a very wealthy man because he had a monopoly of the world’s diamond
production; he also controlled many gold mines, which contributed to his wealth

-Rhodes took the area that he sought to control by force and forced the local people to
work in the mines that he controlled.

-Present-day Zimbabwe was a prosperous, self-governed area ever since the 12th century
until the arrival of such settlers as Rhodes.

-Zimbabwe is a land-locked country

What I would like to know:
-How did the local people finally break free of the long British rule?
-Have local conditions changed for the better since the country’s independence in 1980?
-What is the current economic status of the country; how has British rule (initiated by
Rhodes in the late 19th century) influenced the economic stability of the country?

-Is the political system still corrupt even though it is no longer British-controlled?

Potential Sources of Information:
-The Internet: Every time that I do a research paper, the most significant part of the
research that I do comes from the Internet. The Internet provides the largest sea of
information that anybody could ever dream of, with thousands and thousands of sites
dedicated to the research topic that I have chosen. I would recommend the Internet to
anyone as being his or her first stop in doing a research paper of this kind.

-Library (Longmont Public Library): There are many different books that I can check out at
the library in Longmont. This library provides an excellent source of information because
it is both close, and I know for a fact that it has an entire section dedicated to African
history because I have been there many times before. I plan to utilize this information
source for my three needed book sources.

-People over the age of 30 from Zimbabwe: The people that have 30 or more years of age
from Zimbabwe may remember what it was like for them under British rule. Since Zimbabwe
only gained its independence in 1980, this could be a great source of information.
However, it may be unlikely that I call someone from Zimbabwe and speak to him or her
directly. Most of the sites that I have visited already seem to have been written by
Africans, so you might say that it is like I have been talking to them because I’m
listening to their opinions.


Cecil Rhodes: A biography
Cecil Rhodes, the fifth son of the vicar of Bishop’s Stortford, was a man with a mission.
Rhodes stated his life out as a farmer with a passion for tree planting and agricultural
improvement. Rhodes’ father sent his other sons to prestigious colleges or the army, but
Rhodes stayed at home because of a respiratory weakness that he had. Rhodes was educated
at the local grammar school and then set off for South Africa to work on a cotton farm
with his brother Herbert. The two brothers toiled away for a year at the cotton farm, but
didn’t seem to achieve much success. Diamond mining seemed like the viable alternative at
the time, and so the two brothers gave in to “diamond fever”, as it was popularly called
at the time. The two brothers made the move to Kimberley, which was the center of mining
at the time, in 1871. Rhodes and his brother stayed at Kimberley for two years, developing
mining ability. Two years seemed to be enough time for Herbert, and so Rhodes’ brother
left Kimberley. After he had developed a small fortune from mining, Rhodes wanted to study
at Oxford. He spent the next decade, or so, dividing his time between his career in mining
and his studies at Oxford. When he finished his studies at oxford, he spent the majority
of his time in South Africa, building his mining empire. His two major companies were De
Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd. and Gold Fields of South Africa Company. However, Rhodes’
goals were not purely economical, his ultimate plan was to expand northward. He often said
that his end goal was to “paint as much of Africa red as possible”. Rhodes wanted to unite
Africa under the British flag, building a railway from Cairo to Cape-town. Evidence of his
Continues for 4 more pages >>