In this blogpost, I researched the topic of: Grachi “land reform” Africa. While researching, I came across the article “South Africa’s Land Reform Crisis: Eliminating the Legacy of Apartheid,” written by Bernadette Atuahene; who discusses the difficulties of redistributing land after the end of apartheid in South Africa in 1994. Despite the decades that has passed since the end of the law set by the original European colonizers of Africa, “it was extremely difficult for the new regimes to redistribute the land fairly and efficiently” (121). The author highlights how the social status and economic status of many citizens have influenced in which land was divided after apartheid. Though there was the end of political separation between those of different races, there was still a large economic divide between the white and African residents. The effects of apartheid lingered in the form of the defined line between the wealthy and poor, in which inhibited the government to establish a system of fair land reform.
Similar to Gracchi’s ideas of land reform, the idealized ways of solving tensions between the slaves and Romans also lead to unprecedented problems. The South Africans argued that they are the natives of their land, and that “land must be returned to blacks in South Africa, no matter what the consequences are for the current owners and for political stability in the country” (122). The natives’ argument brings up racism and orientalism that dates back to the 18th century, and presents a debate whether the current white citizens of the country continue to have the right to their land. The strong historical and emotional ties of South Africa’s history of monarchy portray how the past continues to influence public’s perspective on ownership today.
The outrage of unfair land distribution by the South Africans connects to the Roman’s opinions on land reform in Appian, Civil Wars. According to the text, the land reforms of Gracchi meant that the rich Romans “collected in groups, and made lamentation, and accused the poor of appropriating the results of their tillage, their vineyards, and their dwellings… and were angry that they should be robbed of their share of the common property.” The Romans displayed their outrage to the government, because their personal property was being exploited and taken by the government without much consent. The public argued that they had the earned the rights to their land from military services, ancestors, or loans. The idea of who had the original rights to the land is presented in both Africa and Italy.
Atuahene’s article was originally published in Foreign Affairs, a magazine dedicated to print works about international and foreign policies on important current events. The article of the magazine is most likely directed towards an American audience with a high education background. The article focuses on the political and economic inequalities of South Africa, which may be intended to provide the audience in a more profound perspective on the issues; especially from an author that graduated from Yale Law School and worked in South Africa as an Fulbright Scholar. Atuahene’s education and work experience enables the audience to acknowledge that she is creditable to provide an unbiased apprehension on the subject matter.
Atuahene, Bernadette. “South Africa’s Land Reform Crisis: Eliminating the Legacy of Apartheid.” Foreign Affairs 90.4 (2011): 121-29. Web.
“Bibliography.” Bernadette Atuahene, http://bernadetteatuahene.com/. Accessed 4 November 2017.
“6: Roman Republic.” Appian, Civil Wars. https://pastinpresenttense.wordpress.com/classics-1110/6-roman-republic/. Accessed November 2017.
Vicky Lee, Team Hermes