SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Marks, Shula (1967) Black and White in self-governing Natal: An assessment of the 1906-8 disturbances. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (68MB) | Preview


The Natal disturbances of 1906-8 have to be seen against the social, economic and political framework of the colony, and a distinction has to be drawn between the past history of zulu-land and that of Natal itself. In both areas however land and labour policies and considerable African poverty were the underlying cause of unrest and the 1905 Poll Tax has to be linked to this. The breakdown in communication between black and white was manifested in a spate of hostile rumours amongst both grave about the intentions of the other. Natal handling of opposition to the Poll Tax and the Moderation of Martial Law after a relatively minor incident acted as a precipitant of further violence. During the disturbances, responses varied from chiefdom to Chiefdom and even within chiefdoms. Frequently this was related to the workings of traditional polities. As significant as why certain people rebelled is why others did not. In this the past history of the group was highly rehevant. Despite a widespread belief that Dinusulu was behind the rebellion and the unrest in Zululand in 1907, thin is 'not proven', although his name was used by the rebels as an essential centralising device. Allegations that the 'Ethiopian' Churches were responsible for the outbreak and that Christian Africans had played a prominent part in the rebellion were exaggerated, although Christian-inspired millenial beliefs contributed is the ferment in Natal. In the long term, although the rebellion was a striking demonstration of the Best of armed resistance, it contributed to the growing sense of the need for political unity saodest both black and White in South Africa.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:08

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item