The Foreign Policy Mechanism of the Union Of South Africa and the Development of its Diplomatic Relations (1910–1948)


Alexandra Arkhangelskaya


The history of the formation of South Africa as a single state is closely intertwined with events of international scale, which have accordingly influenced the definition and development of the main characteristics of the foreign policy of the emerging state. The Anglo-Boer wars and a number of other political and economic events led to the creation of the Union of South Africa under the protectorate of the British Empire in 1910. The political and economic evolution of the Union of South Africa has some specific features arising from specific historical conditions.

The colonization of South Africa took place primarily due to the relocation of Dutch and English people who were mainly engaged in business activities (trade, mining, agriculture, etc.). Connected by many economic and financial threads with the elite of the countries from which the settlers left, the local elite began to develop production in the region at an accelerated pace. South Africa’s favorable climate and natural resources have made it a hub for foreign and local capital throughout the African continent. The geostrategic position is of particular importance for foreign policy in South Africa, which in many ways predetermined a great interest and was one of the fundamental factors of international involvement in the development of the region.

The role of Jan Smuts, who served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 to 1924 and from 1939 to 1948, was particularly prominent in the implementation of the foreign and domestic policy of the Union of South Africa in the focus period of this study.
The main purpose of this article is to study the process of forming the mechanisms of the foreign policy of the Union of South Africa and the development of its diplomatic network in the period from 1910 to 1948.


The Union of South Africa, RSA, Africa, Jan Smuts, international relations, history of foreign policy




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