Cecil John Rhodes: Life and Legacy of a British Imperialist – by Greg Beyer (The Collerctor – May 8, 2024)


One of the greatest imperialists of the British Empire, Cecil John Rhodes’ legacy is today considered highly problematic.

Cecil John Rhodes is a historical figure who has generated huge amounts of debate, not just in South Africa, where he lived much of his life, but across much of the Anglosphere, where his name continues to bear considerable weight and influence.

He was indeed a powerful man who advanced and industrialized parts of the world, bringing colonial progress, wealth, and success to lands under his influence. However, his legacy in the English-speaking world has come under intense scrutiny as those whose ancestors benefitted from his imperialism are made aware of the dark side of his methods.

He was incredibly racist, and while this was not particularly surprising nor uncommon during his time on earth, his policies resulted in the disenfranchisement and oppression of masses of people who were unlucky enough not to have been born British. This is the story of his life and legacy.

Cecil John Rhodes was born July 5, 1853 into a family of not inconsiderable middle-class wealth. His father was a clergyman who had inherited valuable estates as a result of a successful brick-manufacturing business.

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