Afrikaner Party

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The Afrikaner Party was a short-lived political party in South Africa. Although it existed for only a decade (1941-1951) and never won an election in its own right, the Afrikaner Party played a pivotal role in the emergence of apartheid in 1948.

Founding and Ideology

The Afrikaner Party grew out of the realignment of South African political parties that was precipitated by South Africa's entry into World War Two in September 1939. When Parliament voted to join the British war effort, Prime Minister J.B.M. Hertzog resigned from the governing United Party and formed the Volksparty. In 1940, Hertzog's Volksparty merged with the National Party in an attempt to unify Afrikaner nationalists under a single party label. Intra-party tensions quickly erupted, however, which led Hertzog to retire from politics altogether and his protege Nicolaas Havenga to break away and form the Afrikaner Party.

The 1943 election

While it did not end up winning any parliamentary seats, the Afrikaner Party was an important player in the general election of 1943.

Coalition and merger with the National Party