Conclusion: The ‘Chief Blessing of Civilisation, the Benefit of Education’

  • Rebecca Swartz
Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)


Between the emancipation of slaves in 1833, and 1880, where this study concludes, there were dramatic changes to how education was perceived in both metropolitan and colonial contexts. Increasingly, education was seen as an area for government involvement. However, this did not necessarily translate into increased education for Indigenous children. As attitudes towards race hardened, education was seen as something that should cater to the unique abilities and social positions of different races. This often meant that industrial education was promoted for Indigenous children in the settler colonies. Humanitarian thinking had promoted education as a way for Indigenous children to enter into 'civilised' society. However, hostility towards Indigenous people in the settler colonies, and competition over land and the need for labour, meant that these opportunities were often denied to Indigenous people.


Education Civilisation Humanitarianism Settler colonialism Race Labour Children Childhood Government Missionaries Industrial education 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rebecca Swartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistoryStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

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