Cecil Rhodes

Cecil Rhodes - born on July 5, 1853 in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom - died on March 26, 1902 in South Africa at the age of 48 from heart failure. Rhodes was a British businessman, mining magnate, and politician in South Africa. Rhodes attended the Bishop's Stortford Grammar School from the age of 9, but he was removed from the school later on as he had asthma and was sickly student. He continued his studies with his father. At a young age, Cecil was thought to show signs of having tuberculosis. Cecil's father sent him off to South Africa in hopes the better climate may better his health. In 1873, Rhodes was admitted to Oriel College, Oxford, but stayed for only one term. During his stay at Oriel College, Cecil, along with his brother Herbert, worked at the diamond fields of Kimberly. Before Rhodes left Oxford, he and C.D. Rudd, another diamond miner, had moved from the Kimberley Mines to invest in what was known as old De Beers. Later on, Rhodes and Rudd founded De Beers Consolidated Mines in 1888, in which Rhodes was named the chairman. During this time, Rhodes decided to be in the public eye at the Cape and he took on politics. He became a member of the Cape Parliament, and in 1890, Rhodes became Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. Cecil implemented laws that would benefit mine and industry owners. Rhodes' policies were crucial in the development of British imperial policies in South Africa. However, Rhodes did not have direct political power over the Boer Republic of the Transvaal and he often disagreed with their policies, mostly because it did not benefit miners. In 1895, Rhodes supported Jameson Raid, an attack on the Transvaal. The raid was a failure and it caused Cecil to resign as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony. After that, Rhodes began to pursue his dream of creating a British Empire in South Africa by using his wealth and the wealth of his business partners and obtaining mineral concessions. He continued this colonization dream until his death.