Cecil Rhodes

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Cecil Rhodes

Cecil Rhodes (July 5 1853 - March 26 1902) was an English-born South African businessman and politician. He was the son of an Anglican vicar. He graduated from an English grammar school and at the age of 16 was sent to the British colony of Natal in South Africa due to poor health. There he became involved in diamond mining and founded the world-renowned De Beers diamond company. He later returned to England briefly to study at Oriel College, Oxford. He was the starter of Rhodesia. He founded the British South Africa Company, a corporation which he led to expand British territory to the north and form the colony of Rhodesia. He became Prime Minister of Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896. He was supported by the Afrikaner Bond in the Cape Colony until he betrayed them by supporting a rebellion against their relatives, the Boers of the South African Republic. He ochestrated the Jameson Raid, led by his close friend Leander Starr Jameson in 1895, after which the Bond forced him to resign. He supported the Liberal Party and the Irish Parliamentary Party in domestic politics in the UK. Rhodes founded the Rhodes scholarships from his estate, permitting citizens of British colonies, the United States and Germany to study at Oxford on a scholarship if they demonstrated certain academic and character qualities. He was a Freemason. In his last years he was pursued by the Princess Catherine Radziwill, a Polish adventuress.