The governors and assemblies that governed the legal process in the various colonies of South Africa were launched on a different and independent legislative path from the rest of the British Empire.
In the days of slavery, slaves required passes to travel away from their masters.
In addition, Jan Smuts, as a strong advocate of the United Nations, lost domestic support when South Africa was criticised for its colour bar and continued mandate of South West Africa by other UN member states.
It called for a systematic effort to organise the relations, rights, and privileges of the races as officially defined through a series of parliamentary acts and administrative decrees.
On the issues of black urbanisation, the regulation of nonwhite labour, influx control, social security, farm tariffs, and nonwhite taxation the United Party's policy remained contradictory and confused.
The commission concluded that integration would bring about a "loss of personality" for all racial groups.
Cape legislation that discriminated specifically against black Africans began appearing shortly before 1900.
The first apartheid law was the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, 1949, followed closely by the Immorality Act of 1950, which made it illegal for most South African citizens to marry or pursue sexual relationships across racial lines.
A codified system of racial stratification began to take form in South Africa under the Dutch Empire in the late eighteenth century, although informal segregation was present much earlier due to social cleavages between Dutch colonists and a creolised, ethnically diverse slave population.
With the rapid growth and industrialisation of the British Cape Colony in the nineteenth century, racial policies and laws became increasingly rigid.
Smuts' reluctance to consider South African foreign policy against the mounting tensions of the Cold War also stirred up discontent, while the nationalists promised to purge the state and public service of communist sympathisers.