Cape Colony

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Cape of Good Hope

Kaap de Goede Hoop (Dutch)
1795–1910
Anthem:  God Save the King (1795–1837; 1901–1910)
God Save the Queen (1837–1901)

LocationCape Colonyca1890.svg
The Cape of Good Hope c. 1890 with Griqualand East and Griqualand West annexed and Stellaland/Goshen (light red) claimed
Status British colony
CapitalCape Town
Common languagesEnglish, Dutch (official¹)
Khoekhoe, Xhosa also spoken
Religion
Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican, San religion
Government Constitutional monarchy
King/Queen  
 1795–1820
George III
 1820–1830
George IV
 1830–1837
William IV
 1837–1901
Victoria
 1901–1910
Edward VII
Governor  
 1797–1798
George Macartney
 1901–1910
Walter Hely-Hutchinson
Prime Minister  
 1872–1878
John Charles Molteno
 1908–1910
John X. Merriman
Historical era Imperialism
 Established
1795
1803–1806
1814
1844
 Disestablished
1910
Area
1822 [1] 331,900 km2 (128,100 sq mi)
1910569,020 km2 (219,700 sq mi)
Population
 1822 [1]
110,380
 1865 census [2]
496,381
 1910
2,564,965
CurrencyPound sterling
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Dutch East India Company.svg Dutch Cape Colony
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg British Bechuanaland
Union of South Africa South Africa Flag 1910-1912.svg
Basutoland Unofficial Basutoland Ensign.svg
Today part ofFlag of Namibia.svg  Namibia 2
Flag of South Africa.svg  South Africa
Flag of Lesotho.svg  Lesotho 3
¹ Dutch was the sole official language until 1822, when the British officially replaced Dutch with English. [3] Dutch was reincluded as a second official language in 1882.
2 Penguin Islands and Walvis Bay
3 Basutoland was annexed to the Cape Colony in 1871, before becoming a Crown colony in 1884. [4]

The Cape of Good Hope, also known as the Cape Colony (Dutch : Kaapkolonie), was a British colony in present-day South Africa, named after the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Dutch colony of the same name, the Kaap de Goede Hoop , established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. The Cape was under Dutch rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806. [5] The Dutch lost the colony to Great Britain following the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg, but had it returned following the 1802 Peace of Amiens. It was re-occupied by the UK following the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806, and British possession affirmed with the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.

Contents

Map of the Cape of Good Hope in 1885 (blue). The area of Griqualand East is large, while the southern half of Bechuanaland Protectorate has been annexed as British Bechuanaland. SouthAfrica1885.svg
Map of the Cape of Good Hope in 1885 (blue). The area of Griqualand East is large, while the southern half of Bechuanaland Protectorate has been annexed as British Bechuanaland.

The Cape of Good Hope then remained in the British Empire, becoming self-governing in 1872, and uniting with three other colonies to form the Union of South Africa in 1910. It then was renamed the Province of the Cape of Good Hope. [6] South Africa became a sovereign state in 1931 by the Statute of Westminster. In 1961 it became the Republic of South Africa and obtained its own monetary unit called the Rand. Following the 1994 creation of the present-day South African provinces, the Cape Province was partitioned into the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and Western Cape, with smaller parts in North West province.

The Cape of Good Hope was coextensive with the later Cape Province, stretching from the Atlantic coast inland and eastward along the southern coast, constituting about half of modern South Africa: the final eastern boundary, after several wars against the Xhosa, stood at the Fish River. In the north, the Orange River, also known as the Gariep River, served as the boundary for some time, although some land between the river and the southern boundary of Botswana was later added to it. From 1878, the colony also included the enclave of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, both in what is now Namibia.

History

Dutch settlement

An expedition of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) led by Jan van Riebeeck established a trading post and naval victualing station at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. [7] Van Riebeeck's objective was to secure a harbour of refuge for Dutch ships during the long voyages between Europe and Asia. [7] Within about three decades, the Cape had become home to a large community of "vrijlieden", also known as "vrijburgers" (free citizens), former VOC employees who settled in Dutch colonies overseas after completing their service contracts. [8] Vrijburgers were mostly married Dutch citizens who undertook to spend at least twenty years farming the land within the fledgling colony's borders; in exchange they received tax exempt status and were loaned tools and seeds. [9] Reflecting the multi-national nature of the early trading companies, the Dutch also granted vrijburger status to a number of former Scandinavian and German employees as well. [10] In 1688 they also sponsored the immigration of nearly two hundred French Huguenot refugees who had fled to the Netherlands upon the Edict of Fontainebleau. [11] There was a degree of cultural assimilation due to intermarriage, and the almost universal adoption of the Dutch language. [12]

Many of the colonists who settled directly on the frontier became increasingly independent and localised in their loyalties. [13] Known as Boers , they migrated westwards beyond the Cape Colony's initial borders and had soon penetrated almost a thousand kilometres inland. [14] Some Boers even adopted a nomadic lifestyle permanently and were denoted as trekboers . [15] The Dutch colonial period was marred by a number of bitter conflicts between the colonists and the Khoisan, followed by the Xhosa, both of which they perceived as unwanted competitors for prime farmland. [15]

Dutch traders imported thousands of slaves to the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East Indies and other parts of Africa. [16] By the end of the eighteenth century the Cape's population swelled to about 26,000 people of European descent and 30,000 slaves. [17] [18]

British conquest

In 1795, France occupied the Seven Provinces of the Netherlands, the mother country of the Dutch East India Company. This prompted Great Britain to occupy the territory in 1795 as a way to better control the seas in order to stop any potential French attempt to reach India. The British sent a fleet of nine warships which anchored at Simon's Town and, following the defeat of the Dutch militia at the Battle of Muizenberg, took control of the territory. The Dutch East India Company transferred its territories and claims to the Batavian Republic (the Revolutionary period Dutch state) in 1798, and went bankrupt in 1799. Improving relations between Britain and Napoleonic France, and its vassal state the Batavian Republic, led the British to hand the Cape of Good Hope over to the Batavian Republic in 1803, under the terms of the Treaty of Amiens.

In 1806, the Cape, now nominally controlled by the Batavian Republic, was occupied again by the British after their victory in the Battle of Blaauwberg. The temporary peace between the UK and Napoleonic France had crumbled into open hostilities, whilst Napoleon had been strengthening his influence on the Batavian Republic (which Napoleon would subsequently abolish later the same year). The British, who set up a colony on 8 January 1806,[ citation needed ] hoped to keep Napoleon out of the Cape, and to control the Far East trade routes.

The Cape Colony at the time of British occupation was three months’ sailing distance from London. The white colonial population, was small no more than 25,000 in all, scattered across a territory of 100,000 square miles. Most lived in Cape Town and the surrounding farming districts of the Boland, an area favoured with rich soils, a Mediterranean climate and reliable rainfall. Cape Town had a population of 16,000 people. [19] In 1814 the Dutch government formally ceded sovereignty over the Cape to the British, under the terms of the Convention of London.

British colonisation

The British started to settle the eastern border of the colony, with the arrival in Port Elizabeth of the 1820 Settlers. They also began to introduce the first rudimentary rights for the Cape's black African population and, in 1834, abolished slavery. The resentment that the Dutch farmers felt against this social change, as well as the imposition of English language and culture, caused them to trek inland en masse. This was known as the Great Trek, and the migrating Boers settled inland, forming the Boer republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

British immigration continued in the Cape, even as many of the Boers continued to trek inland, and the ending of the British East India Company's monopoly on trade led to economic growth. At the same time, the long series of border wars fought against the Xhosa people of the Cape's eastern frontier finally died down when the Xhosa took part in a mass destruction of their own crops and cattle, in the belief that this would cause their spirits to appear and defeat the whites. The resulting famine crippled Xhosa resistance and ushered in a long period of stability on the border.

Peace and prosperity led to a desire for political independence. In 1853, the Cape Colony became a British Crown colony with representative government. [20] In 1854, the Cape of Good Hope elected its first parliament, on the basis of the multi-racial Cape Qualified Franchise. Cape residents qualified as voters based on a universal minimum level of property ownership, regardless of race.

The fact that executive power remained completely in the authority of the British governor did not relieve tensions in the colony between its eastern and western sections. [21]

Responsible government

In 1872, after a long political battle, the Cape of Good Hope achieved responsible government under its first Prime Minister, John Molteno. Henceforth, an elected Prime Minister and his cabinet had total responsibility for the affairs of the country. A period of strong economic growth and social development ensued, and the eastern-western division was largely laid to rest. The system of multi-racial franchise also began a slow and fragile growth in political inclusiveness, and ethnic tensions subsided. [22] In 1877, the state expanded by annexing Griqualand West and Griqualand East [23] – that is, the Mount Currie district (Kokstad). The emergence of two Boer mini-republics along the Missionary Road resulted in 1885 in the Warren Expedition, sent to annex the republics of Stellaland and Goshen. Major-General Charles Warren annexed the land south of the (usually dry) Molopo River as the colony of British Bechuanaland and proclaimed a protectorate over the land lying to its north. Vryburg, the capital of Stellaland, became capital of British Bechuanaland, while Mafeking (now Mahikeng), although situated south of the protectorate border, became the protectorate's administrative centre. The border between the protectorate and the colony ran along the Molopo and Nossob rivers. In 1895 British Bechuanaland became part of the Cape Colony.

However, the discovery of diamonds around Kimberley and gold in the Transvaal led to a return to instability, particularly because they fuelled the rise to power of the ambitious imperialist Cecil Rhodes. On becoming the Cape's Prime Minister in 1890, he instigated a rapid expansion of British influence into the hinterland. In particular, he sought to engineer the conquest of the Transvaal, and although his ill-fated Jameson Raid failed and brought down his government, it led to the Second Boer War and British conquest at the turn of the century. The politics of the colony consequently came to be increasingly dominated by tensions between the British colonists and the Boers. Rhodes also brought in the first formal restrictions on the political rights of the Cape of Good Hope's black African citizens. [24]

The Cape of Good Hope remained nominally under British rule until the formation of the Union of South Africa in 1910, when it became the Province of the Cape of Good Hope, better known as the Cape Province.

Governors

Districts

Tallis Map of the Cape Colony, 1850. 1850 Tallis Map of the Cape Colony.png
Tallis Map of the Cape Colony, 1850.

The districts of the colony in 1850 were:

Demographics

1904 Census

Population Figures for the 1904 Census. Source: [25]

Population groupNumberPercent
(%)
Black 1,424,78759.12
White 579,74124.05
Coloured 395,03416.39
Asian 10,2420.42
Total2,409,804100.00

See also

Related Research Articles

Boer descendants of Dutch-speaking settlers in Southern Africa

Boer is Dutch and Afrikaans for "farmer". In South African contexts, "Boers" refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th and much of the 19th century. From 1652 to 1795, the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806.

History of South Africa South African history

The first modern humans are believed to have inhabited South Africa more than 100,000 years ago. South Africa's prehistory has been divided into two phases based on broad patterns of technology namely the Stone Age and Iron Age. After the discovery of hominins at Taung and australopithecine fossils in limestone caves at Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, and Kromdraai these areas were collectively designated a World Heritage site. The first inhabitants of South Africa are collectively referred to as the Khoisan, the Khoi Khoi and the San separately. These groups were displaced or sometimes absorbed by migrating Africans (Bantus) during the Bantu expansion from Western and Central Africa. While some maintained separateness, others were grouped into a category known as Coloureds, a multiracial ethnic group which includes people with shared ancestry from two or more of these groups: Khoisan, Bantu, English, Afrikaners, Austronesians, East Asians and South Asians. European exploration of the African coast began in the 13th century when Portugal committed itself to discover an alternative route to the silk road that would lead to China. In the 14th and 15th century, Portuguese explorers traveled down the west African Coast, detailing and mapping the coastline and in 1488 they rounded the Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch East India Company established a trading post in Cape Town under the command of Jan van Riebeeck in 1652, European workers who settled at the Cape became known as the Free Burghers and gradually established farms in the Dutch Cape Colony.

Jameson Raid Raid on Transvaal Republic

The Jameson Raid was a botched raid against the South African Republic carried out by British colonial administrator Leander Starr Jameson and his Company troops and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96. Paul Kruger was president of the republic at the time. The raid was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The workers were called the Johannesburg conspirators. They were expected to recruit an army and prepare for an insurrection. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place. The results included embarrassment of the British government; the replacement of Cecil Rhodes as premier of the Cape Colony; and the strengthening of Boer dominance of the Transvaal and its gold mines. The raid was a contributory cause of the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902).

The written history of the Cape Colony in what is now South Africa began when Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias became the first modern European to round the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. In 1497, Vasco da Gama sailed along the whole coast of South Africa on his way to India, landed at St Helena Bay for 8 days, and made a detailed description of the area. The Portuguese, attracted by the riches of Asia, made no permanent settlement at the Cape Colony. However, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) settled the area as a location where vessels could restock water and provisions.

Great Trek Boer migrations away from British control in the eastern Cape Colony (1836-1852)

The Great Trek, starting in 1836 in southern Africa, was a mass migration of Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the British-run Cape Colony, who left the Cape and travelled eastward by wagon train, into the interior of the continent, in order to live beyond the reach of the British colonial administration. Both the Cape Colony and the area newly settled by the migrants later became part of what is today the country of South Africa. The Great Trek was spurred by rising tensions between rural descendants of the Cape's original, mostly Dutch, European settlers, known collectively as Boers, and the later, mostly British, settlers, who had taken control of the Cape on behalf of the British Empire. It was also spurred by an increasing yearning among members of the various Boer communities to live in a more isolationist, semi-nomadic way than had become possible in Cape Town, which was becoming much more administratively complex under British management. Boers who took part in the Great Trek identified themselves as voortrekkers, meaning "pioneers" or "pathfinders" in Dutch and Afrikaans.

The year 1870 in the history of the Cape Colony marks the dawn of a new era in South Africa, and it can be said that the development of modern South Africa began on that date. Despite political complications that arose from time to time, progress in Cape Colony continued at a steady pace until the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer Wars in 1899. The discovery of diamonds in the Orange River in 1867 was immediately followed by similar finds in the Vaal River. This led to the rapid occupation and development of huge tracts of the country, which had hitherto been sparsely inhabited. Dutoitspan and Bultfontein diamond mines were discovered in 1870, and in 1871 the even richer mines of Kimberley and De Beers were discovered. These four great deposits of mineral wealth were incredibly productive, and constituted the greatest industrial asset that the Colony possessed.

Khoekhoe ethnic group

Khoekhoen are the traditionally nomadic pastoralist indigenous population of southwestern Africa. They are often grouped with the hunter-gatherer San peoples. The designation "Khoekhoe" is actually a kare or praise address, not an ethnic endonym, but it has been used in the literature as an ethnic term for Khoe-speaking peoples of Southern Africa, particularly pastoralist groups, such as the !Ora, !Gona, Nama, Xiri and ǂNūkhoe nations.

Cape Dutch, also commonly known as Cape Afrikaners, were a historic socioeconomic class of Afrikaners who lived in the Western Cape during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The terms have been evoked to describe an affluent, apolitical section of the Cape Colony's Afrikaner population which did not participate in the Great Trek or the subsequent founding of the Boer republics. Today, the Cape Dutch are credited with helping shape and promote a unique Afrikaner cultural identity through their formation of civic associations such as the Afrikaner Bond, and promotion of the Afrikaans language.

The following lists events that happened during 1876 in South Africa.

Xhosa Wars Nine wars or flare-ups (1779-1879) between the Xhosa Kingdom and European settlers

The Xhosa Wars were a series of nine wars or flare-ups between the Xhosa Kingdom and European settlers in what is now the Eastern Cape in South Africa. These events were the longest-running military action in the history of African colonialism.

Dutch diaspora

The Dutch diaspora consists of Dutch people and their descendants living outside the Netherlands.

White Africans of European ancestry are descendants of any of the white ethnic groups originating on the European continent. In 1989, there were an estimated 4.6 million white people with European ancestry on the African continent. Most are of Dutch, British, Portuguese, German, and French descent; and to a lesser extent there are also those who descended from Italians, Spaniards, and Greeks. The majority once lived along the Mediterranean coast or in Southern Africa.

Afrikaners are a Southern African ethnic group descended from predominantly Dutch settlers first arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th and 18th centuries. They traditionally dominated South Africa's politics and commercial agricultural sector prior to 1994. Afrikaans, South Africa's third most widely spoken home language, evolved as the mother tongue of Afrikaners and most Cape Coloureds. It originated from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland, incorporating words brought from the Dutch East Indies and Madagascar by slaves. Afrikaners make up approximately 5.2% of the total South African population based on the number of white South Africans who speak Afrikaans as a first language in the South African National Census of 2011.

South African Wars (1879–1915) series of conflicts

Ethnic, political and social tensions among European colonial powers, indigenous Africans, and English and Dutch settlers led to open conflict in a series of wars and revolts between 1879 and 1915 that would have lasting repercussions on the entire region of southern Africa. Pursuit of commercial empire as well as individual aspirations, especially after the discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886), were key factors driving these developments.

Postage stamps and postal history of Zimbabwe

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Dutch Cape Colony Dutch colony in Southern Africa, 1652–1795 and 1802–1806

The Cape Colony was a Dutch East India Company colony in Southern Africa, centered on the Cape of Good Hope, whence it derived its name. The original colony and its successive states that the colony was incorporated into occupied much of modern South Africa. Between 1652 and 1691 a Commandment, and between 1691 and 1795 a Governorate of the Dutch East India Company. Jan van Riebeeck established the colony as a re-supply and layover port for vessels of the Dutch East India Company trading with Asia. The Cape came under Dutch rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806. Much to the dismay of the shareholders of the Dutch East India Company, who focused primarily on making profits from the Asian trade, the colony rapidly expanded into a settler colony in the years after its founding.

State of Goshen short-lived Boer Republic in southern Africa

Goshen, officially known as the State of Goshen was a short-lived Boer Republic in southern Africa founded by Boers opposing British rule in the region.

Jacobus Wilhelmus Sauer South African lawyer (1850-1913)

Jacobus Wilhelmus ("J.W.") Sauer, was a prominent liberal politician of the Cape Colony. He served as Minister in multiple Cape governments, and was influential in several unsuccessful attempts to enshrine equal political rights for black South Africans in the constitution of the Union of South Africa. He was also a strong early supporter of women's rights and suffrage.

De Zuid-Afrikaan was a nineteenth-century Dutch language newspaper based in Cape Town that circulated throughout the Cape Colony, published between 1830 and 1930.

Invasion of the Cape Colony British military expedition in 1795 against the Dutch Cape Colony at the Cape of Good Hope

The Invasion of the Cape Colony, also known as the Battle of Muizenberg, was a British military expedition launched in 1795 against the Dutch Cape Colony at the Cape of Good Hope, the southern tip of Southern Africa. The Dutch colony at the Cape, established in the seventeenth century, was at the time the only viable South African port for ships making the journey from Europe to the European colonies in the East Indies. It therefore held vital strategic importance, although it was otherwise economically insignificant. In the winter of 1794, during the French Revolutionary Wars, French troops entered the Dutch Republic, which was reformed into the Batavian Republic. In response, Great Britain launched operations against the Dutch Empire to use its facilities against the French Navy.

References

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