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Cape of Good Hope
Kaap de Goede Hoop (Dutch)
The Cape of Good Hope c. 1890
with Griqualand East and Griqualand West annexed
and Stellaland/Goshen (in light red) claimed
|Common languages||English, Dutch (official¹)|
Khoekhoe, Xhosa also spoken
|Religion||Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican, San religion|
|John Charles Molteno|
|John X. Merriman|
|1822||331,900 km2 (128,100 sq mi)|
|1910||569,020 km2 (219,700 sq mi)|
|Today part of|
| Historical states |
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. 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.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.
In history, a colony is a territory under the immediate complete political control and occupied by settlers of a state, distinct from the home territory of the sovereign. For colonies in antiquity, city-states would often found their own colonies. Some colonies were historically countries, while others were territories without definite statehood from their inception.
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.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.
Responsible government is a conception of a system of government that embodies the principle of parliamentary accountability, the foundation of the Westminster system of parliamentary democracy. Governments in Westminster democracies are responsible to parliament rather than to the monarch, or, in a colonial context, to the imperial government, and in a republican context, to the president, either in full or in part. If the parliament is bicameral, then the government is responsible first to the parliament's lower house, which is more representative than the upper house, as it has more members and they are always directly elected.
The Union of South Africa is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony. It included the territories that were formerly a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.
The Province of the Cape of Good Hope, commonly referred to as the Cape Province and colloquially as The Cape, was a province in the Union of South Africa and subsequently the Republic of South Africa. It encompassed the old Cape Colony, and had Cape Town as its capital. Following the end of the Apartheid era, the Cape Province was split up to form the new Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces, along with part of the North West.
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.
The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest of the world's oceans, with an area of about 106,460,000 square kilometers. It covers approximately 20 percent of the Earth's surface and about 29 percent of its water surface area. It separates the "Old World" from the "New World".
The Xhosa people are an ethnic group of people of Southern Africa mainly found in the Eastern and Western Cape, South Africa, and in the last two centuries throughout the southern and central-southern parts of the country. There is a small but significant Xhosa (Mfengu) community in Zimbabwe, and their language, IsiXhosa, is recognised as a national language.
The Great Fish River is a river running 644 kilometres (400 mi) through the South African province of the Eastern Cape. The coastal area between Port Elizabeth and the Fish River mouth is known as the Sunshine Coast. The Great Fish River was originally named Rio do Infante, after João Infante, the captain of one of the caravels of Bartolomeu Dias. Infante visited the river in the late 1480s.
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.Van Riebeeck's objective was to secure a harbour of refuge for Dutch ships during the long voyages between Europe and Asia. 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. 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. 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. 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. There was a degree of cultural assimilation due to intermarriage, and the almost universal adoption of the Dutch language.
The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company was an early megacorporation founded by a government-directed amalgamation of several rival Dutch trading companies (voorcompagnieën) in the early 17th century. It was established on March 20, 1602, as a chartered company to trade with India and Indianised Southeast Asian countries when the Dutch government granted it a 21-year monopoly on the Dutch spice trade. It has been often labelled a trading company or sometimes a shipping company. However, VOC was in fact a proto-conglomerate company, diversifying into multiple commercial and industrial activities such as international trade, shipbuilding, and both production and trade of East Indian spices, Formosan sugarcane, and South African wine.. The Company was a transcontinental employer and an early pioneer of outward foreign direct investment. The Company's investment projects helped raise the commercial and industrial potential of many underdeveloped or undeveloped regions of the world in the early modern period. In the early 1600s, by widely issuing bonds and shares of stock to the general public, VOC became the world's first formally listed public company. In other words, it was the first corporation to be listed on an official stock exchange. It was influential in the rise of corporate-led globalisation in the early modern period.
Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck was a Dutch navigator and colonial administrator who arrived in Cape Town in what then became the Dutch Cape Colony of the Dutch East India Company.
The Edict of Fontainebleau was an edict issued by Louis XIV of France, also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes (1598) had granted the Huguenots the right to practice their religion without persecution from the state. Though Protestants had lost their independence in places of refuge under Richelieu on account of their supposed insubordination, they continued to live in comparative security and political contentment. From the outset, religious toleration in France had been a royal, rather than a popular policy. The lack of universal adherence to his religion did not sit well with Louis XIV's vision of perfected autocracy: "Bending all else to his will, Louis XIV resented the presence of heretics among his subjects."
Many of the colonists who settled directly on the frontier became increasingly independent and localised in their loyalties.Known as Boers , they migrated westwards beyond the Cape Colony's initial borders and had soon penetrated almost a thousand kilometres inland. Some Boers even adopted a nomadic lifestyle permanently and were denoted as trekboers . 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.
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun 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.
Khoisan, or according to the contemporary Khoekhoegowab orthography Khoe-Sān, is a catch-all term for the "non-Bantu" indigenous peoples of Southern Africa, combining the Khoekhoen and the Sān or Sākhoen.
Dutch traders imported thousands of slaves to the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East Indies and other parts of Africa.By the end of the eighteenth century the Cape's population swelled to about 26,000 people of European descent and 30,000 slaves.
Slavery is any system in which principles of property law are applied to people, allowing individuals to own, buy and sell other individuals, as a de jure form of property. A slave is unable to withdraw unilaterally from such an arrangement and works without remuneration. Many scholars now use the term chattel slavery to refer to this specific sense of legalised, de jure slavery. In a broader sense, however, the word slavery may also refer to any situation in which an individual is de facto forced to work against their own will. Scholars also use the more generic terms such as unfree labour or forced labour to refer to such situations. However, and especially under slavery in broader senses of the word, slaves may have some rights and protections according to laws or customs.
The Dutch East Indies was a Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. It was formed from the nationalised colonies of the Dutch East India Company, which came under the administration of the Dutch government in 1800.
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.
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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.In 1814 the Dutch government formally ceded sovereignty over the Cape to the British, under the terms of the Convention of London.
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.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.
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.In 1877, the state expanded by annexing Griqualand West and Griqualand East – 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.
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.
The post of High Commissioner for Southern Africa was also held from 27 January 1847 to 6 March 1901 by the Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. The post of Governor of the Cape of Good Hope became extinct on 31 May 1910, when it joined the Union of South Africa.
|No.||Name||Party||Assumed office||Left office|
|1||Sir John Charles Molteno||Independent||1 December 1872||5 February 1878|
|2||Sir John Gordon Sprigg||Independent||6 February 1878||8 May 1881|
|3||Thomas Charles Scanlen||Independent||9 May 1881||12 May 1884|
|4||Thomas Upington||Independent||13 May 1884||24 November 1886|
|—||Sir John Gordon Sprigg (2nd time)||Independent||25 November 1886||16 July 1890|
|5||Cecil John Rhodes||Independent||17 July 1890||3 May 1893|
|—||Cecil John Rhodes (2nd time)||Independent||4 May 1893||12 January 1896|
|—||Sir John Gordon Sprigg (3rd time)||Independent||13 January 1896||13 October 1898|
|6||William Philip Schreiner||Independent||13 October 1898||17 June 1900|
|—||Sir John Gordon Sprigg (4th time)||Progressive Party||18 June 1900||21 February 1904|
|7||Leander Starr Jameson||Progressive Party||22 February 1904||2 February 1908|
|8||John Xavier Merriman||South African Party||3 February 1908||31 May 1910|
The post of prime minister of the Cape of Good Hope also became extinct on 31 May 1910, when it joined the Union of South Africa.
Population Figures for the 1904 Census. Source:
The first 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 indigenous Khoisan people, some were absorbed by the darker skinned Africans during the Bantu expansion from Western and Central Africa while majority became known as Coloureds. European exploration of South Africa began in the 13th century when Portugal committed itself to discover a new silk road route to China. These explorers created detailed maps as they pressed down the African Coast 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.
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.
The Great Trek was an eastward migration of Dutch-speaking settlers who travelled by wagon trains from the Cape Colony into the interior of modern South Africa from 1836 onwards, seeking to live beyond the Cape’s British colonial administration. The Great Trek resulted from the culmination of tensions between rural descendants of the Cape's original European settlers, known collectively as Boers, and the British Empire. It was also reflective of an increasingly common trend among individual Boer communities to pursue an isolationist and semi-nomadic lifestyle away from the developing administrative complexities in Cape Town. Boers who took part in the Great Trek identified themselves as voortrekkers, meaning "pioneers", "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.
The history of the Cape Colony from 1806 to 1870 spans the period of the history of the Cape Colony during the Cape Frontier Wars, which lasted from 1811 to 1858. The wars were fought between the European colonists and the native Xhosa who, having acquired firearms, rebelled against continuing European rule.
Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Baronet was a British colonial administrator. He had a successful career in India, rising to become Governor of Bombay (1862–1867). However, as High Commissioner for Southern Africa (1877–1880), he implemented a policy which attempted to impose a British confederation on the region and which led to the overthrow of the Cape's first elected government in 1878 and to a string of regional wars, culminating in the invasion of Zululand (1879) and the First Boer War (1880-1881). The British Prime Minister, Gladstone, recalled Frere to London to face charges of misconduct; Whitehall officially censured Frere for acting recklessly.
The Boer Republics were independent, self-governed republics in the last half of the nineteenth century, created by the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Cape Colony and their descendants, variously named Trekboers, Boers and Voortrekkers in mainly the middle, northern and north eastern and eastern parts of what is now the country of South Africa. Two of the Boer Republics achieved international recognition and complete independence: the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. The republics did not provide separation of church and state, and initially only the Dutch Reformed Church, then also other churches in the Calvinist Protestant tradition, were allowed. The republics came to an end after the Second Boer War which resulted in the British annexation and later incorporation into the Union of South Africa.
Lieutenant General Sir Henry George Wakelyn Smith, 1st Baronet GCB, known as Sir Harry Smith, was a notable English soldier and military commander in the British Army of the early 19th century. A veteran of the Napoleonic Wars, he is also particularly remembered for his role in the Battle of Aliwal (India) in 1846, and as the husband of Lady Smith.
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 a 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 1881 in South Africa.
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.
Sir John Charles Molteno was a soldier, businessman, champion of responsible government and the first Prime Minister of the Cape Colony.
Afrikaners are a Southern African ethnic group descended from predominantly Dutch settlers first arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. Their identity as Afrikaners developed much later, after assimilation with various other European, Asian and indigenous peoples and the development of a common language. Afrikaners dominated South African politics from 1948 to 1994. Afrikaans, South Africa's third most widely spoken home language in 2011, is the mother tongue of Afrikaners. Afrikaners made up approximately 5.2% of the total South African population, based on the number of white South Africans who spoke Afrikaans as a first language, in the 2011 South African Census.
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.
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.
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.
The Capitulation of Saldanha Bay was the surrender in 1796 to the British Royal Navy of a Dutch expeditionary force sent to recapture the Dutch Cape Colony. In 1794, early in the French Revolutionary Wars, the army of the French Republic overran the Dutch Republic which then became a French client state, the Batavian Republic. Great Britain was concerned by the threat the Dutch Cape Colony in Southern Africa posed to its trade routes to British India. It therefore sent an expeditionary force that landed at Simon's Town in June 1795 and forced the surrender of the colony in a short campaign. The British commander, Vice-Admiral Sir George Elphinstone, then reinforced the garrison and stationed a naval squadron at the Cape to protect the British conquest.
The Invasion of the Cape Colony 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.
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