Cape Colony

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Cape Colony
Kaapkolonie  (Dutch)
1806–1910
Anthem:  God Save the King (1795–1837; 1901–1910)
God Save the Queen (1837–1901)

Suedafrika 1885.jpg
The Cape of Good Hope in 1885
Status Colony (British)
Capital Cape Town
Common languages English, Dutch [lower-alpha 1]
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
1806
1803–1806
1814
1844
 Disestablished
1910
Area
1822 [1] 331,907 km2 (128,150 sq mi)
Population
 1822 [1]
110,380
 1865 census [2]
496,381
CurrencyPound sterling
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of the Netherlands.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 of Namibia [lower-alpha 2]
South Africa
Lesotho [lower-alpha 3]

The Cape Colony (Dutch : Kaapkolonie), also known as the Cape of Good Hope, was a British colony in present-day South Africa named after the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Corporate colony that became a Dutch colony of the same name (controlled by France), the Dutch Cape Colony, established in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company (VOC). The Cape was under VOC rule from 1652 to 1795 and under rule of the Napoleonic Batavia Republic from 1803 to 1806. [3]

Contents

The VOC lost the colony to Great Britain following the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg, but it was acceded to the Batavia Republic following the 1802 Treaty of Amiens. It was re-occupied by the British following the Battle of Blaauwberg in 1806, and British possession affirmed with the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814.

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. The colony 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, natively known as the ǂNūǃarib (Black River) and subsequently called 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. It united 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. [4] 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.

History

VOC settlement

An expedition of the VOC led by Jan van Riebeeck established a trading post and naval victualing station at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652. [5] Van Riebeeck's objective was to secure a harbour of refuge for VOC ships during the long voyages between Europe and Asia. [5] 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 the colonies overseas after completing their service contracts. [6] Vrijburgers were mostly married 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. [7] Reflecting the multi-national nature of the early trading companies, the VOC granted vrijburger status to Dutch, Scandinavian and German employees, among others. [8] 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. [9] There was a degree of cultural assimilation due to Dutch cultural hegemony that included the almost universal adoption of the Dutch language. [10]

Many of the colonists who settled directly on the frontier became increasingly independent and localised in their loyalties. [11] Known as Boers , they migrated westwards beyond the Cape Colony's initial borders and had soon penetrated almost a thousand kilometres inland. [12] Some Boers even adopted a nomadic lifestyle permanently and were denoted as trekboers . [13] The VOC colonial period had a number of bitter conflicts between the colonists and the Khoe-speaking indigenes, followed by the Xhosa, both of which they perceived as unwanted competitors for prime farmland. [13]

VOC traders imported thousands of enslaved people to the Cape of Good Hope from the Dutch East Indies and other parts of Africa. [14] By the end of the eighteenth century the Cape's population swelled to about 26,000 people of European descent and 30,000 enslaved people. [15] [16]

British conquest

In 1795, France occupied the Seven Provinces of the Dutch Republic, the mother country of the Dutch United East India Company. This prompted Great Britain to occupy the Cape Colony 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 VOC militia at the Battle of Muizenberg, took control of the territory. The United 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 and directly administer 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. [17] 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 cape 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 Boers 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, eventually forming the Boer Republics.

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 Xhosa Wars fought between the Boers and the Xhosa people of the Colony'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. [18] 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.

Executive power remaining completely in the authority of the British governor did not relieve tensions in the colony between its eastern and western sections. [19]

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. [20] In 1877, the state expanded by annexing Griqualand West and Griqualand East [21] – 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 (lands annexed to British Bechuanaland). Major-General Charles Warren annexed the land south of the Molopo River as the colony of British Bechuanaland and proclaimed a protectorate over the land lying to the North of the river. 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. [22]

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: [23]

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

Boers Afrikaans-speaking descendants of Scandinavian, German, Swiss and Dutch colonialists who settled in modern-day South Africa over 400 years ago

Boers refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking Free Burghers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries. From 1652 to 1795, the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806. The name of the group is derived from the Dutch and Afrikaans word for 'farmer', whence the former the word 'boor' originates as an anglicization.

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. Native or indigenous South Africans 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 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.

Boer Republics Former countries in southern Africa

The Boer Republics were independent, self-governing republics formed by Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Cape Colony and their descendants. The founders - variously named Trekboers, Boers and Voortrekkers - settled mainly in the middle, northern, north-eastern and eastern parts of present-day 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 for the separation of church and state, initially allowing only the Dutch Reformed Church, and later also other churches in the Calvinist Protestant tradition. The republics came to an end after the Second Boer War of 1899-1902, which resulted in British annexation and later incorporation of their lands into the Union of South Africa.

The Griquas are a subgroup of heterogeneous former Khoe-speaking nations in Southern Africa with a unique origin in the early history of the Cape Colony. Under apartheid they were given a special racial classification under the broader category of "Coloured".

Trekboers

The Trekboers were nomadic pastoralists descended from European settlers on the frontiers of the Dutch Cape Colony in Southern Africa. The Trekboers began migrating into the interior from the areas surrounding what is now Cape Town, such as Paarl, Stellenbosch, and Franschhoek, during the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century. The Trekboer included mixed-race families of partial Khoikoi descent that had also become established within the economic class of burghers.

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 1895 in South Africa.

The area known today as Cape Town has no written history before it was first mentioned by Portuguese explorer Bartholomeu Dias in 1488. The German anthropologist Theophilus Hahn recorded that the original name of the area was '||Hui !Gais' – a toponym in the indigenous Khoe language meaning "where clouds gather."

White Africans of European ancestry refers to people in Africa who can trace full, or partial ancestry to Europe. In 1989, there were an estimated 4.6 million white people with European ancestry on the African continent. Most are of Dutch, Portuguese, British, German and French origin; and to a lesser extent there are also those who descended from Italians, Spaniards, Greeks, and Scandinavians. The majority once lived along the Mediterranean coast or in Southern Africa. The earliest permanent European communities in Africa were formed at the Cape of Good Hope; Luanda, in Angola; São Tomé Island; and Santiago, Cape Verde through the introduction of Portuguese and Dutch traders or military personnel. Other groups of white settlers arrived in newly-established European colonies in Africa. Before regional decolonisation, white Africans may have numbered up to 6 million persons and were represented in every part of the continent.

Afrikaners are a South 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 upon 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, including indigenous African peoples, with encroaching European settlers led to open conflict in a series of wars and revolts between 1879 and 1915 that had 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.

Nigel Worden is a British/South African historian who has researched the history of Cape slavery and the social and cultural history of early colonial Cape Town. He is Emeritus Professor of History and retired from the Historical Studies department at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in 2016. He graduated from Jesus College Cambridge and was subsequently Research Fellow at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge and Lecturer in Commonwealth History at the University of Edinburgh. He holds MA and PhD degrees in History from the University of Cambridge and BA degrees in Art History and Linguistics from the University of South Africa.

Dutch Cape Colony Former Dutch colony in Southern Africa

The Cape Colony was a Dutch United East India Company (VOC) Colony in Southern Africa, centered on the Cape of Good Hope, from where 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 United East India Company (VOC). Jan van Riebeeck established the colony as a re-supply and layover port for vessels of the VOC trading with Asia. The Cape came under VOC rule from 1652 to 1795 and again from 1803 to 1806. Much to the dismay of the shareholders of the VOC, 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

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

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.

References

Notes

  1. Dutch was the sole official language until 1822, when the British officially replaced Dutch with English. [lower-alpha 4] 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. See "Lesotho: History". The Commonwealth. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. Farlam 2001, pp. 87–88.

Citations

Sources

Further reading

  • Beck, Roger B. (2000). The History of South Africa. Westport, CT: Greenwood. ISBN   0-313-30730-X
  • Davenport, T. R. H., and Christopher Saunders (2000). South Africa: A Modern History, 5th ed. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN   0-312-23376-0.
  • Elbourne, Elizabeth (2002). Blood Ground: Colonialism, Missions, and the Contest for Christianity in the Cape Colony and Britain, 1799–1853. McGill-Queen's University Press. ISBN   0-7735-2229-8
  • Le Cordeur, Basil Alexander (1981). The War of the Axe, 1847: Correspondence between the governor of the Cape Colony, Sir Henry Pottinger, and the commander of the British forces at the Cape, Sire George Berkeley, and others. Brenthurst Press. ISBN   0-909079-14-5
  • Mabin, Alan (1983). Recession and its aftermath: The Cape Colony in the eighteen eighties. University of the Witwatersrand, African Studies Institute.
  • Ross, Robert, and David Anderson (1999). Status and Respectability in the Cape Colony, 1750–1870 : A Tragedy of Manners. Cambridge University Press. ISBN   0-521-62122-4.
  • Theal, George McCall (1970). History of the Boers in South Africa; Or, the Wanderings and Wars of the Emigrant Farmers from Their Leaving the Cape Colony to the Acknowledgment of Their Independence by Great Britain. Greenwood Press. ISBN   0-8371-1661-9.
  • Van Der Merwe, P.J., Roger B. Beck (1995). The Migrant Farmer in the History of the Cape Colony. Ohio University Press. ISBN   0-8214-1090-3
  • Worden, Nigel; Van Heyningen, E.; Bickford-Smith, Vivian (1998). Cape Town: The Making of a City : an Illustrated Social History. David Philip. ISBN   978-0-86486-435-2.

External Links