South Africa Before the coming of Europeans
The Earliest Inhabitants of South Africa were The San (Bushmen) and the khoikhoi then followed by Bantu people who inhabited South Africa.
The San people were short and had light brown skin. They had click sound in their language. They lived in highland areas of South Africa. Their main economic Activities were hunting and gathering. They had permanent settlement and they lived in caves.
The khoikhoi resemble the San but they are taller, khoikhoi means “men of men” in their language. The San group helped the Khoikhoi to graze their animals. The frequent contact between San and Khoikhoi as they referred to one group of Khoisan.
These made up the largest group, this was the early inhabitants of South Africa. They include the Iswana, Venda, Gueza, Zulu, Ndebele, Swazi, Shona, Xhosa and Ngoni. They lived a settled life and grew crops such as maize, beans and pumpkins. They used iron tolls and produced enough food which encouraged population growth. The surplus encouraged trade between the communities.
DUTCH SETTLEMENT AT THE CAPE
In the 15th
the Dutch (people) from the Neatherland was competing with other European powers in international trade. This trade .involved getting commodities from Asia and transporting them by shipping to Europe, goods were sold to Europeans at a profit
Initial Dutch settlement at the cape occurred when a Dutch ship. They traded with the Khoikhoi and the San through the barter system sailors returned to the Netherlands, they persuaded their country to establish a permanent station at the Cape.
The Dutch East India company (DEIC) was formed to organized trade with India. In 1652, this company established a Dutch settlement at Table Bay under Jan Van Riebeeck
MOTIVES OF THE DUTCH SETTLEMENT AT THE CAPE
IMPACTS OF DUTCH SETTLEMENT AT THE CAPE
- The station at the cape served as the Stop over point for Dutch ships on their way.
- The Dutch wanted to control the Indian Ocean trade which was dominated by the Portuguese.
- Dutch settler (Boers) wanted to establish forms on which they could grow different types of crops.
- The cape had a temperate climate similar to that of Europe
- They traded beads, copper, alcohol and tobacco for cattle.
AFRICAN REACTIONS TO THE DUTCH SETTLEMENT
- Enslavement of African – Boers established large plantations, so they needed labors to work to their fields so African were forced to provide their labor.
- Displacement of the African communities – The Dutch displaced the native Africans from the fertile areas and took their livestock by force.
- Occurrence of social segregation - The Dutch thought that they are superior so they mistreated and exploited the African and buying foundation for the Apartheid.
- Expansion of European settlements - Dutch established settlement at the cape in 1685 and their families increased to 150 families.
- Introduction of new culture – The Boers introduced the Dutch culture to South Africa that involved their way of life which was totally different from that of African.
They resisted Dutch settlement by raiding the Boers cattle’s and Boers took revenge by the hunting down the San in order to wipe them out so many san people were killed.
The Boers occupied the traditional Khoikhoi grazing land so many Khoikhoi were enslaved and forced to work on Boers farms in 1659, The Khoikhoi declared war on the Dutch famers and took the war then hundreds of cattle and sheep died.
The Boers got the Great fish River, they encountered the Xhosa who lived around that region. The Boers fought the major wars against the Xhosa. The Xhosa called these war “Wars of possession” but the Boers called them “Kaffir wars”.
BRITISH AT THE CAPE
Britain took control of the cape during the period of Mercantilism in Europe. In 1580 Sir Francis Drake became the first British man to round the Cape of Good Hope.
At the end of 18th
century, The British became interested in seizing the cape colony from the Dutch.
MOTIVES FOR THE BRITISH INTERESTS IN THE CAPE
TACTICS USED BY THE BRITISH TO OCCUPY THE CAPE
- The South Africa cape was strategically located. It was the place for British ships to stop during their voyages to India.
- Britain was interested in increasing her colonies and sources of raw materials for her industries.
- Britain wanted to control trade in India.
- They introduced the land legislation system. They limited the size of an individual’s land.
- Britain abolished slave trade and slavery. 1807, British abolished slave trade in all their colonies.
- English replaced Dutch as the official language at the cape.
- British abolished the restriction of internal trade that was imposed by the Dutch company officials on the farmers and other settlers at the Cape.
- British introduced the “Pass and contract system” to reduce the exploitation of African labor.
- British government encouraged more of its citizens to immigrate to the Cape.