BOER (English: /ˈboʊ.ər/ , /bɔːr/ or /bʊər/ ; Afrikaans: )
is the Dutch and
In addition the term was applied to those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State , Transvaal (which are together known as the Boer Republics ), and to a lesser extent Natal . They left the Cape primarily to escape British rule and get away from the constant border wars between the British imperial government and the indigenous peoples on the eastern frontier.
* 1 History
* 1.1 Origin
* 1.1.1 Trekboer
* 1.2 British involvement
* 1.2.1 Dislike of British Rule * 1.2.2 Slachter\'s Nek * 1.2.3 Sixth Frontier War
* 2 Characteristics
* 2.1 Culture
* 2.2 Beliefs
* 2.2.1 Faith
* 3 Modern usage
* 3.1 Politics * 3.2 Education * 3.3 Media * 3.4 Territories
* 4 Boers * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 External links
Painting of an account of the arrival of
Jan van Riebeeck
Dutch East India Company
Landing at Table Bay, Van Riebeek took control over
More settlers were landed from time to time, including a number of
orphan girls from
At this time the European (white) colonists numbered eight to ten thousand. They possessed numerous slaves, grew wheat in sufficient quantity to make it a commodity crop for export, and were famed for the good quality of their wines. But their chief wealth was in cattle. They enjoyed considerable prosperity. Flag of the Dutch East India Company
Through the latter half of the 17th and the whole of the 18th
century, troubles arose between the colonists and the government. The
administration of the
Dutch East India Company
From time to time, servants in the direct employment of the company were endowed with the right of "freeburghers"; but the company retained the power to compel them to return into its service whenever they deemed it necessary. This right to force into servitude those who might incur the displeasure of the governor or other high officers was not only exercised with reference to the individuals themselves who had received this conditional freedom; it was claimed by the government to be applicable likewise to the children of all such.
The effect of this tyranny was inevitable: it drove men to
desperation. They fled from oppression, and even before 1700 trekking
began. In 1780,
Joachim van Plettenberg , the governor, proclaimed the
Sneeuberge to be the northern boundary of the colony, expressing "the
anxious hope that no more extension should take place, and with heavy
penalties forbidding the rambling peasants to wander beyond." In 1789,
so strong had feeling amongst the burghers become that delegates were
sent from the Cape to interview the authorities at
Wikimedia Commons has media related to OX-DRAWN WAGONS IN SOUTH AFRICA .
Descending from the Sneeuberge, a scene near
Passing Cradock Pass, Outeniqua Mountains , by Charles Collier Michell *
An aquatint by Samuel Daniell of Trekboers making camp. *
It was largely to escape oppression that the farmers trekked farther
and farther from the seat of government. The company, to control the
emigrants, established a magistracy at
Swellendam in 1745 and another
The Trek Boers of the 19th century were the lineal descendants of the
Trek Boers of the 18th century. What they had learnt of government
Dutch East India Company
The underlying fact which made the trek possible is that the Dutch-descended colonists in the eastern and northeastern parts of the colony were not cultivators of the soil, but of purely pastoral and nomadic habits, ever ready to seek new pastures for their flocks and herds, and possessing no special affection for any particular locality. These people, thinly scattered over a wide territory, had lived for so long with little restraint from law that when, in 1815, by the institution of “Commissions of Circuit,” justice was brought nearer to their homes, various offences were brought to light, the remedying of which caused much resentment.
A map of the expansion of the Trekboers (1700-1800) *
Evolution of the
Dutch Cape Colony
Administrative divisions of the
Dutch Cape Colony
Map of the
The Dutch colony prospered to the extent that the
In 1795, Holland having fallen under the revolutionary government of
France , a British force under General Sir
James Henry Craig was sent
War having broken out in 1803, a British force was once more sent to the Cape. After an engagement (January 1806) on the shores of Table Bay, the Dutch garrison of Cape Castle surrendered to the British under Sir David Baird , and in 1814 the colony was ceded outright by Holland to the British crown . At that time the colony extended to the line of mountains guarding the vast central plateau, then called Bushmansland , and had an area of about 120,000 sq. m. and a population of some 60,000, of whom 27,000 were whites, 17,000 free Khoikhoi and the rest slaves, mostly imported blacks and Malays.
Dislike Of British Rule
Although the colony was fairly prosperous, many of the Dutch farmers were as dissatisfied with British rule as they had been with that of the Dutch East India Company, though their grounds for complaint were not the same. In 1792 Moravian missions had been established for the benefit of the Khoikhoi , and in 1799 the London Missionary Society began work among both Khoikhoi and Bantus . The missionaries' championing of Khoikhoi grievances caused much dissatisfaction among the majority of the colonists, whose views temporarily prevailed, for in 1812 an ordinance was issued which empowered magistrates to bind Khoikhoi children as apprentices under conditions differing little from that of slavery . Meantime, however, the movement for the abolition of slavery was gaining strength in England, and the missionaries appealed from the colonists to the mother country. An incident which occurred in 1815–1816 did much to make permanent the hostility of the frontiersmen to the British.
A farmer named Frederick Bezuidenhout refused to obey a summons
issued on the complaint of a Khoikhoi, and, firing on the party sent
to arrest him, was himself killed by the return fire. This caused a
small rebellion , known as Slachters Nek , in 1815, called “the most
insane attempt ever made by a set of men to wage war against their
sovereign” (Henry Cloete ). Upon its suppression five ringleaders
were publicly hanged at the spot where they had sworn to expel “the
English tyrants.” The feeling caused by the hanging of these men was
deepened by the circumstances of the execution , for the scaffold
on which the rebels were simultaneously hanged broke down from their
united weight and the men were afterwards hanged one by one. An
ordinance was passed in 1827, abolishing the old Dutch courts of
landroost and heemraden (resident magistrates being substituted) and
establishing that henceforth all legal proceedings should be conducted
in English. The granting in 1828, as a result of the representations
of the missionaries, of equal rights with whites to the
other free coloured people, the imposition (1830) of heavy penalties
for harsh treatment of slaves, and finally the emancipation of the
slaves in 1834, were measures which combined to aggravate the farmers'
dislike of government. Moreover, the inadequate compensation awarded
to slave-owners, and the suspicions engendered by the method of
payment, caused much resentment; and in 1835 the farmers again removed
to unknown country to escape an unloved government.
Probably the most powerful motive of the Great Trek was the equality between the black and white races, as proposed by the British. The Boers considered such an equality to be intolerable. This sentiment, which found formal recognition later on in the constitution of the South African Republic , was held in fullest force by the voortrekkers. The exasperation caused by just grievances unremedied was no stronger a motive with the trekkers than the desire to be free from the restraints imposed on British subjects and the wish to be able to deal with the natives after their own fashion.
Sixth Frontier War
Eastern frontier of the colony, c. 1835 Settled colonial area, showing districts established in 1820 (in various shades) Neutral zone since 1820, as agreed by Lord Somerset and the Gaika (Xhosa) Tribal areas under British administration Military forts and district boundaries
The year which witnessed the emancipation of the slaves and the creation of the first treaty state also saw the beginning of another disastrous Frontier war . Fighting began in December 1834, and lasted nearly a year. The Xhosa wrought great havoc; and Sir Benjamin D\'Urban , the governor, in order to secure peace, extended the boundary of the colony to the Kei River . The Xhosa had suffered much injustice , especially from the commando -reprisal system, but they had also committed many injustices, and the vacillating policy of the Cape government was largely to blame for the disturbed state of the border. Sir Benjamin's policy , which had support of both Dutch and British colonists , was one of close settlement by whites in certain districts and military control of the Bantus in other regions, and it would have done much to ensure peace.
Lord Glenelg , secretary for the colonies in Lord Melbourne 's second administration , held that the Xhosa were in the right in the quarrel, and he compelled D'Urban to abandon the conquered territory, an unwise decision adopted largely on the advice of John Philip and his supporters. By 1836 a critical state had arisen in South Africa. The colonists had lost their slaves, the eastern frontier was in a state of insecurity, the British immigrants of 1820 were still struggling against heavy odds, and the Dutch colonists were in a state of great indignation.
Main article: Great Trek
Great Trek occurred between 1835 and the early 1840s. During that
period some 12,000 to 14,000 Boers (including women and children),
impatient of British rule, emigrated from
Though the Boers accepted British rule without resistance in 1877, they fought two Boer Wars in the late 19th century to defend their internationally recognised independent countries, the republics of the Transvaal (the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek , or ZAR) and the Orange Free State (OFS), against the threat of annexation by the British Crown. This led the key figure in organising the resistance, Paul Kruger , into conflict with the British.
BOER WAR DIASPORA
After the second Anglo-
Main article: Maritz Rebellion
Rebellion or the
Painting depicting the Bullock waggons moving over the billowy plains, January 2, 1860.
Trekboere crossing the Karoo .
The desire to wander, known as trekgees, was a notable characteristic
of the Boers. It figured prominently in the late 17th century when the
Trekboere began to inhabit the northern and eastern Cape frontiers,
again during the
Great Trek when the
Voortrekkers left the eastern
Cape en masse, and after the major republics were established during
the Thirstland (Dorsland) Trek. When one such trekker was asked why
he has emigrated he explained, "a drifting spirit was in our hearts,
and we ourselves could not understand it. We just sold our farms and
set out northwestwards to find a new home." A rustic characteristic
and tradition was developed quite early on as
The separation and declaration of the republics were made out of
necessity rather than a personal choice. The Dutch were unwilling to
protect the people they abandoned at the
Cape of Good Hope
The Boers of the frontier were known for their independent spirit, resourcefulness, hardiness, and self-sufficiency, whose political notions verged on anarchy but had begun to be influenced by republicanism. Most of the men were also skilled with the use of guns as they would hunt and also were able to protect their families with them.
The Boers had cut their ties to Europe as they emerged from the Trekboer group.
The Boers possessed a distinct
A small number of Boers may also be members of
During recent times, mainly during the apartheid reform and post-1994
eras, some white
They contend that the Boers of the
South African Republic (ZAR) and
Orange Free State republics were recognised as a separate people or
cultural group under international law by the Sand River Convention
(which created the
South African Republic in 1852), the Bloemfontein
Convention (which created the
Orange Free State Republic in 1854), the
Pretoria Convention (which re-established the independence of the
South African Republic 1881), the London Convention (which granted the
full independence to the
South African Republic in 1884), and the
Vereeniging Peace Treaty , which formally ended the Second Anglo-Boer
War on 31 May 1902. Others contend, however, that these treaties dealt
only with agreements between governmental entities and do not imply
the recognition of a
The supporters of these views feel that the
Since the Anglo-
The supporters of the "Boer" designation view the term "Afrikaner" as
an artificial political label which usurped their history and culture,
turning "Boer" achievements into "Afrikaner" achievements. They feel
that the Western-Cape based
Afrikaners – whose ancestors did not
trek eastwards or northwards – took advantage of the republican
Boers' destitution following the Anglo-
In contemporary South Africa,
Freedom Front Plus
Herstigte Nasionale Party
BCVO (Movement for Christian-National Education) is a federation
Some local Radio stations promote the ideals of those who identify
See also: Volkstaat
Territorial areas are being developed as settlements exclusively for
Boer/Afrikaners, notably Orania in the Northern Cape and Kleinfontein
PARTICIPANTS IN THE SECOND ANGLO-BOER WAR
Koos de la Rey
Louis Botha , first prime minister of
Fritz Joubert Duquesne , a
* Boerboel * Boerehaat * Boer goat * Boer music * Great Trek * Natalia Republic * Orange Free State * South African farm attacks * South African Republic * Transvaal Colony * Volkstaat * Voortrekker * Transvaal civil war , 1854 conflict
* ^ Stürmann, Jan (2005). New Coffins, Old Flags, Microorganisms
and the Future of the Boer. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
* ^ Jones, Daniel ; Gimson, Alfred C. (1977) . Everyman's English
Pronunciation Dictionary. Everyman's Reference Library (14 ed.).
London: J. M. Dent & Sons. ISBN 0-460-03029-9 .
* ^ A B Du Toit, Brian M. (1998). The Boers in East Africa:
Ethnicity and Identity. p. 1. Retrieved 2011-12-02.
* ^ A B Hunt, John (2005). Campbell, Heather-Ann, ed. Dutch South
Africa: Early Settlers at the Cape, 1652-1708. Philadelphia:
University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 13–35. ISBN 978-1904744955 .
* ^ H. C. Viljoen, The Contribution of the
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