History of South Africa's colonization is undoubtedly one of the most complex, partly due to the fact that several colonizing nations and several native tribes were in interaction. What kind of evolutions knew South Africa from the second part of the 17th century to the end of the 19th century that led it to the Anglo-Boer Wars? The written history of South Africa begins with the accounts of European navigators passing South Africa on the East Indies trade routes. In the 15th and 16th centuries, a number of small fishing settlements were made along the coast by Portuguese sailors (Bartolomeo Dias, February 3, 1488). On April 6, 1652, a victualling station was established at the Cape of Good Hope by Jan van Riebeeck on behalf of the Dutch East India Company (in the Dutch of the day: Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC), one of the major European trading houses sailing the spice route to the East. In fact, the VOC had no intent of colonizing the area, but only wanted to establish a secure base camp where passing ships could shelter, and where hungry sailors could stock up on fresh supplies of meat, fruit, and vegetables.
[...] Most survivors were left with no option but to work for the Europeans in an exploitative arrangement that differed little from slavery. II) 1805 1880: Arrival and consolidation of the British British arrival and their attempt to stabilize the situation At the end of the 18th century, Dutch mercantile power began to fade, and the British moved in to fill the vacuum. Great Britain seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1797 during the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, all the more as the British wanted to prevent it from falling into rival French hands. [...]
[...] The emergence of hard relations between the British, the Boers and the Zulus, sources of conflicts While doing nothing to resolve the border dispute, this influx of settlers solidified the British presence in the area, thus fracturing the relative unity of white South Africa. Whereas the Boers and their ideas had before gone largely unchallenged, European Southern Africa now had two language groups and two cultures. A pattern soon emerged whereby English-speakers became highly urbanized, and dominated politics, trade, finance, mining, and manufacturing, while the largely uneducated Boers were relegated to their farms. [...]
[...] The British annexed the area in 1843, and founded their new Natal colony at present-day Durban. The British began to establish large sugar-plantations in Natal, but found few inhabitants of the neighbouring Zulu areas willing to provide labour. The British were confronted to a significant resistance with the Zulus, a nation with well-established traditions of waging war, who inflicted one of the most humiliating defeats on the British army, at the Battle of Isandlwana in 1879 when it killed over 1400 British soldiers. [...]
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