History of South Africa 1

History of South Africa Part I

Since the 16th century arable farmers of the Nguni and Sotho language groups can be traced back to eastern South Africa. In the western Cape, Khoikhoin lived as a cattle breeder and San as a hunter and gatherer. In 1652, with the founding of Cape Town by Jan van Riebeeck as a supply station for the Dutch East India Company on the sea route to the East Indies, the settlement of v. a. by the Dutch, Germans and Huguenots, the later Boers (Afrikaners). From 1779, semi-nomadic groups of the Boers (“Trekburen”) on the east coast in the area of ​​the Great Fish River came into conflict with the Nguni people of the Xhosa, who had been advancing from the north since the 16th century; the resulting Kaffir Wars lasted almost 100 years and ended with the subjugation of the Xhosa. 1816-28 created the Nguni military leader Chaka in Natal the Zulu nation. His military campaigns ( Mfecane ) caused large population movements. In the highlands of today’s Lesotho, Moshoeshoe I. gathered refugees around 1820 who avoided the Zulu and founded a kingdom ( Lesotho, history).

From the annexation of Great Britain to the Boer War (1806-1902)

In 1806 Great Britain annexed the Dutch Cape Colony. Tensions with the Boers were exacerbated by the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834–38. Starting in 1835, around 5,000 Boers left the colony on the “Great Trek” and founded the republics of Natal (1839), Orange Free State (1842) and Transvaal (1852). The British temporarily annexed the Orange Free State in 1843 and 1848, but recognized the independence of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State in 1852 and 1854, respectively. The Cape Province was gradually expanded to include areas of the Xhosa on its eastern border. In 1868 the area of ​​what is now Lesotho was given British protection against attacks by the Boers. In 1877 the British tried to annex the Transvaal, but had to recognize its independence again in 1881. In 1879 a British army subjugated the Zulu Kingdom in Natal. In 1867/69 diamond deposits were discovered in the border area between the Cape Colony and the Boer states, which Great Britain brought under its control through massive pressure (1871 Crown Colony Griqualand West) and in 1880 incorporated the Cape Colony.

Diamond trade in South Africa

The diamond trade

According to physicscat, the first diamond in South Africa was found in 1867 near the small town of Kimberley, and three years later a handful of such stones were found on Nicolaas de Beers’ farm in Zandfontein. A great diamond rush suddenly set in; Kimberley became the world diamond capital, attracting adventurers from all over the world. So did the two Englishmen Cecil Rhodes, son of a vicar, and Barney Barnato, offspring of a London rag dealer, who made a fortune as a diamond middleman during the early boom. Rhodes founded De Beers Mining Ltd. in Kimberley in 1880, named after the name of the original owner of the Zandfontein farm, Bernato, his Kimberley Central Diamond Mining Company a year later. Both mining companies competed relentlessly until Rhodes finally took over the company from Barnato in 1888. In order to increase profits, which had fallen in competition, and to be able to monitor prices in world trade, De Beers created a diamond syndicate in the early 1890s.

During the First World War, the German entrepreneur Ernest Oppenheimer founded the Anglo American Corporation, which was incorporated into the Consolidated Diamond Mines of South West Africa in 1919. Oppenheimer was able to acquire the majority of the shares in De Beers until the mid-1920s and finally in 1929 both companies to become today’s De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd. merge. Oppenheimer stopped the decline in prices caused by new diamond deposits in Australia, India and Canada by buying up new mines and a large part of world production, and he also restricted production in the mines. The sale to the intermediate trade took place in controlled, strongly reduced quantities at a fixed price. Since the beginning of the 1930s, wholesalers in London and Amsterdam have only received entire assortments of all grades of diamonds. This made the company the market leader; it currently controls around 70% of world trade. Today the company is based in London.

In 1871 the first gold was found near Pietersburg (since 2002 Polokwane); More finds followed in 1886 near Johannesburg on the Witwatersrand (mining since 1887). In 1894 the rest of the Xhosa area fell to the Cape Colony. C. Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape Colony from 1890–96, provoked the Boer War through extensive expansion policies (Rhodesia, Bechuanaland) and the renewed attempt to bring the Transvaal (1884–1902 officially called the South African Republic) under British rule, which resulted in the Boer states Became British in 1902.

History of South Africa 1

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