The Afrikaners : an historical interpretation


The Afrikaners : an historical interpretation

G.H.L. Le May

Blackwell, 1995

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Includes bibliographical references and index



This is a history of the Afrikaner peoples from their arrival in southern Africa in 1652, up to the present day. The account covers the establishment of the Dutch East India trading post in the Cape, the Greak Trek of the 1830s, the discovery of gold and diamonds in the Transvaal in the late nineteenth century, the Anglo-Boer War, the effects of the two World Wars, and the democratic elections of 1994. At all these stages, G. H. Le May assesses not only the development of the state institutions of Afrikaner society, but the evolution of the people's distinct mentality.The book highlights the distinctions between the settled bourgeois Afrikaner of the urbanized western Cape and the traditional Boer farmer of the plateau and examines the tensions within the Afrikaner community as well as its historically troubled relations with others, including Africans, Cape Coloreds and European powers. Showing the Afrikaner through history, the author explains, for instance, the influence of Dutch Calvinist ancestry, the motives behind the Afrikaner resistance to external involvement in their economic development, and, most contentious of all, the appeal of the policy of apartheid as a moral solution to the racial problem in South Africa. In addresssing such issues in a direct and authoritative manner, The Afrikaners brings sharp, historical insight to the complex dynamics within South African society, both in the past and today.


List of Plates. List of Maps. A Note on Names.Introduction.1. Arrivals.2. Dispersal.3. Boer Independence Gained and Lost.4. The First 'Freedom War'.5. The Second 'Freedom War'.6. Humiliation and Revival.7. The Rise of Hertzog.8. Division and Reunion.9. The Triumph of Republicanism.10. Apartheid: Its Variations and its Collapse. Epilogue. Notes. Index.

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