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Friday, 10 September 2010

The Cape Dutch of the 19th Cent.

During a previous post I posted a chapter describing the Boers of the 19th cent. I have also long since come across a book called: Cecil Rhodes and the Cape Afrikaners pertaining mainly to the Cape Dutch population of the 19th cent. Comparing the two one will discover rather different outlooks as the Cape Dutch were very pro British & pro Colonial while the Boers on the other hand became anti-British [ stemming mainly from the Slagters Nek Rebellion & into the era of the Great Trek ] as they were very anti-Colonial & quite independence oriented. This is significant as the Cape Dutch population was [ & whose descendants are ] larger than the Boer population group of which both groups were lumped together as part of an "official" coalition under the Afrikaner designation. Therefore when folks assert that "the Afrikaners are from the Boers" they are perpetrating a mathematical impossibility as they are omitting the Cape Dutch population who are in fact the larger progenitors of the Afrikaner macro group.

The following is from Cecil Rhodes and the Cape Afrikaners by Mordechai Tamarkin from page 57.

T D Barry, an English-speaking Bondsman, assured Parliament that he 'had never heard a disloyal word uttered' in the Bond ad that he did not believe there were more than two or three Bondsmen who wished the British flag out of South Africa'. The Bechuanaland crisis, like the Transvaal one before it, rather than triggering disloyalty, was an occasion for Cape Afrikaners to restate their loyalty to Crown and Empire.

The jubilee year of Queen Victoria in 1887 offered Cape Afrikaners an outlet for amazing manifestations of love and loyalty, in town and country, in verse and prose. The Afrikaner Bond congress in its official address to the Queen gave the lead:

We the undersigned, representatives of the Afrikaner Bond of the Colony... wish to approach you with our heartiest and most sincere congratulations on this blessed occasion... We assure you humbly and respectfully [of] our true loyalty to your throne, and we feel proud that in the great British Empire there are not more loyal subjects than those we represent.

It was signed by 'the humblest, loving and most loyal subjects of Your most Blessed Majesty'. In Paarl, the capital of ' Afrikanerdom ', representatives of the Genootschap van Regte Afrikaners and the Afrikaner Bond were present at the local celebration with their flags, while the main speaker expressed his joy at the impressive presence of the burghers which proved Paarl's loyalty to the Queen. The local Dutch newspaper ran a special supplement including a long poem, full of praises for the Queen, by Oom Jan. Such celebrations were not restricted to major urban centers. A correspondent from Van Rhijndorp boasted that 'although our village is small and miserable we have demonstrated our loyalty to our honourable Queen Victoria'. A rural Bond branch in the east held a banquet on a farm. According to the correspondent , 'the house was beautifully decorated and the flag which during thousands of years [sic] withstood the blows of the storm flew merrily high, a striking proof of our Bondsmen loyalty'.

In 1887 Hofmeyr was a member of the Cape delegation to the first Colonial Conference held in London. In a proposal combining a mild preferential treatment for colonial produce with a scheme to finance imperial defense, Hofmeyr made the most important contribution to the idea of strengthening the imperial connection.

Link to book: Cecil Rhodes and the Cape Afrikaners.

The Afrikaners - as a macro group under the mid 20th century definition of the term - are in fact mainly descended from the Cape Dutch while the Boer "segment" was co-opted only after the second Anglo-Boer War.



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