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Monday, 26 March 2012

The Boers Documented as Distinct Nation.

The Boers are a distinct people / nation from the bulk of the Afrikaner population.

Quote: [ More and more Boers followed the pioneers into the interior where conditions suited them so well that they experienced a minor population explosion and formed the nucleus of a new nation. They were as nomadic as the Hottentots, or as the antelope they hunted. Trekking for them became a way of life. ]

The distinct nature of the Boers from the bulk of the Afrikaners was noted in Chapter One of: The Great Trek by Oliver Ransford with the above quote. Now if the Boers are supposedly part of the "same" nation as the Cape Dutch then one would expect that Cape Town would be the "nucleus" of this nation. The fact that the Trekboers of the Cape frontiers became / formed the "nucleus of a new nation" & also had "a population explosion" DEMONSTRATES that the Boers are a distinct people / group from the Cape Dutch whom the Boers moved away from starting 150 years before the Great Trek.

Quote: [ Trekboers certainly recognized the differences in language, religion, etc. between themselves and the British. They had certainly developed a way-of-life and a set of values that were distinctive, but they were also significantly different from people of Dutch descent in the western province areas of the Cape. The latter regarded the Trekboers as rather wild, semi-barbarous frontiersmen and the sense of common identity was limited and incomplete. The westerners followed the Trek with interest and probably with a good deal of sympathy, but they certainly did not see the trekkers as the saviours of some mystical Afrikaner ‘nation’.]

From: Professor Wallace Mills. The Great Trek.

The Boers themselves recognized themselves as distinct from the Cape Dutch population.

Quote: [ This is a history of the Afrikaner peoples... 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. ]

From: The Afrikaners: an historical interpretation. Godfrey Hugh Lancelot Le May.

Notice how it states Afrikaner peoples plural thereby dispelling the erroneous notion of "one Afrikaner Nation" as a particular anti-Boer propagandist liked to assert in the past despite the on ground reality of the situation. That particular individual had a grand old time attacking myself over the basic points & observations made in the above excerpted quote. Quite a lot of folks have long since stressed that there are two distinct Caucasian Afrikaans speaking groups. To deny this is to consign Boer self determination to oblivion as it automatically shifts the demographic weight against the Boer segment & vests it within the hands of the those descended from the Cape Dutch population.

Quote: [ What divided the two segments of the Afrikaner people was a difference in culture between the relatively sophisticated Cape Dutchman, literate, urbanized and in touch with Europe, and the rough-hewed Boer. ]

From: Page 33. The Afrikaners: an historical interpretation. By Godfrey Hugh Lancelot Le May.

Of course it should be noted that the notion of an Afrikaner people was started by a few Cape Dutch intellectuals [ & curiously two Dutch individuals! ] in the late 19th cent at a time when the Boers were long since independent within their hard won Boer Republics. Curiously the movement on the part of the Cape Dutch to establish [ or rather to propagate the notion of ] a pan White Afrikaans based Afrikaner people only started after the discovery of gold & diamonds within the Boer Republics. Coincidence? Not likely as there was hardly any interest in the Boer people nor of the notion of any sort of pan White Afrikaans speaking monolithic [ sic ] entity called "Afrikaner" prior. The Cape Dutch were among those who ridiculed the Boers for wanting to escape British imperialism during the era of the Great Trek.

Quote: [ In speaking of an emerging Afrikaner political consciousness we must be careful not to ignore the social differences and economic cleavages existing among the late eighteenth century White population at the Cape. From the outset Afrikaner political thinking was not the unified product of an undifferentiated group consciousness, but tended to reflect the social differences and economic cleavages which existed within the settler community at large. The most obvious differences were between the settled colonists of the south western Cape enjoying an established community life, and the isolated cattle farmers of the interior. Politically the dominant group was the former: a small, fairly prosperous bourgeoisie, consisting of top government officials (some born at the Cape), the monopolists and entrepreneurs of Cape Town, and a few wealthy wine and wheat farmers who lived on large farms resembling feudal manors, employed white foremen and owned many slaves. ]

From: Page 4 & 5. Afrikaner Political Thought: 1780-1850. By André Du Toit, Hermann Buhr Giliomee.

Quote: [ The term Afrikaner for White[people]s was first used early in the eighteenth century, but it had to vie with designations like burgher, Christian, Dutchmen and Boer. For the period 1652 to approximately 1875 this book mostly uses burgher for a White person who spoke Dutch or Afrikaans; for the history after 1875 it employs the term Afrikaner, although it was not until the mid twentieth century that the term was reserved for white Afrikaans speakers. ]

From: The Afrikaners: biography of a people. By Hermann Buhr Giliomee.

Giliomee admits that the term Afrikaner was not reserved for White Afrikaans speakers until the mid 20th cent. Furthermore he omits mentioning the fact that the Boers are a specific people who are descended from the Trekboers. A term he curiously & tellingly does not mention - at least not here. He obviously hopes that by using clever tricks as he did in the first sentence quoted above that he can distract & gloss over the more significant bifurcation which occurred circa 1700 which gave birth to the Boer people leaving behind the Cape Dutch: who were the ones who appropriated & popularized the term Afrikaner to describe themselves before they co-opted & Colonized the Boer Nation.

Quote: [ The Boers had a tradition of trekking. Boer society was born on the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilization. As members of a frontier society they always had a hinterland, open spaces to conquer, territory to occupy. Their ancestors had moved away from the limiting confines of Cape society to settle the eastern frontier. In time this location became too restricted, and individuals and families moved north across the Orange River. ]

From: The Boers in East Africa: Ethnicity and Identity. Brian M. Du Toit. Page 1.

Quote: [ The Boer was born in isolation on the veld and out of the turmoil and danger of the expanding frontier. ]

From: The Last Trek: A Study of the Boer People and the Afrikaner Nation. Sheila Patterson. Page 278.

Quote: [ The Dutch Church in the Cape offered no blessing to those who trekked. The Church was part of the establishment and gave its support to the government of the day even if it was British. Between the [ Ron edit: Harrison insipidly uses the incorrect term Boer when he was talking about the Cape Dutch in this instance ] who lived comfortably on their fertile farms in the Western Cape and the restless frontiersmen [ Ron edit: ie the Boers ] five hundred miles away to the east there were already differences. The trek would make them even greater. ]

From: The White Tribe of Africa. David Harrison. Page 15.

This was the only hint of the Boers being distinct from the Cape Dutch from Harrison as he went on to parrot Afrikaner Broederbond propaganda which conflated the two or simply neglected the historical record. Even Giliomee admits that the term Boer was only ever used to describe the folks of the Cape frontier.

Quote: [ In March 1901, just as Kitchener's troops begin to bring tens-of-thousands of "refugees" into the camps, Liberal members of Parliament C.P Scott and John Ellis took up the attack on the camp system and first used the term "concentration camp." [Hansard XC, March 1 1901]. Secretary for war Brodrick replied that the camps were "voluntary" and that inmates went as refugees (which was in some cases true, but not most). Pakenham describes the events in South Africa and this moment: in order to break the stalemate K. initiated plans to "flush out guerrillas in a series of sytematic drives, organized like a sporting shoot, with success defined in a weekly 'bag' of killed, captured and wounded, and to sweep the country bare of everything that could give sustenance to the guerrillas, including women and children. . . . It was the clearance of civilians - uprooting a whole nation that would come to dominate the last phase of the war." Brodrick cabled K for information on March 18; K replied by cable on March 22. ]

Note that the Boers are viewed as "the whole nation" in & of itself & as such apart from the Afrikaners of Cape Dutch origin. This is explicit evidence that the Boers are a nation unto themselves. Remember: if all the Boers were to be killed off - there would still be Afrikaners since the Cape Dutch / Afrikaner population of the Western Cape would still be intact. The Boers were not even formally labeled as Afrikaners until well into the 1930s after the Cape Dutch Afrikaners had begun ascending to power.

Now another very important point to consider is that the Boers had cut their ties to Europe while the Cape Dutch were still connected with Europe. This fact demonstrates the inherent different natures & political outlooks of the two distinct Caucasian Afrikaans speaking peoples which manifests itself to this very day with Boer descendents being far more interested in political independence compared to the status quo outlook of the Cape Dutch descendents who are loyal to established powers & are thus conditioned to work within the dispensation.

Quote: [ the trekkers by the end of the eighteenth century had succeeded in establishing themselves in a territory which was larger than France. Already as a people they were moulded into a remarkably uniform pattern; they had developed the taal into a new language, Afrikaans, which was a simplified version of the High Dutch spoken by their forebears but with added words of German, Portuguese and Bantu origin; they had quite cut off their ties with Europe and were tending to do so with their seat of government at the Cape. The officials there, attempting to reassert their authority in the distant districts, appointed magistrates to Swellendam and Graaff Reinet, but this only increased the tension between the frontiersmen and the Company's servants at the capital. ]

From: The Great Trek. Oliver Ransford. Chapter 1.

The author Sidney Robbins also notes that the Boers had cut all ties / broke their connection to Europe in his book: The Devil's Annexe on page 59.

Quote: [ The majority of the Boers living in remote parts of the country, where established congregations or churches are an impossibility, it behooves every Boer to journey to the capital once a year to partake of communion. Pretoria then becomes the Mecca of all Boers, and the pretty little town is filled to overflowing with pilgrims and their "trekking" wagons and cattle. Those who live in remote parts of the country are obliged to start several weeks before the Nachtmaal in order to be there at the appointed time, and the whole journey to and fro in many instances requires six weeks' time. When they reach Pretoria they bivouac in the open square surrounding the old brick church in the centre of the town, and spend almost all their time in the church. It is one of the grandest scenes in South Africa to observe the pilgrims camping in the open square under the shade of the patriarchal church, which to them is the most sacred edifice in the world. ]

From: Oom Paul's People. Howard Hillegas. Published 1900. Chapter four.

The above excerpted post describes 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 were 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 in the 20th cent as part of an "official" coalition under the dispossessing 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.

Quote: [ 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. ]

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. Note also that capital of Afrikanerdom was noted as Paarl. Hundreds of miles away the Boer capital was noted at Pretoria. [ as well as other capitals such as Bloemfontein etc. ] Further demonstrating the distinct nature of the Boer Nation.