The Great Treks: The Transformation of Southern Africa, 1815-1854

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Longman, 2001 - History - 366 pages
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"After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb." -- Nelson Mandela

  • The end of Apartheid and the beginning of democracy in South Africa demands a new kind of history.
  • For the first time accounts of the 'Great Trek' of the Boer farmers and the African nationalists' mfecane are brought together and clarifies the confusing and contentious debate on the mfecane.
  • Includes anecdotes and stories.
The end of Apartheid and the beginning of democracy in South Africa demands a new kind of history. This deeply original approach to the making of modern South Africa will transform current thinking on the subject. The mass migration of the Boer farmers from Cape Colony to escape British domination in 1835-36 - the Great Trek - has always been a potent icon of Africaaner nationalism and identity. For African nationalists, the Mfecane - the vast movement of the Black populations in the interior following the emergence of a new Zulu kingdom as a major military force in the early 19th century - offers an equally powerful symbol of the making of a nation. With their parallel and contested visions of populations on the move to establish new states, these two stories became part of divided South Africa's separate mythologies, treated as unconnected events taking place in separate universes. For the first time, in this groundbreaking book, accounts of both migrations are brought together and examined: the histories of all the movements of people and their leaders in the 19th century are told. In uniting these separate visions of African and Afrikaner history, Norman Etherington provides a fascinating picture of a major turning point in South African history, and points the way for a new kind of South African history for the future.

Norman Etherington has published widely on Rider Haggard, South Africa, Southern African history and politics and has spent long periods travelling and working in South Africa. He lives in Australia where he is Professor of History at the University of Western Australia.

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Contents

Life in the heartland in the late eighteenth century
10
Distribution of rainfall in an average year
13
Eighteenth century southeastern Africa
26
Copyright

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About the author (2001)

Norman Etherington has published widely on South African and Southern African history and politics. He has spent long periods travelling and working in South Africa. He lives in Australia where he is Professor of History at the University of Western Australia.

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