|By 1700, the Cape
Peninsula and the winelands were widely settled. Khoe resistance had been
broken by warfare. Extensive tracts of land had been cultivated and plantation
forests established. The herds of elephants, antelope and buffalo, hippos and
lion prides had been reduced to remnant populations.
Slaves performed the hardest manual tasks and the Khoe had been
put to work as shepherds. The Burghers (citizens), many of whom had been very
poor in Europe, made themselves land owners and directors.
Slowly, the ratio of females to males became more even as
burghers and officials called their wives from Europe, also, orphan girls were
sent from Holland and female slaves arrived.
The VOC no longer tried to stop the energetic expansion of the colony, but
their policy remained the same. The VOC would maintain, at the lowest possible
cost, a trading post at the Cape to supply passing ships. All that had changed
was that the products would not be acquired from the Khoe and the Company
Gardens, but from the growing European settler population. It was still to be a
But in order to derive profits, the VOC had to retain control
to stop the settlers trading directly with the ships. They supported the colony
only in as much as required to make it economically productive. Their
administration was therefore small, essentially commercial, but insisted upon
absolute control (more...)
The Cape, therefore, was a 'colony' in that it was under VOC rule from Batavia,
and, ultimately, Amsterdam, but there was no sense of a colonial 'civilising'
mission as seen later in Africa. There was no attempt to build a society.
Thus, there was an active and large hospital, because sailors
needed to recuperate. But there were virtually no primary schools and never a
secondary school to serve the settler population. No missionaries were sent to
the Cape. Few churches were built, and the VOC maintained control of church
Local politics was strictly controlled. There was no newspaper,
in fact no printing press and no encouragement given to local politics. The
Governor controlled all appointments to the main ruling councils - the Council
of Burghers and Council of Justice.
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· Culture ·
In this period of Cape History:
Cape Town in the
The Boom of the