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The Cambridge History of South Africa
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  • Cited by 5
  • Cited by
    This book has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Hurwitz, Benjamin 2018. From farmers to straw men: George Grey and the Mfengu crisis of 1854. African Studies, Vol. 77, Issue. 3, p. 378.

    Maroun, Warren 2018. Evaluating the temporal dimension of legitimisation strategies. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 282.

    Maroun, Warren Coldwell, David and Segal, Milton 2014. SOX and the Transition from Apartheid to Democracy: South African Auditing Developments through the Lens of Modernity Theory. International Journal of Auditing, Vol. 18, Issue. 3, p. 206.

    Fourie, Johan and Schirmer, Stefan 2012. The Future of South African Economic History. Economic History of Developing Regions, Vol. 27, Issue. 1, p. 114.

    2011. BOOKS RECEIVED FOR REVIEW. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 74, Issue. 01, p. 165.

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Book description

Coming fifteen years after South Africa's achievement of majority rule, this book takes a critical and searching look at the country's past. It presents South Africa's past in an objective, clear, and refreshing manner. With chapters contributed by ten of the best historians of the country, the book elaborately weaves together new data, interpretations, and perspectives on the South African past, from the Early Iron Age to the eve of the mineral revolution on the Rand. Its findings incorporate new sources, methods, and concepts, for example providing new data on the relations between Africans and colonial invaders and rethinking crucial issues of identity and consciousness. This book represents an important reassessment of all the major historical events, developments, and records of South Africa - written, oral, and archaeological - and will be an important new tool for students and professors of African history worldwide.

Reviews

'It is both a credit and a boon to the study of South African history to have all this in one place.'

Source: Journal of African History

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  • 1 - The Production of Preindustrial South African History
    pp 1-62
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.002
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter describes the signs of new developments and attempt to provide an account of the production of history in South Africa that contextualizes the methodological challenges contemporary students of South African history face. It discusses some of the processes that underlie the transportation of elements of the preindustrial past into modern South Africa, whether as historical reconstructions, archival residues, practices designated traditional, components of identities, in political arrangements, or as formally recognized historical knowledge. The chapter points to the role played by the discipline of history, and by its precursors, in the making of colonial, apartheid, and modern subjects. It explores the very different ways in which the history of South African communities was produced in precolonial times, under early colonial conditions, in the heyday of imperialism, in subsequent national contexts, and in the immediate postapartheid era.
  • 2 - The Appearance of Food Production in Southern Africa 1,000 to 2,000 Years Ago
    pp 63-111
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The introduction of food production about 2,000 years ago marks a major change in the Southern African sequence and had varying impacts on the historical trajectories of hunter-gatherers. Tending crops and managing animals are constrained by climatic and ecological conditions. The distribution and location of farmer settlements, at several different geographical scales, reflects the tolerances of these resources. The presence of stone tools of microlithic Later Stone Age type at Nqoma implicates hunter-gatherers, both in the acquisition of wild animals and the working of wild hides. The recovery of early farmer pottery, iron, and other agriculturist artifacts in hunter-gatherer rock shelter deposits clearly underpin interaction. Farmers are sedentary and litter the landscape with cultural marks and stylistic signposts that are relatively easy to find and encourage both the construction of detailed sequences and an appreciation of spatiality at several different scales.
  • 3 - Farming Communities of the Second Millennium: Internal Frontiers, Identity, Continuity and Change
    pp 112-167
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter outlines a narrative for precolonial farming societies of the second millennium AD in South Africa. It is divided into two broad sections. The first section describes the early tenth century AD in the Limpopo Valley, with the growing engagement of subsistence scale farming societies with the wider world of Indian Ocean trade. In this region, the scale of social, political, and economic organization that developed was significantly different from the Early Iron Age farming societies of the first millennium. The second section traces the history of Venda-, Sotho/Tswana-, and Nguni-speakers, starting with their ancestral origins, followed by shifts within these societies. A central theme of continuity and change from the fourteenth century is that the increasing ability of archaeologists to link sites, their occupants, and material culture to historical identities. In the Tswana world on the fringes of the Kalahari to the west and southwest, the San historically emerge as a menial and exploited category.
  • 4 - Khoesan and Immigrants: The Emergence of Colonial Society in the Cape, 1500–1800
    pp 168-210
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    In the last years of the fifteenth century, Southern Africa's contacts with the world outside the South African subcontinent took on new forms. No longer was maritime trade maintained only on the shores of the Indian Ocean. In This chapter discusses the results of that change, primarily with regard to the period after the establishment of a Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope. It outlines the destruction of Khoesan independence through most of the region to the south of the Gariep River and simultaneously the establishment of colonial society within the same space. The Cape Colony was a part of the empire established by the Dutch East India Company. The colony as a whole was ruled by a governor and council according to the laws promulgated in the company's headquarters in Batavia and further within the Netherlands. As the Cape colony expanded it became necessary to develop some level of administration below that of the Council of Policy.
  • 5 - Turbulent Times: Political Transformations in the North and East, 1760s–1830s
    pp 211-252
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter focuses on the nature and causes of the major political transformations that took place in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in the region bounded roughly by the Orange River, the Kalahari Desert, and the Indian Ocean. The politics of the southern Tswana chiefdoms were being shaped by the expansion of trade with the European colonial world and by the northward advance of the frontier of colonial settlement in the Cape. In the early 1820s, three kingdoms, namely, abakwaNdwandwe, abakwaGaza and amaZulu, were emerging as the dominant powers in the region between the Drakensberg and the Indian Ocean. Shaka had been able to establish the domination of the Zulu chiefly house over the territories between the Thukela and Mkhuze rivers through his skills in diplomacy and his ability to seize political opportunities which came his way. After the Ndwandwe conquest of the Pedi heartland, the Maroteng split into a number of fragments under Thulare's sons.
  • 6 - From Slave Economy to Settler Capitalism: The Cape Colony and Its Extensions, 1800–1854
    pp 253-318
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    During the early nineteenth century, the intellectual life of the Cape Colony began to take on recognizably "modern" forms. In the 1980s and early 1990s an emphasis on social history resulted in a series of more specialized studies of slavery and its abolition, of the Khoekhoen, and of farm workers. The struggle between the Bethelsdorp missionaries and the government was the most significant development in shaping social relations in the colony in the first decade of British rule. The development of capitalism in South Africa took a predominantly landlord-dominated labor repressive mode rather than a black peasant road. The combination of British power and the resilience of the colonial economy provided the force and the means in the decade after 1846 to destroy the Griqua states in Transorangia and consolidate new white states there and in Natal.
  • 7 - From Colonial Hegemonies to Imperial Conquest, 1840–1880
    pp 319-391
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    The period, 1840-1880, covered by this chapter is marked by the expansion of power exercised by Europeans or their descendants in South Africa. A more original form of government emerged in Natal, where representatives of the metropolitan government ruled the African population while colonists of European descent exercised only limited political powers. Following the defeat and expulsion of Mzilikazi and the amaNdebele in 1837 from what was later to be called the Transvaal, the Voortrekkers under the leadership of Andries Potgieter proclaimed the area as Boer territory, by right of conquest. The issue of forced labor took a more general and coercive form that in turn brought about widespread distress among the African communities. The high cost of mining placed the small diggers under constant pressure to sell their claims to larger, better-capitalized companies. The development of closed compounds at the diamond fields provided the most extreme example of a captive labor force.
  • 8 - Transformations in Consciousness
    pp 392-448
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521517942.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter considers changes in the way South Africans understood themselves, the world and their places in it, over almost whole of the nineteenth century. It begins by considering the house-polity structure and other attendant ideas basic to community consciousness in its early form in Southern Africa. The political history of early South Africa can be understood as a group of variations on what Jan Vansina calls "the house". The flexible and tough nature of the house-form helps account for the success of Bantu-speakers in many different ecosystems. The growth of Christianity involved a transfer of authority to churches and the depoliticization of powerful speech in public contexts. The most important broader shift in consciousness in South Africa concerned the onset of literacy and widespread iconicity in representations. Textual truth, surnames, projections of the self into narrative, and visual pictures were all part of this transformation. Finally, the chapter describes the biography of a minor Christian preacher named Nathaniel Matebula.

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