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Boer(bo͝or, bôr) [Du.,=farmer], inhabitant of South Africa of Dutch or French Huguenot descent. Boers are also known as Afrikaners. They first settled (1652) near the Cape of Good Hope in what was formerly Cape ProvinceCape Province,
former province, S South Africa. Under the South African constitution of 1994 it was divided into Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, and part of a fourth province, North West.
..... Click the link for more information. . After Great Britain annexed (1806) this territory, many of the Boers departed (1835–40) on the Great TrekTrek, Great
, the journey by Afrikaner farmers (Boers) who left the Cape Colony to escape British domination and eventually founded Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange Free State. Trek is an Afrikaans term, originally meaning a journey by ox wagon.
..... Click the link for more information. and created republics in Natal (see KwaZulu-NatalKwaZulu-Natal
, province (2011 pop. 10,267,300), 36,433 sq mi (94,361 sq km), E South Africa, on the Indian Ocean. Formerly Natal province, in the post-apartheid constitution of 1994 it was renamed KwaZulu-Natal.
..... Click the link for more information. ), the Orange Free State (see Free StateFree State,
formerly Orange Free State, province (2011 pop. 2,745,590), 50,126 sq mi (129,825 sq km), E central South Africa. It was renamed Free State shortly after the 1994 post-apartheid constitution went into effect.
..... Click the link for more information. ), and the TransvaalTransvaal
, former province, NE South Africa. With the new constitution of 1994, it was divided into Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga), Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo), Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Veereeniging (now Gauteng), and part of North West prov.
..... Click the link for more information. . Hostility between the Boers and the British resulted in the South African WarSouth African War
or Boer War,
1899–1902, war of the South African Republic (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State against Great Britain. Background
..... Click the link for more information. (1899–1902), after which the Boer territories were annexed and the Union of South Africa formed. There has been some tension between South Africans of British descent and the Boers. South Africa withdrew (1961) from the Commonwealth of Nations and became a republic, an event that was strongly supported by Afrikaner nationalists. AfrikaansAfrikaans
, member of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages). Although its classification is still disputed, it is generally considered an independent language rather than a dialect or variant of Dutch
..... Click the link for more information. , derived from Dutch, is an official language of the republic, along with English and several indigenous African languages. Boer politicians were largely responsible for the inauguration of the policy of apartheidapartheid
[Afrik.,=apartness], system of racial segregation peculiar to the Republic of South Africa, the legal basis of which was largely repealed in 1991–92. History
..... Click the link for more information. , which was applied to the nonwhite population of South Africa for most of the latter half of the 20th cent.
See S. Patterson, The Last Trek (1957); J. Fisher, The Afrikaners (1969).
a. a descendant of any of the Dutch or Huguenot colonists who settled in South Africa, mainly in Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal
b. (as modifier): a Boer farm