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Cape 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. The former capital and largest city was Cape TownCape Town
city, legislative capital of South Africa, capital of Western Cape prov., and seat of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality; a port on the Atlantic Ocean. It was the capital of Cape Province before that province's subdivision in 1994.
..... Click the link for more information. (now the capital of Western Cape). Other cities in the former province included KimberleyKimberley
, city, now part and seat of Sol Plaatje local municipality, Northern Cape prov., South Africa. Since the 19th cent. the city has been primarily a diamond-mining center, but underground mining, which had not been profitable for some time, was halted in mid-2005.
..... Click the link for more information. (now in Northern Cape) and East LondonEast London,
city, now part and seat of Buffalo City metropolitan municipality, Eastern Cape prov., SE South Africa, on the Indian Ocean. East London grew around a British military post founded in 1847.
..... Click the link for more information. , Port ElizabethPort Elizabeth,
city, now part and seat of Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality, Eastern Cape prov., SE South Africa, on Algoa Bay, an arm of the Indian Ocean. It is a tourist center and a major seaport that ships diamonds, wool, fruit, and other items.
..... Click the link for more information. , and UitenhageUitenhage
, town, part of Nelson Mandela Bay metropolitan municipality, Eastern Cape prov., S South Africa, on the Zwartkops River. It is an industrial center, with large railroad workshops, wool washeries, textile mills, and motor vehicle assembly plants.
..... Click the link for more information. (all now in Eastern Cape).
Although the Cape of Good Hope was first circumnavigated in 1488 by Bartolomeu Dias and later (1497) by Vasco da Gama, the first European settlement of the region was only in 1652, when Jan van Riebeeck founded a resupply station for the Dutch East India Company on Table BayTable Bay,
inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, 6 mi (9.7 km) wide, lying off Western Cape, South Africa. Table Mt. overlooks the bay, which was visited in the late 15th cent. by Portuguese voyagers to India.
..... Click the link for more information. ; the station subsequently became Cape Town. At the time of Van Riebeeck's landing, Cape Province was inhabited by San (Bushmen) and Khoikhoi (Hottentots) in the southern and central areas, and by Bantu speakers on the northern and eastern fringes (see Bantu languagesBantu languages,
group of African languages forming a subdivision of the Benue-Niger division of the Niger-Congo branch of the Niger-Kordofanian language family (see African languages).
..... Click the link for more information. ). The Dutch East India Company brought Dutch settlers to Cape Town, who farmed and raised livestock and were called BoersBoer
[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 Province.
..... Click the link for more information. [Du.,=farmers]. In 1689, French HuguenotsHuguenots
, French Protestants, followers of John Calvin. The term is derived from the German Eidgenossen, meaning sworn companions or confederates. Origins
Prior to Calvin's publication in 1536 of his Institutes of the Christian Religion,
..... Click the link for more information. began to arrive; they developed the wine industry. The company ruled the Cape until 1795, except for a brief period (1781–84) of French occupation. In 1779 the first of numerous frontier wars (continuing until 1877) between Europeans and the Xhosa (a Bantu-speaking people) erupted. These Xhosa Wars were mainly over land and cattle.
During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars (1792–1815), Britain occupied the Cape from 1795 to 1803, when the Dutch regained control; Holland formally ceded it to Great Britain in 1806. The British named the territory Cape of Good Hope Colony and encouraged immigration from England. The new British settlers soon conflicted with the Boers over anglicization of the courts, control of farm- and pastureland, and slaveholding. Beginning in 1835 many Boers left Cape Colony (see Trek, GreatTrek, 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. ), seeking more land and escape from British rule. The Boers founded a temporary republic 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. ) and longer-lasting republics in 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. and 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.
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In 1850, Cape Colony had about 140,000 residents of European descent. In 1853 the colony was allowed to elect a legislature to advise the governor, and in 1872 it received internal self-government. In 1867 diamonds were discovered in the Kimberley region, which in 1880 was annexed by the Cape. The British and the remaining Boers generally cooperated until the 1890s, when the British, and especially Cecil RhodesRhodes, Cecil John
, 1853–1902, British imperialist and business magnate. Business Career
The son of a Hertfordshire clergyman, he first went to South Africa in 1870, joining his oldest brother, Herbert, on a cotton plantation in Natal.
..... Click the link for more information. (then prime minister of Cape Colony), sought to unite the Transvaal and the Orange Free State with the Cape and Natal. In 1895–96, L. S. JamesonJameson, Sir Leander Starr,
1853–1917, British colonial administrator and statesman in South Africa. He went to Kimberley (1878) as a physician, became associated with Cecil Rhodes in his colonizing ventures, and was appointed (1891) administrator of Mashonaland. On Dec.
..... Click the link for more information. staged an unsuccessful raid from Cape Colony into the Transvaal, which greatly increased tension between Britons and Boers. 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) followed soon thereafter. In 1910 the Cape Colony joined with Natal, the Transvaal, and the Orange Free State to become a founding province of the Union (now Republic) of South Africa.