The Great Treks: The Transformation of Southern Africa 1815-1854 / Edition 1 available in Paperback
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 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. In uniting these separate visions of African and Afrikaaner history, Norman Etherington provides a fascinating picture of a major turning point in South African history, and points the way for future work on the period.
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
2. Life in the heartland in the late eighteenth century.
Power over people.
War and conflict.
Continuity and change in social groupings before 1800.
Warfare and leadership in the eighteenth century: a bird's-eye view.
3. Foreign invaders advance along the western panhandle.
Environment and ecology of the panhandle.
Kora and other raiders begin to infiltrate the heartland.
Confronting the Griqua and Kora raiders.
New enemies on the Xhosa western frontier.
The British succeed the Dutch East India Company as masters of the western panhandle.
First Xhosa encounters with the British on the western frontier.
4. The emergence of new leaders and state builders.
MaNthatisi becomes a chief.
MaNthatisi and Sekonyela.
Power struggles in the south-east.
Making the Zulu.
MaNthatisi's advance and retreat.
Moshweshwe, the cattle razor.
Griqua and Kora praise the Lord-and pass the ammunition.
Trade wars in the north.
More Europeans arrive.
5. Hardship, ambition and opportunity create new conflicts.
Soshangane, Zwengendaba and Nxaba in Mozambique, c. 1822-6.
Zwide and Sobhuza stand their ground.
Three bad years on the southern highveld, 1822-4 and the struggle for the Caledon River Valley.
Three bad years on the southern highveld, 1822-4: temporary displacement of many people scattered along the Vaal river system.
Summing up so far.
6. 'Manatees', 'Matabele' and 'Fetcani.'
Identifying the 'Manatee.'
Shaka and the Port Natal traders.
First reports of the Fetcani.
Mzilikazi and the realignment of politics on the highveld.
Confrontation and confusion as British commandos seek out the 'Fetcani'.
7. Making contact with British authorities; getting guns and missionaries.
The last days of Shaka.
Trying to make contact through missionaries and gun-runners.
Mzilikazi challenges Griqua/Kora dominance.
Perils and profits of dealing with missionaries.
The great Rolong trek.
Developments in the British Zone.
8. Confronting the British threat through diplomacy and war.
New threats of invasion.
Andrew Smith comes on another secret mission.
The Anglo-Xhosa war of 1834-5.
9. The coming of the Boer trekkers, 1836-8.
The trekking movement.
Counting the costs of Vegkop and Mosega: a decisive shift in the spatial deployment of power.
The Trekkers advance.
Dingane faces the trekker invasion.
10. Adjusting to the presence of new forces in the heartland.
The later Ndwandwe diaspora.
The British take a hand.
The defence of the Zulu kingdom.
The breaking of the rope.
Zikhali and the Princess Nomlalati.
The short, troubled life of the Republic of Natalia.
New warlords in the northern highveld.
A new economy and struggles for land on the southern highveld.
11. British officials intervene on the highveld.
New 'War of the Axe' and the return of Harry Smith.
Harry Smith inscribes a new order on the highveld.
The end of Harry Smith.
The erroneous but enduring idea that the Zulu kingdom was an entirely new and enormously destructive force.
Stories of the 'lifaqane' in the Caledon Valley and emergence of the concept of the 'mfecane.'
Further refinement of the mfecane concept.
The 'Movement of the Emigrant Farmers' becomes 'The Great Trek.'
Forgetting chieftainship, inventing tribes.