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Frontier Settlement in Early Dutch South Africa

Leonard Guelke
Annals of the Association of American Geographers
Vol. 66, No. 1 (Mar., 1976), pp. 25-42
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2562017
Page Count: 18
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Frontier Settlement in Early Dutch South Africa
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Abstract

The rapidity of European expansion in eighteenth century South Africa constitutes a major problem of its settlement history. The original intention of the Dutch to confine their African settlement to a small area of coastland was abandoned when settlers proved incapable of producing enough food for the colony's needs. The expansion of the colony and the encouragement of settlement solved the problem of local food supplies but replaced it with one of overproduction. The poor market for agricultural produce favored large estates and increased the capital requirements of arable farming. Young settlers and others lacking capital moved to the frontier where they practiced an extremely extensive form of stock-raising. The frontier movement was basically demographic in character and continued regardless of the state of the market for frontier produce.

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