ISBN 9783905758146
Pages 418
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2010
Publisher Basler Afrika Bibliographien, Namibia
Format Paperback

The Politics of a South African Frontier

The Griqua, the Sotho-Tswana and the Missionaries, 1780-1840

by Martin Chatfield Legassick

This book publishes Martin Legassick's influential doctoral thesis on the preindustrial South African frontier zone of Transorangia. The impressive formation of the Griqua states in the first half of the nineteenth century outside the borders of the Cape Colony and their relations with Sotho-Tswana polities, frontiersmen, missionaries and the British administration of the Cape take centre stage in the analysis. The Griqua, of mixed settler and indigenous descent, secured hegemony in a frontier of complex partnerships and power struggles. The author's subsequent critique of the "frontier tradition" in South African historiography drew on the insights he had gained in writing this dissertation. It served to initiate the debate about the importance of the precolonial frontier situation in South Africa for the establishment of ideas of race, the development of racial prejudice and, implicitly, the creation of segregationist and apartheid systems. Today, the constructed histories of "Griqua" and other categories of indigeneity have re emerged in South Africa as influential tools of political mobilisation and claims on resources.

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About the Author

Martin Chatfield Legassick

Martin Chatfield Legassick is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of the Western Cape.

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