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The Borders of Race in Colonial South Africa
The Kat River Settlement, 1829–1856

$34.99 (C)

Part of African Studies

  • Author: Robert Ross, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
  • Date Published: March 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107616578

$ 34.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book provides a detailed narrative of the Kat River Settlement in the Eastern Cape of South Africa during the nineteenth century. The settlement was created by the British to use the Khoekhoe as a living barrier between the Cape Colony and the amaXhosa. It was fought over with some regularity, however, and finally broken up after some of the Khoekhoe joined the amaXhosa in their war against the colony. Nevertheless, in the time that the settlement existed, the Khoekhoe both created a fertile landscape in the valley and developed a political theology of great importance for the evolution of South Africa. They were also the subjects of – and participants in – the major debates leading to the introduction of a liberal constitution for the Cape in 1853. The history of the settlement is thus crucial in understanding the development of both colonial racism and the creation of the colony's non-racial democracy.

    • Provides a combination of local history with the wider history of South Africa
    • Features a dramatic and unexpected plot-line
    • Presents theories of racial stratification and of the origins of South African democracy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Ross tells the tragic and compelling tale of the Kat River settlement in South Africa … Highly recommended."
    C. V. Reed, Choice

    'Professor Ross’s exploration of the archaeology of the Valley (Chapter 2, ‘Water and Land: The Making of the Settlement and of the Landscape’) is a highlight of an excellent book. In the Frontier Wars of 1834 and 1846, people of the Kat River Settlement fought as levies on the British side. Despite these disruptions James Backhouse in 1836 observed that ‘the neat cottages of those who have become more prosperous … would not discredit the more respectable of the labouring class in England'.' Tony Voss, African Studies Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107616578
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The valley before the settlement
    2. Water and land: the making of the settlement and of the landscape
    3. Kat River politics: the church, panic and vagrancy
    4. The amaXhosa and the War of 1835
    5. The first reconstruction
    6. AmaMfengu, Hermanus Matroos and the War of the Axe
    7. The assault on the settlement
    8. Rebellion
    9. The aftermath
    10. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Robert Ross, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, The Netherlands
    Robert Ross received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1974 and has worked since then at Leiden University, The Netherlands. He has written several books, including A Concise History of South Africa and Status and Respectability in the Cape Colony: A Tragedy of Manners, both published by Cambridge University Press. He is also the editor, with Anne Kelk Mager and Bill Nasson, of the two-volume series The Cambridge History of South Africa.

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