5. Southern Africa

Britain’s involvement in Southern Africa began when the Cape of Good Hope, inhabited by native San people and Dutch colonists, known as Afrikaners or Boers, was taken during the wars with revolutionary France. The Cape served as a service station for ships of the British East India Company and soon attracted farmers, traders etc. from Britain who settled and began competing for land with the Boers and African or mixed race pastoralists and farmers. The expanding area under British rule became known as Cape Colony, which was evacuated by many Boers when the British Government declared slavery illegal in 1834. They departed on the Great Trek to new territories over the Orange River. Much of the future history of Southern African developed from the continuing antagonism between the two European colonial peoples and the discovery of immense deposits of gold and diamonds in the region.

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