Uncovering the History of South Africa’s Afrikaners

Uncovering the History of South Africa's Afrikaners

The Afrikaners were the descendants of the original Dutch settlers who arrived in South Africa in the 1600s. They were a minority group who developed their own distinct culture, language and identity.

The Afrikaners were originally farmers and herders, and they slowly spread out across the country. They came into conflict with the indigenous peoples, and also with the British who began to colonize the country in the 1800s.

The Afrikaners fought two major wars against the British, the first in 1881 and the second in 1899. The second war resulted in the establishment of the independent Republic of South Africa, which was ruled by the Afrikaners until 1994.

Today, the Afrikaners make up around 5% of the population of South Africa.

Who Were The Afrikaners Of South Africa

The Afrikaners of South Africa were descendants of Dutch, German, and French settlers who arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. They developed a distinct cultural identity and language, known as Afrikaans, and were politically and economically dominant in the country until the mid-20th century. They were strong proponents of apartheid, a system of racial segregation that was based on the ideas of racial superiority. After the end of apartheid in 1994, the Afrikaners experienced a period of economic hardship and political marginalization. However, today, the Afrikaners still make up a significant portion of the population and have a strong presence in South African business and politics.

History of Afrikaner Settlement in South Africa

The history of Afrikaner settlement in South Africa began in the 17th century when Dutch settlers, known as Boers, arrived in the Cape of Good Hope. These settlers were motivated by the Dutch East India Company’s promise of religious freedom and economic opportunity. The Boers established their own independent republics, known as the Boer Republics, which eventually merged to form the Union of South Africa in 1910.

The Boers, who were mostly Calvinist Dutch, were farmers who sought to maintain their traditional culture and religious beliefs. They clashed with the British and other European settlers who sought to impose their own culture and religion on the Boers. Eventually, the Boers were defeated in the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902.

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The result of the war was the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, which guaranteed the rights of the Afrikaners and granted them political autonomy. This new state provided the Afrikaners with a sense of identity and belonging that had been lacking in their independent republics. The Afrikaners then began to build a strong sense of nationhood and worked to create an Afrikaner culture centered on the Afrikaans language, which is a derivative of Dutch.

The Afrikaners also sought to develop their own economic and political institutions. They formed organizations such as the Afrikaner Broederbond (Brotherhood) and the National Party, which was the major political party of Afrikaners until 1994. During this period, the Afrikaners established a number of institutions such as the University of Stellenbosch and the Afrikaanse Handelsinstituut (Afrikaans Commercial Institute).

The Afrikaners also implemented a system of apartheid, which was a form of racial segregation designed to maintain complete political and economic control over the black population of South Africa. This system lasted until 1994, when the African National Congress (ANC) came to power and began the process of dismantling it.

Today, the Afrikaners are a vibrant and diverse community in South Africa and continue to contribute to the country’s culture and economy. Although the history of Afrikaner settlement in South Africa has been marked by conflict and oppression, it is also a story of resilience and progress.

Uncovering the History of South Africa's Afrikaners

Political History of the Afrikaner People

The Afrikaners are a unique ethnic group that has played an important role in the political history of South Africa. They are descendants of Dutch, German, and French settlers who arrived in South Africa in the mid-17th century and intermingled with indigenous people. The Afrikaners are the dominant ethnic group in South Africa, and have a long and complicated history.

Afrikaners trace their origins back to the Dutch settlers who arrived in South Africa in 1652. These settlers, known as Boers, established the Republic of South Africa in 1852. The Republic declared independence from the British Empire in 1854, and the Afrikaners became the dominant political force in the region.

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The Afrikaners controlled the government of South Africa until 1910, when the Union of South Africa was established. This union gave the British more control over the region, and the Afrikaners lost their political power. However, they still remained influential in the region, and in 1948 the National Party was elected to power. This party was led by the Afrikaner, Daniel F. Malan, and was responsible for introducing the apartheid system.

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation that sought to restrict the rights of non-white citizens. This system was enforced until 1994 when the African National Congress was elected to power, ending the long-term dominance of the Afrikaners.

Today, the Afrikaners are still a major political force in South Africa. They are an active part of the South African economy and culture, and their influence can still be seen in the region. The Afrikaners are known for their strong sense of community, their dedication to hard work, and their loyalty to their fellow Afrikaners.

Social and Economic Impact of the Afrikaners in South African Society

The Afrikaners of South Africa have undergone a tumultuous history, leaving a deep and lasting impact on the social and economic landscape of the country. From the 16th century when they first began to settle in the region, to their eventual political and cultural dominance during the 19th century, the Afrikaners have been an integral part of South African society.

The earliest Afrikaners were Dutch settlers who arrived in South Africa in the late 16th century. This small group of settlers quickly began to expand, establishing settlements throughout the region and eventually forming the Dutch Cape Colony. The Afrikaners embraced the culture and language of the Dutch, and this became the foundation of their own culture and language known as Afrikaans.

The economic and social power of the Afrikaners grew during the 19th century, particularly during the period of Dutch rule known as the Boer Republics. The Afrikaners were able to form these independent republics due to their strong economic and military power. The Boer Republics were able to establish a strong agricultural economy and made use of the labour of African slaves. This led to a period of significant economic growth, as well as social and political dominance for the Afrikaners.

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The Afrikaners maintained their power until the British colonisation of South Africa in the late 19th century. The British imposed their own laws and systems of governance, which led to a significant decline in the power of the Afrikaners. However, the Afrikaners maintained their culture and language, and it remains a major part of South African society today.

The Afrikaners have had a significant social and economic impact on South African society. They brought with them a strong agricultural economy, which laid the foundation for a prosperous nation. Their influence on the language and culture of South Africa is also undeniable, as Afrikaans remains one of the country’s official languages. The Afrikaners have also had a major political influence, as the Boer Republics laid the foundation for the current democratic system in South Africa.

In conclusion, the Afrikaners have had a major impact on South African society. From the 16th century when they first arrived in the region, to their eventual political and economic domination during the 19th century, the Afrikaners have left a deep mark on the social and economic landscape of South Africa. Their language, culture, and economic system remain an integral part of the country today.



The Afrikaners were a group of white people who lived in South Africa during the late 1800s and early 1900s. They were mainly descendants of Dutch settlers who had immigrated to the area in the 16th century. The Afrikaners fought against British rule in South Africa and eventually emerged as a powerful political and economic force in the country. They played a significant role in the development of South Africa, and their influence can still be seen today.

Austin Finnan

Austin Finnan is a blogger, traveler, and author of articles on the website aswica.co.za. He is known for his travels and adventures, which he shares with his readers on his blog. Finnan has always been passionate about exploring new places, which is reflected in his articles and photographs. He is also the author of several books about travel and adventure, which have received positive reviews from critics and readers.