Episode 32 – An intermingling on the frontiers begins in earnest and a wide-angle view of the mid-to-late 18th C

This is episode 32 and we’re swinging back to the Cape frontier through the last few decades of the 18th Century.

I am going to thoroughly probe this period because so many crucial things were unfolding across southern Africa such as the development of new centralized powerful kingdoms in the East, the acceleration of land occupation by the trekboers and the first real clashes between the isiXhosa and settlers.

That is far too much to chew on in just one episode I’m sure you’ll agree.

First we need to step back and take a wide-angle view of the region.

By the mid-1700s the eastern Cape frontier was a vaguely defined area east of the Gamtoos river. This is where black South African’s speaking a Bantu language first encountered white settlers as distinct from traders and missionaries. It was also here that policies which have had a profound influence on southern Africa were first formulated and applied.

It was also a cultural frontier between warring states and had many characteristics of frontiers elsewhere across the world at that time. One of course was in north America