Oceana: Or, England and Her Colonies

By James Anthony Froude | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER III.

The Cape Colony--The Dutch settlement--Transfer to England--Abolition of slavery--Injustice to the Dutch--Emigration of the Boers-- Efforts at reconquest--The Orange River treaty--Broken by England--The war--Treaty of Aliwal North--Discovery of diamonds-- Treaty again broken--British Policy at Kimberley--Personal tour in South Africa--LordCarnarvon proposes a Conference--Compensation paid to the Orange Free State--Annexation of the Transvaal-- War with the Dutch--Peace--Fresh difficulties--Expedition of Sir Charles Warren.

THE Cape Colony, as we ought to know, but in practice we always forget, was originally a Dutch colony. Two centuries ago, when the Hollanders were the second maritime power in the world--perhaps not even second--they occupied and settled the southern extremity of Africa. They easily conquered the Hottentots and Bushmen, acting as we ourselves also acted invariably in similar circumstances. They cleared out the wild beasts, built towns, laid out roads, enclosed and ploughed the land, planted forests and vineyards. Better colonists or more successful did not exist, than the Dutch. They throve and prospered, and continued to thrive and prosper till the close of the last century. If we compare the success of the Dutch in the management of uncivilised tribes with our own, in all parts of the world, it will be found that, although their rule is stricter than ours, and to appearance harsher, they have had fewer native wars than we have had. There has been less violence and bloodshed, and the natives living under them have not been less happy or less industrious. Holland in the Revolutionary war was seized by the French Directory.

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