From 1652 until 1795, the Cape of Good Hope was a Dutch settlement marked by tensions, often portrayed as antagonism between the oppressive Dutch East India Company (VOC) and aggrieved burgher as the underdogs. However, by comparing the political structures, institutions and dynamics of the Dutch Republic and its overseas settlement, the author demonstrates that the relationship was more cooperative and that the Cape burghers were able to influence policies in their favour similar to the way burghers in the Dutch Republic did by forming political factions.
Using the Cape Conflict of the later eighteenth century as a case study, Baartman illustrates that it was in fact a fight for power between factions within the ruling elite, which consisted of VOC officials and burghers. This book offers new evidence, different interpretations and an innovative narrative about where burghers came from, what their position was, and how the Cape political world operated.
Teun Baartman has a PhD in History (University of Cape Town) and is a consultant researcher to Outsiders Within, a research archive project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cape Town. He has contributed numerously to publications on burghers in the Cape Colony.
"A highly original study and very significant in its historiographical import – it will change the way we think about the Dutch Cape."