- Afrikaners were the descendants of European settlers, mostly of Dutch origin, who established a unique society, culture, and language in southern Africa beginning with their arrival in 1652. In the ensuing half century, they expanded their settlements from the coast as far as 250 miles inland. Within a few years of their arrival on the new continent, they began the importation of slaves. Huguenot refugees from France arrived at the Cape in 1688, followed by Germans and others from largely Protestant European states. The settlers were later known as “Boers,” the Dutch word for “farmers,” a designation applied to those who left Cape Colony on the Great Trek to establish independent republics in the African hinterland. They fought two major conflicts with the British Empire in the Anglo-Boer Wars 1880–81 and 1899–1902, with the result that the Orange Free State and the Transvaal formed parts of the Union of South Africa in 1910. The term Boer was replaced in the twentieth century with the term Afrikaner , which simply means a person who speaks the Afrikaans language.See also <
>.FURTHER READING:Omer-Cooper, J. D. A History of Southern Africa. Oxford: James Currey Publishers, 1997.GREGORY FREMONT-BARNES
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.