1887

n Historia - The influence of British traders on early Potchefstroom, 1852-1877

Volume 54, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0018-229X
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Abstract

Fear of annexation by Britain resulted in strained economic relations between Transvaal Voortrekkers and the British colonies. At first only indispensable trade was tolerated. Andries Pretorius, however, favoured broader trade with the colonial harbours. The Sand River Convention of 1852, whereby relations between the ZAR and the colonies were normalised, facilitated this. This resulted in an immediate and extensive settlement of foreign, especially British, merchants with their families and staff in Potchefstroom. Trade boomed overnight to the advantage of all concerned, but centred on British initiative. As money was scarce in a state with no coinage of its own, much of the trade was conducted by means of bartering. The recession of the 1860s and 1870s, which could have had a disastrous effect on trade, was held in check by resourceful new entrepreneurship. Accustomed to municipal government in the Eastern Province, from where most of the new merchants came, they were instrumental in establishing a similar system in Potchefstroom from where it spread to the rest of the Transvaal. A number of the new residents were elected to the Volksraad in time. The foreign residents were also instrumental in establishing a variety of formal cultural movements, in which the Afrikaner community shared and which was emulated by them.


Vrese vir Britse anneksasie het stram verhoudinge tussen die Transvaalse Voortrekkers en die Britse kolonies veroorsaak. Aanvanklik is slegs onontbeerlike handel verdra. Andries Pretorius was egter 'n voorstander van nouer handelsbetrekkinge met die koloniale hawes. Die Sandrivierkonvensie van 1852, waardeur verhoudinge tussen die ZAR en die kolonies genormaliseer is, het handel vergemaklik. Dit het 'n onmiddellike en uitgebreide vestiging van buitelandse, en veral Britse handelaars met hulle gesinne en personeel in Potchefstroom tot gevolg gehad. Handel het oornag geblom, tot voordeel van almal, maar dit het veral om Britse inisiatiewe gewentel. Aangesien geld skaars was in 'n staat sonder 'n eie geldstelsel, het 'n groot deel van die transaksies die vorm van ruilhandel aangeneem. Die resessie van die 1860's en 1870's kon rampspoedige gevolge vir handel gehad het, maar dit is afgeweer deur middel van vindingryke nuwe tipes entrepreneurskap. Aangesien baie van die nuwe handelaars oorspronklik van die Oos-Kaap afkomstig was, waar hulle aan munisipale bestuur gewoond was, was hulle instrumenteel in die vestiging van 'n soortgelyke bestuurstelsel in Potchefstroom, vanwaar dit na die res van die ZAR uitgebrei is. Mettertyd is enkele van die nuwe aankomelinge selfs tot die Volksraad verkies. Die uitlanders het die leiding geneem om 'n verskeidenheid formele kulturele organisasies te stig, wat ook deur die Afrikanergemeenskap geniet en nageboots is.

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/content/hist/54/2/EJC38374
2009-11-01
2016-12-09

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