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A changing rural economy and its implications for the Overberg, 1838-1872

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dc.contributor.advisor Spies, S. B.
dc.contributor.advisor Lambert, John Wilson, Julianne Elizabeth 2017-09-01T07:00:36Z 2017-09-01T07:00:36Z 1990-11
dc.identifier.citation Wilson, Julianne Elizabeth (1990) A changing rural economy and its implications for the Overberg, 1838-1872, University of South Africa, Pretoria, <>
dc.description.abstract The Overberg, incorporating the present-day districts of Swellendam, Caledon and Bredasdorp, forms a geographic microcosm in the south-western Cape. The area, with its Mediterranean climate and undulating hills of Bokkeveld shales and weathered Table Mountain Sandstone, is well adapted for arable and pastoral agriculture. Original settlement was by the Khoi who by 1710 had succumbed to cumulative disintegrative forces. They presented little resistance to the vanguard of white settlers who by 1710 were receiving land grants in the area. By 1838 the area was optimally settled for the extensive ranching of that time and pressure on the land was becoming acute. There was little scope for British immigrants to obtain land among the Dutch settlers. Grain farming offered little reward as the area was isolated from the Cape Town market by hazardous mountain ranges. The conversion of the indigenous hairy sheep to wool-bearing Merinos which occurred during the 1830s provided the area with an added income. Wool provided a product which modified Overberg agriculture from its quasi-subsistence form to commercial farming. The wool produced in the area was generally of a high quality and it commanded a consistent price on the world market, a factor which contributed to the financial stability of the area. The increased income from wool provided scope for unprecedented commercial activity. The new found wealth which was diffused among the white farmers raised their standard of living. Predial labour did not, however, experience commensurate material gains. The social and cultural milieu was not profoundly affected but material prosperity fostered greater political awareness among wool farmers, a factor which was to bolster Afrikaner national movements after 1870. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject.ddc 330.96873
dc.subject.lcsh Wool industry -- South Africa -- Overberg -- History -- 19th century en
dc.subject.lcsh Overberg (South Africa) -- Economic conditions en
dc.subject.lcsh Overberg (South Africa) -- History en
dc.title A changing rural economy and its implications for the Overberg, 1838-1872 en
dc.type Thesis en
dc.description.department History en D. Litt. et Phil. (History)

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