Title to land and loss of land in the Griqua captaincy of Philippolis, 1826-1861

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Title to land and loss of land in the Griqua captaincy of Philippolis, 1826-1861


Author: HJ Erasmus
Publication: Funadmina, vol 16 (2)
Date: 2010


Abstract

Many reasons have been advanced for the failure of the Griqua Captaincies of Griquatown and Philippolis. These include the political squabbles among the Griquas and their inability to create effective forms of political authority; detrimental policies of the missionaries; the indecision of the Cape government and their ineffective protection of Griqua interests; the disruptive effects of the Mfecane; and increasing racial stratification. Hobart Houghton has drawn attention to the economic changes and exposure to international markets during the era of the British sovereignty, in particular the development of sheep farming and the wool trade. The observation that in the longer term “the British authorities let them [the Griquas] down” must be seen within the context of the fact that at the time, political and economic power was in white hands in South Africa and that “British overlordship based itself on this reality.”

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