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Cape Conflict: Protest and Political Alliances in a Dutch Settlement
by Teun Baartman
Leiden University Press, 2019
Paper: 978-90-8728-334-6

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 the Cape’s aggrieved burghers. However, by comparing the political structures, institutions and dynamics of the Dutch Republic and its overseas settlement, the Teun Baartman demonstrates that this relationship was more cooperative and that the Cape burghers were able to influence policies in their favor 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 both VOC officials and burghers. This book offers new evidence, a variety of interpretations, and an innovative narrative about where burghers came from, what their position was, and how the Cape political world operated.

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