chapter  8
34 Pages

FERTILE LAND, ROMANTIC SPACES, UNCIVILIZED PEOPLES

Supplanting the Dutch East India Company administration that had inaugurated permanent white settlement in 1652, Britain invaded and occupied the Cape in June 1795. Cession of the territory in February 1803, to the Batavian Republic that had been imposed upon the Dutch nation by Napoleon, was short-lived: in January 1806 the British invaded again, this time to stay, administering it, largely by direct rule, until the granting of representative government to the Colony in 1853. A study of British policy at the Cape in this period therefore becomes, ineluctably, not only one concerned with the impact of imperial rule abroad, but also one of transformations at home: notably about discursive strategies deployed in the annexation of the metropolitan population to dispossession of those at the periphery.