Dutch inventions dating 17th century
In this process, the trekkers began forging a new, distinct national and cultural identity, distinct from the Dutch and in opposition both to indigenous Africans and the English—Afrikaner nationalism.
The building blocks of this identity were a new and distinct language (Afrikaans) and much myth-making regarding the exploits of the trekkers.
Academic historians commonly refer to the events of the 17th century and 18th century in South Africa as the “white invasion” or “conquest.” The first violent conflicts between the Dutch community and natives dates from 1659; over the next 50 years, the settlers took advantage of superior weaponry to gradually gain control of more land and more resources (livestock) formerly controlled or occupied by native Africans.Second, the point is not to condemn the present Dutch nation for the sins of the past, as if these were unique world historical events.The history of almost all powerful nations contain major crimes and injustices (including of course the United States). First, this history matters for its own sake—forgetting history is rarely a good idea.Meanwhile, back in Cape Town, a slave society continued to develop—almost two-thirds of Cape Town residents in 1795 were slaves.
Thompson and other historians judge slavery in the Cape in this period to be more brutal than that prevailing in North America at the time.
Many trekkers owned slaves, and the trekkers formed “commando” units for military defense—and aggression—against native Africans.