After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the
Dutch settlers (the Boers) trekked north to found their own republics. The
discovery of diamonds (1867) and gold (1886) spurred wealth and
immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The
Boers resisted British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War
(1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa operated under a policy of
apartheid - the separate development of the races. The 1990s brought an end
to apartheid politically and ushered in black majority rule.
Southern Africa, at the southern tip of the continent of Africa
Total Area: 1,219,912 sq km
Land Area: 1,219,912 sq km
Comparative Area: slightly less than twice the size of Texas
Freedom Day, 27 April (1994)
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