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Trek, Great

Great Trek (trĕk), the journey by Afrikaner farmers (Boers) who left the Cape Colony to escape British domination and eventually founded Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange Free State. Trek is an Afrikaans term, originally meaning a journey by ox wagon. In this most famous trek, 12,000 Boers left the Cape between 1835 and 1843. The Voortrekkers (as these Boers are known) migrated beyond the Orange River. After defeating resident Africans, most remained in the highveld of the interior, forming isolated communities and small states.

See E. Walker, The Great Trek (5th ed. 1965).

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Voortrekker

Voortrekker a member of one of the groups of Dutch-speaking people who migrated by wagon from the Cape Colony into the interior from 1836 onwards, in order to live beyond the borders of British rule. The word is Afrikaans and comes from Dutch voor ‘fore’ + trekken ‘travel’.

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Great Trek

Great Trek (1835–40) Migration of c.12,000 Boers from Cape Colony into the South African interior. Their motives were to escape British control and to acquire cheap land. The majority settled in what became Orange Free State, Transvaal, and Natal.

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Great Trek

Great Trek: see Trek, Great.

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