Explain the Khoekhoes reaction to European settlement and expansion at the Cape between 1652 and 1720.

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larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Khoikhoi had been a pastoral people in southern Africa prior to the arrival of the Europeans. The Europeans referred to them as Hottentots, a derogatory term derived from a corruption of their language. The Khoikhoi bitterly resented the imposition of Europeans, first the Dutch, later the Germans and British; but they were ill equipped to resist. The Europeans had fire arms which they used with abandon. In addition, they transmitted smallpox to the local people who were devastated by it. In the end, their culture was practically obliterated. It should be pointed out that Europeans made no attempt at peaceful coexistence. The Dutch in particular believed that God had given them this land, and that they should take it, much as the ancient Hebrews had taken Canaan. They frequently enclosed lands of the native people, and slaughtered them when they resisted.