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Voortrekkers

The Voortrekkers (Afrikaans for pioneers, literally "those who move ahead") were white Afrikaner farmers who in the 1830s and 1840s emigrated from the British-controlled Cape Colony into the black-populated areas north of the Orange River in what is now South Africa.

Armed conflict, first with the Ndebele[?] under Mzilikazi[?], then against the Zulus under Dingane[?], went the voortekkers' way, mostly because of the technological superiority of their muzzle-loading muskets. This success led to the establishment of a number of small Afrikaner republics, which slowly coalesced into the Orange Free State and the South African Republic. These two states would survive until their annexation (1900) by Britain during the Boer War.


The Voortrekkers is also an Afrikaner youth movement founded in South Africa in 1931 as an Afrikaans-language alternative to the English-speaking Boy Scout movement. The Voortrekkers developed their own identity, represented in what they called their ABC: Afrikanerskap; Burgerskap; Christenskap (Afrikanership; citizenship; Christianity).



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