Kimberly, South Africa and its Diamond Industry: Background information when reading The Fever Tree

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The Fever Tree

By Jennifer McVeigh

The Fever Tree
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2013,
    432 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2014,
    448 pages.

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Beyond the Book:
Kimberly, South Africa and its Diamond Industry

The discovery of diamonds in Kimberley changed the course of South African history. Prior to this find, South Africa was a colonial outpost that was sparsely populated by Europeans and native tribes.

The Dutch East India Company established a colony at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 with the purpose of resupplying Company ships. Initially they had no interest in developing the hinterland but found that they needed to increase food supplies so released some of the Dutch farmers, known as Boers, from their contracts allowing them to set up farms which would supply the colony and ships. By 1806, when Dutch colonial power gave way to British control, the Boers had established control over large tracts of land but, being fiercely independent and taking issue with British policies, many moved deeper into the African interior settling in areas that the British would later recognize in the 1850s and 60s as independent Boer Republics - the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

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