Boer (IPA: /bur/) is the Dutch word for farmer which is used to call the descendants of the Dutch farmers of Southern Africa during the 1700s, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 1800s to live in the Orange Free State, Transvaal. They did this to escape the British rule, and the wars between the British imperial government and the native tribes on the eastern frontier.
In 1657, “vrybriewe” was granted to 9 burgers, the first farmers or Boers (Boere) at the Cape. Although they were not known as Afrikaners, they did not regard themselves as living in a European country. As more immigrants from Europe arrived at the Cape, more international marriages took place. Soon their language and culture were lost and transformed. They regarded themselves as a new nation, the Afrikaner people. Paul Heyns, born in 1696 christened his son Michiel Afrikanus (the Afrikaner). One Hendrik Bieslow in 1707 proclaimed in public “Ik ben een Afrikaander”. The Boer later created the Boer Republics, which were defeated in the 1880-1881 and 1899–1902 Anglo-Boer wars (Anglo-Boere-oorlog). After that, many Boers emigrated to other countries, but many still live in modern South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe.
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