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Expeditions From Fort Lijdsaamheijd: The Voc And The Geography Of Southern Africa In The Beginning Of The Eighteenth Century

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Chapter Summary

When Peter Kolb published his book, the voc had already been exploring southern Africa for half a century. The voc was only interested in exploring the economic potential of southern Africa. In practice this amounted to a combination of economic, geographic and political intelligence: knowing what a certain region produced and understanding the power relationships and the access routes. The primary reason for the failure of the overland journeys from Fort Lijdsaamheijd was their relatively inefficient execution. The resistance of the indigenous population seems to have been coordinated, as each group warned the other, and well considered because the response was intensified stepwise: first incorrect information was provided, then guides were withheld, then violence was threatened and then armed confrontation followed. Instead of transferring the information about the interior to maps, transient memories were relied on, which at Fort Lijdsaamheijd all too easily succumbed to malaria or assegais.

Keywords: Beginning; economic potential; Eighteenth Century; Expeditions; Fort Lijdsaamheijd; Geography; journeys; Peter Kolb; Southern Africa; VOC



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