Geographia Polonica (2012) vol. 85, iss. 3

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Immigrants from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the early stages of European colonization of the Cape Colony

Mariusz Kowalski

Geographia Polonica (2012) vol. 85, iss. 3, pp. 55-76
doi: https://doi.org/10.7163/GPol.2012.3.18

Abstract

While the Commonwealth of Two Nations (Polish‑LithuanianCommonwealth, 1569‑1795)did not have colonies of itsown, emigrants from its territory did play a part in the colonial enterprise, i.a. the Dutch engagement in South Africa.The group of persons involved was small, but then so were the overall number of settlers and soldiers from all countriescombined, ensuring that the Polish influence is not be ignored. Poles (mainly Polish Prussians) in South Africa played theirpart in the emergence of a new society, as well as in the process whereby the country came to be known and broughtunder management. They were also co‑organizersof pioneering expeditions inland, as well as participating in the firstarmed encounters with Bantu (Xhosa) people.

Keywords: historical migrations, immigrants, Dutch colonization, Polish‑Lithuanian Commonwealth, South Africa, Cape Colony, Poles

Mariusz Kowalski [mar.kow@twarda.pan.pl], Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw: Poland