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Trek, Great

Trek, Great (trĕk) [key], the journey by Afrikaner farmers (Boers) who left the Cape Colony to escape British domination and eventually founded Natal, Transvaal, and the Orange Free State. Trek is an Afrikaans term, originally meaning a journey by ox wagon. In this most famous trek, 12,000 Boers left the Cape between 1835 and 1843. The Voortrekkers (as these Boers are known) migrated beyond the Orange River. After defeating resident Africans, most remained in the highveld of the interior, forming isolated communities and small states.

See E. Walker, The Great Trek (5th ed. 1965).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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