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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:In Search of Profitability: Wheat and Wine Production in the Post-Emancipation Western Cape
Author:Dooling, WayneISNI
Year:2006
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Issue:55
Pages:88-105
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:agricultural economy
plantations
wheat
wine
1850-1899
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Labor and Employment
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02582470609464932
Abstract:Subsequent to the ending of slavery in the course of the 19th century, casual wage labour became the primary form of labour that replaced slavery. In this way, the former slave owners were able to maintain high levels of agrarian production. Output figures, however, tell only one story. Microeconomic study from within a particular economy tells a different tale. By examining the records of individual farming operations, this article seeks to recreate the internal economy of the wine and wheat estates of the post-emancipation Western Cape of South Africa. It argues that two factors combined to circumscribe the ability of the former slaveholders to engage in unhindered capital accumulation, namely, high levels of mortgage debt (a function of inheritance laws and a closed frontier) and the cost of labour. Although the decade of the 1850s initiated a period of stability, farming remained only a marginally profitable occupation. Once powerful slaveholding families experienced decline in the course of the century. Those who attained substantial wealth had found it in sources other than farming. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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