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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Commodity cropping and the delineation of agricultural space in Natal, 1850-1863
Author:Schnurr, Matthew A.
Year:2009
Periodical:South African Historical Journal
Volume:61
Issue:1
Pages:138-157
Language:English
Geographic terms:South Africa
Natal
Subjects:agricultural policy
colonialism
cotton
Zulu
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/02582470902812319
Abstract:This article recounts the efforts of Natal's first Secretary for Native Affairs, Theophilus Shepstone, to introduce cotton as a commodity crop among the colony's Zulu population in the 1850s. Generally considered as a response to Britain's dwindling supply of raw cotton, the article argues that this push for cotton was fuelled by motivations that were political more than agricultural; that cotton was first and foremost about delineating African and settler space and establishing a political order. When cotton failed, blame was heaped on Zulu growers who were lambasted for their inferior work ethic. The second part of this article investigates the abrupt failure of Zulu cotton cultivation in Natal, contending that environmental and economic factors explain the crop's failure more than cultural ones. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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