Causes of the mfecane

Relations of production 5. Mode of production 1. Human labour includes personal factors in the production process such as skills, experience, scientific and technological knowledge. Labour is therefore the primary condition for human life because for man to survive he must satisfy his wants.

Causes of the mfecane

Populations had increased greatly in Zululand. The introduction of maize corn from the Americas through the Portuguese in Mozambique was a factor.

The Portuguese in southeastern Africa

Maize produced more food than indigenous grasses on the same land, and thus could sustain the larger population, at the price of greater water usage. It also allowed Shaka to raise a standing army, growing crops not being a part Causes of the mfecane their duties.

By the end of the s much of the arable land was now occupied. Declining rainfall, and ten-year drought in the early s meant that a battle for land and water resources began in earnest.

Mfecane | African history |

Other possible causes are the new tactics and weapons developed by the Zulus during this period. Instead of using throwing spears, the Zulus started to use broad bladed stabbing spears known as iklwawhich could be used very efficiently in close combat.

Causes of the mfecane

The Zulus also instituted a form of conscription where every man had to serve the king as soldier in special age regiments, known in English as Impis. Not all peoples affected by the Mfecane adopted this practice, but many of the Nguni peoples did.

Southern Africa - European and African interaction in the 19th century |

This alliance encroached on the existing routes used by the Ndwandwe alliance, who occupied the region in the north, near the Pongola River.

Battles between Dingiswayo and Zwide of the Ndwandwe probably mark the start of what Causes of the mfecane the Mfecane. After the Mthethwa were beaten by Zwide, and Dingiswayo killed, many of the Mthethwa leaders formed a confederation with the Zulu clan, under the leadership of Shaka.

The Zulus conquered and assimilated smaller clans in the area, and the Battle of Gqokli Hill marked the start of his conquest of the Ndwandwe. Only the women and young men of a clan or village were welcomed by the Zulus. The elderly and men of fighting age were often either killed or escaped.

Escapees quickly learned the tactics of the Zulus, and in turn descended upon more distant clans unfamiliar with the new order. He quickly made many enemies, not only with the Zulu king, but also with the BoersGriqua and Tswana.

Defeats in several clashes convinced Mzilikazi to move north towards Swaziland. Moving northwards and then inland westwards along the watershed between the Vaal and the Limpopo River Mzilikazi and his followers called Matabele in English established an Ndebele state at just north-west of the city of Pretoria.

During this period the Matabele left a trail of destruction and devastation in their wake. He set up his new capital in Bulawayo. There they established the Gaza kingdom.

They oppressed the Tsonga living there, some of whom fled over the Lebombo Mountains into the Northern Transvaal. In Shoshangane invaded various Portuguese settlements, and was initially successful. A combination of internal disputes and war against the Swazi lead to the downfall of the Gaza.

Ngwane leader Sobhuza led his people to higher elevations around to escape Zulu attacks. In this period the Ngwane became known as the Swazi, and Sobhuza established the Swazi kingdom in what is now central Swaziland. Zwangendaba of the Jere or Gumbi clan, a commander of the Ndwandwe army, fled north with Soshangane after his defeat in They were subjected to successive waves of attack, and were pressed from the West by the British.

Using a combination of fortifying the easily defended hills and cavalry raids, he fought against his enemies with some success, despite not adopting the Zulu tactics, like most of his neighbors. The territory of Moshoeshoe I became the kingdom of Lesotho.

(the 1800s)

They finally settled north of the Zambezi river in Barotselandwhere they made themselves rulers of the Lozi people. The first of these were the Kololowhich reached what is now Botswana in The second was the passage of Mzilikazi across Tswana territory in Neither of these invasion forces established a state within Tswana territory, and continued north instead.

According to Cobbing, the Mfecane has been mischaracterized by Apartheid historians as a period of internally-induced black-on-black destruction. Instead, argued Cobbing, the roots of the conflicts can be found in the actions of European slave traders.

A balanced view of the massive upheaval of the Mfecane would certainly point to Zulu expansion as a major factor.

It seems clear that aggressive Zulu military activities sparked a tremendous ferment of change.

Causes of the mfecane

Other factors must be added into the mix, including population pressures; corn crops from Europe; and white encroachment and expansion in the general area, including slaving and Portuguese activities in Mozambique.Shaka Zulu Zulu King. circa - 22 September Shaka was born circa , son of a minor Zulu chief, but his mother was an unranked woman, and Shaka was a humiliated and discredited child.

Historia 54,1, Mei/May , pp Shaka the Great* Jeff Peires** Among several welcome signs that the gloom and doom which has for too long enveloped South African historiography is finally beginning to lift,1 one ominous portent continues to threaten.

Intensification of Mfecane After a series of attacks by Shaka, many states began to adopt his military tactics so that they are able to defend themselves, for example, the Ngwane and Hlubi The states began attacking each other and this intensified the Mfecane. Topic – Discuss the causes of the Mfecane, taking into consideration the variety of historiography on this event.

Although no one can pinpoint exactly what caused the Mfecane, most believe the causes emerged at the end of the eighteenth and the start of the nineteenth centuries. The Legacy of Apartheid in South Africa - The strength of a nation is not established by the force of its military, economic standing, or government, but rather how its citizens are regarded.

Mfecane refers to a period of political disruption and population migration in Southern Africa during the s and s. The Mfecane in South Africa Search the site GO.

Nineteenth Century Death Tolls