University of Fort Hare


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The colonial world. The South African Native College, later the University of Fort Hare, was, ironically, founded in 1916 on the site of the earlier British military stronghold. The college originated from the sometimes uneasy alliance between the new class of educated African Christians, supported by a number of traditional Southern African leaders, and early twentieth-century white liberals, many of them clergy.

Many forces have interacted in the Eastern Cape. Incoming Afrikaners and British met with Xhosa-speakers in the eighteenth century, and the long process of conflict, followed by the subordination and expropriation of the indigenous people, took place over more than one hundred years. An important British base at this time, named after a military officer, and a small town of Alice grew near its environs. The process of colonization and expropriation was paradoxical. Brutal military conquest, and integration of the population into the colonial economy, was accompanied by the spread of Christianity.

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