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Essay on How Moshoeshoe Kingdom weakened
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- 1. TOPIC: HOW DID THE BOERS, BRITISH ENCOURAGED THE FALL OF MOSHOESHOE INTRODUCTION - During 1820s the region of Caledon Valley was badly affected by the Boers, kora and Griqua raiders. - Several Lesotho leaders decided to use the Mafisa system which is a system used to give the people cattle’s and protection in an exchange of their support and loyalty. - Only Moshoeshoe was successful on the Mafisa system among other leaders. - Moshoeshoe’s followers lived in Thaba Bosiu- mountain of the night. - The mountain symbolises protection and survival against his enemies. NB: THEISIS STATEMENT IS IMPORTANT. BODY EXPANSION OF MOSHOESHOE - Moshoeshoe became successful leader with the Mafisa system that he had 40 000 followers in 1840s. - This made Moshoeshoe becoming a dominant leader in Lesotho. - When Moshoeshoe expanded he faced challenges: a. Griqua, kora cattle raids who were raiding Moshoeshoe kingdom for survival - The griqua continuously launching attacks to Moshoeshoe. But they needed sorghum and maize of Lesotho. Therefore, Moshoeshoe and the Griqua created a trading relationship b. Whit trek Boers and vootrekkers which are descended of the European settlers on the Dutch colony. c. Missionaries who wanted to change traditions of Basotho such as Casalis and. d. The British, hungry for political control of the region. ROLE OF EUGEN CASALIS - As Moshoeshoe was a democratic leader and welcoming leader who used multiculturalism system. -He welcomed a first missionaries in 1833 which was Casalis. - Casalis became closest friend of Moshoeshoe in an extend to advisor, because he was illiteracy. - But Casalis had its own agenda to transform Lesotho from traditionalist to Westernization (Christianity). - Many Lesotho members were against the idea even though 2000 of them was baptised. HARRY SMITH ROLE
- 2. - Smith became a governor of the Cape in 1847, he tried to solve the problems of Transorangia. - He annexed the Transorangia on behalf of the British government and remained an Orange River Sovereignty. - He claimed to be doing all of this for peace in Lesotho. - But historian argues that he only did that for British settlers to be able to sell and buy land. - This is because British sellers saw African land as a valuable resource that was wasted by Africans. - Therefore, they wanted the land divided into profitable white owned farms producing crops for the market using cheap African labour. - This led to the Warden Line. ROLE OF THE WARDEN LINE - British was more concerned with winning white support and neglected protection of Basotho kingdom. - 1849, Sir Harry requested that Warden to draw a boundary line around Basotho Kingdom. - The line was called the “Warden Line” - The line granted white settlers all the land they wanted and supported the claims of the smaller Africa chiefdoms (the Rolong, kora and other) to the land in the North of the Basotho kingdom. - Warden plan aimed to divide and rule. - ACHIEVEMENT OF THE WARDEN LINE 1. Moshoeshoe lost most of the good farming land - This is because he needed to share it with the smaller groups, resulting to a decrease of farming land. 2. Moshoeshoe lost power over his follower - This mean that the Moshoeshoe kingdom was decreasing in numbers. 3. Moshoeshoe hope to control the land of Rolong, Taung, Kora and Tlokao was lost. - AS she needed to share his land with them. - Moshoeshoe was not fond with this Warden Line. The Warden line did not decrease raids and conflict in the region which the British blamed Moshoeshoe for it. THE BLOEMFONTEIN CONVENTION - February 1954, the Bloemfontein Convention was signed handing Orange River Sovereignty to Boers without consulting Moshoeshoe and other leaders. - Moshoeshoe was a powerful leader with 100000 followers and white settler only 13000. - This made it easy for Moshoeshoe to defeat the settlers, raids. - March 1858, Boers declared war on Basotho because pf Moshoeshoe people raiding South West until to the Boers territory. - Ion the war the Boers failed to penetrate the Thaba Bosiu.
- 3. - This may be caused by the steepness of the mountain making difficult for the raiders to access it easy. WEAKENING STRENGTH OF THE BASOTHO - Even though Basotho was able to defeat Boers in 1858, the strength of Basotho was weakening in 1860 and Boers becoming stronger. - This is because of the increase of immigration of the white settlers into the Boer area helping the Boer government to create political unity. - White settlers bought new weapons from the Cape Colony and trained their soldiers. - Moshoeshoe on the other hand was getting old and weak and his followers criticised him from losing the land to the Boers. - This decreased loyalty and support to Moshoeshoe. - Moreover, Moshoeshoe sons were fighting among themselves making Moshoeshoe kingdom to be unstable. - Therefore, the OFS declared war to Moshoeshoe and again failed to penetrate the Thaba Bosiu. - The OFS, they then took Basotho cattle and burned their crops and fields, devasting the Basotho kingdom. - In 1866, the Basotho wanted peace that Moshoeshoe signed a peace treaty which took more land of Basotho’s. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BASUTOLAND - In 1867 diamonds were discovered in Kimberly which renew British interest in the North of Orange River. - 1868, they renamed Basotho Kingdom to Basutoland. - This mean Basutoland became British territory making Moshoeshoe to be more weaker losing almost his followers. - February 1869. The OFS signed treaty with British to create final boundary between the Basutoland and the OFS. So that the Basotho people cannot not get their hands on the diamond and restrict migration. - The borders are still there even today. - This marked an end of Moshoeshoe ruling that he died in 1870. - Even though Basotho Kingdom became a British colony, Moshoeshoe was able to save it from trekkers. - Basutoland did not become part of South Africa but gained independence from Britain in 1966 and was called Lesotho.
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Moshoeshoe Essay Exam Guide for History Grade 10
This page contains Moshoeshoe Essay Exam Guide for History Grade 10 Learners (South Africa):
In the Essay, candidates should include the following aspects in their response:
Candidates need to explain how Moshoeshoe came to power and led to the Basotho nation or any other relevant introduction.
Body Elaboration Key Points about King Moshoeshoe:
- Left his father’s home to set up his own chiefdom
- 1824 – his followers were attacked by the Tlokoa
- Forced to flee to Thaba Mosiu
- His chiefdom began to grow
- Gave them land
- By 1840 – had 40 000 followers
- Faced various challenges from Griqua and the Koras, white trekboers and Voortrekkers, missionaries and the British
- 1843 – Moshoeshoe concluded a treaty with the British governor – agreed on a border for the Sotho kingdom
- British went against the treaty
- Led to fighting between the British and the Sotho
- Twice the Sotho defeated the British
- Bloemfontein Convention signed
- British gave up their land to the Voortrekkers
- Led to a series of wars between the OFS and the Sotho
- More wars continued
- Moshoeshoe asked British for protection
- 1868 – Moshoeshoe agreed that the Sotho kingdom could become a British colony called Basutoland
- Any other relevant response
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Alexander Road High School
ARHS The ALtogether EXperience
History Grade 10 – The Basotho and Moshoeshoe
- Society and Politics
- Art and Culture
King Moshoeshoe I
Also known as Moshesh, Mosheshwe or Mshweshwe. His name was allegedly changed from Lepoqo after a successful raid in which he had sheared the beards of his victims – the word ‘Moshoeshoe’ represented the sound of the shearing.
In 1820 Moshoeshoe succeeded his father, Mokhacane, as the chief of the Bamokoteli. His first settlement was at Butha Buthe, but he later built his stronghold at Thaba Bosiu (Mountain of the Night). He united various groups of refugees during the Shaka wars, a period known as the ‘mfecane’ or difaqane (1813-1830), into the Basotho nation. From his capital at Thaba Bosiu , he warded off attacks from many enemies, including Shaka’s Zulus and Mzilikazi’s Ndebele .
In 1833 he encouraged missionaries from the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society to come to his kingdom, and so brought the Basotho in contact with Christianity. Moshoeshoe himself is said to have converted to the faith at the end of his life. From 1836 he came into contact with the Voortrekkers who settled in what is today known as the Free State, and then reached several territorial agreements with the British, who had taken over possession of the Free State territory in 1848. Border disputes nevertheless led to battles between the Basotho and British forces in 1851 and 1852, both of which were won by the Basotho.
In 1854 the Orange Free State (OFS) became an independent Boer republic. As with the British, border conflict broke out soon afterwards. After a Basotho defeat in 1868, Moshoeshoe asked the British for protection. Basotholand became British territory, but Moshoeshoe still managed to preserve his kingdom and his people’s existence. After the British signed the Treaty of Aliwal North with the OFS, the border dispute was settled. Moshoeshoe died in 1870 and a year later Basotholand was integrated with the Cape Colony. However, in 1884, it became a separate British Protectorate.
In 1966, Basotholand gained its independence and was renamed Lesotho.
A great-great-grandson of Moshoeshoe, Archbishop Emmanuel Mbathoana (1904-1966), became the first Black bishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Southern Africa. He was the archbishop of Basotholand from 1952. Another great-great-grandson, Moshoeshoe II, became the king of Lesotho after independence.
Potgieter, J. (ed)(1972). Standard Encyclopaedia of Southern Africa, Vol. VII, Pretoria: HSRC, pp. 544-5.|(1999). Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition, Keyword: Mosheshwe.9
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The Survival of the Sotho under Moshoeshoe Essay
- The 19th Century Sotho Kingdom
The Thaba Bosiu Experience
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Trade was the major economic activity that brought groups of people together during the time the Basotho people arrived in their present homeland. In fact, by the beginning of 19 th century, white traders, the Voortrekkers inhabited what is now called the Basutoland. With this conglomeration of different groups of people, there emerged extreme pressure on the environment for resettlement. Meanwhile, the Zulu state, led by Shaka was expanding and with it a series of violence across the entire southern Africa. The violence that was witnessed throughout this region threatened the extinction of many groups of people but not the organized Sotho society. The survival of this group of people is attributed to the strong leadership of their king Moshoeshoe the Great that was necessitated by frequent cattle raids. The paper investigates the validity of the postulate that the Basotho people survived because of cattle raids, which made their leader to seek refuge in Thaba Bosiu.
The 19 th Century Sotho Kingdom
In the 19 th century, a violent explosion erupted annihilating the South African chiefdoms border today’s Lesotho. Those who did survive the annihilation either were dispersed or were incorporated into larger chiefdoms that were stronger and well reorganized. The leaders of these new chiefdoms were capable of defending their subjects; and Moshoeshoe was one such leader. The political situation in the east of Drakensberg Mountains was characterized by increasing competition over trade links, arable land for cultivation, cattle raids, among other factors (Stokes 102). Owing to the political and economic instability of the region courtesy of Shaka Zulu’s autocracy, food scarcity and famine struck the region thereby according dominant chiefdoms the opportunity to increase their wealth and power. Consequently, the leader who promised wealth and security obtained from agricultural and pastoral production as well as from trade commanded greater support and following. Cattle raiding and agricultural production became the silver bullet to the peoples’ problems, a policy that was pursued religiously by leaders. It is little wonder then, that conflicts resulting from food shortage interrupted food production hindered economic growth, and starvation punctuated the disruptions caused by migrating chiefdoms that sought a place to settle (Eldredge 2).
From 1822 throughout the century, raids were common phenomena in this region of southern Africa. For example, destitute immigrants crossed the Drakensberg Mountains from the east and executed their raids on the population around Highveld and upper Caledon River Valley to get crops and cattle (Eldredge 2). These raids conjured up survival instincts of the young Sotho leader, Moshoeshoe l to forge alliances with their neighbors, the Sesotho group, and move to the mountains for protection. He, therefore, sent his scouts to find a good place in the mountains that could act as a fortress against their would-be raiders notwithstanding the risk that he was exposing them to. A large flat-topped mountain was located south of the territory. In 1824, Moshoeshoe led his subjects in a three-day trek to occupy this new residence with natural bulwarks against the raiders. However, the weather was terribly cold and some people died as a result; and according to oral tradition, desperation led to their bodies being eaten up by the starving groups. Nevertheless, the move proved to be an act of ingenuity of the Moshoeshoe l, thus earning him credit for having saved his people from extermination in the hands of marauding neighbors. This mountain fortress was called Thaba Bosiu, which literally translates to the “mountain of the night”. It was almost an invulnerable site for the Basotho people could now protect themselves, their cattle, and crops (McKenna 93). Moshoeshoe l is hailed as a leader of remarkable political and diplomatic ace who expanded his hegemony by incorporating many chiefdoms into his own lineage. As a shrewd leader, he acknowledged the crucial role played by such skills as farming, hunting, adventuring, among others that his neighboring community in the south had mastered. As a result, he welcomed missionaries to inform him about the events of the rest of the world and to import these skills into his chiefdom. Actually, that is how the Boer trekkers trickled into his kingdom to later wreck havoc. After a protracted period of war occasioned by chronic hunger and frequent famine, the Basotho grew weary of being marooned in the Thaba Bosiu and wanted to resettle on their ancestral lands to expand agricultural production. Eventually, they managed to resettle in these lands and built up their stores of food, which in turn expanded their economy so rapidly that they supplied their African and European neighbors with surplus food. During this time, the Boers who resided in the Cape Colony were increasingly becoming frustrated with the British rule that had imposed strict policies on land tenure, prohibited slavery, and restricted continued expansion eastwards. Consequently, in the early 1830s this discontent caused the Great Boer Trek where about fifteen thousand Boers together with their households migrated across the Orange River. Many of them settled “along the southwestern fringes of lands which had belonged to the forefathers of the Basotho” (Eldredge 3). The earliest settlers in this region did acknowledge the authority of Moshoeshoe over this territory and therefore, sought his permission to settle. The events that shaped the survival mechanisms of the Basotho people such as economics and politics are best explained from the perspective of the pursuit of security. These dynamics of the 19 th century can only be interpreted within the context of security structures rather than blatant physical survival. The reason being, security denotes recognition that extracting resources for purposes of satisfying peoples’ material needs was governed by social structure that puts a limit to the abilities of people to exploit others. Moreover, the pursuit of security expedites the explanation of the motivations underlying the acceptability of the authority of Moshoeshoe by subordinate groups (S.A.H.S. 113). Such groups had a strong belief that physical survival presupposed the achievement of security in the political front, which guaranteed their protection and access to productive resources therewith. Not surprisingly then, that individuals as well as groups that were weary of the regional politics sought clientship under Moshoeshoe, the Basotho leader, but not other chiefs in the region owing to their despotic bent and lamentable lack of generosity. The Basotho was a dominant group in the southern African region in the 19 th century and unlike any other group of its caliber, it was shaped by the pursuit of holistic security. With violent struggles reverberating across the region, beginning among Africans in the 1820s before Europeans followed suit, it will be a great misrepresentation of fact to reduce the motivation of this group to a craving for exploiting subordinate groups in their society. Many chiefs within the neighborhood copied the leadership style of Moshoeshoe and endeavored to achieve security by attracting outsiders and consolidating their authorities over a greater population of subjects. The key to this strategy was to accumulate vast resources and reallocating it to people in a way that would win their support. Briefly, dominant as well as subordinate groups strived to achieve a degree of security by midwifing clientship relations (Eldredge 4).
It can be said with confidence that the survival of the Basotho people in the 19 th century was occasioned by the political and economic instability in the southern African region. The repercussions of this hapless situation bred a habit of cattle raiding by groups that were considered dominant. In order to spare his group from this disastrous attack, Moshoeshoe mooted a security plan to whisk his people in a mountain fortress called Thaba Bosiu with virtually impenetrable frontiers. While safely marooned in their new residence, Basotho could cultivate their crops and keep their cattle undisturbed. Moshoeshoe was also endowed with excellent diplomatic skills besides good leadership and this enabled him to have clientship relations with many individuals and groups that were incorporated in his society.
Eldredge, Elizabeth A. A South African Kingdom: The pursuit of security in nineteenth-century Lesotho. New York; NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002. McKenna, Amy. The History of Southern Africa. New York, NY: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2011. S.A.H.S. (South African Historical Society). South African historical journal, Issue 30. Cape Town, South African Historical Society, 1994. Stokes, Jamie. Encyclopedia of the People of Africa and the Middle East, Volume 1. New York, NY: InfoBase Publishing, 2009.
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