Port Elizabeth of Yore: The Impetus for the Separatist League

Almost ab initio, the Cape Colony was cleaved into two after the arrival of the 1820 Settlers. The Eastern Province separatism originated as early as 1823. The initial resentment which inspired separatism arose due to the British settlers’ demands for a greater military presence on the frontier. Within thirty years, this resentment was driven by a different set of concerns as the two regions differed in their demographics and their politics. However, the west-east division was not absolute until it was built into the structures of the Cape’s legislature with all the English majority areas being demarcated as being part of the Eastern Province. This was a prelude to the formation of the Eastern Province Separatist League which demanded greater autonomy for the Eastern Province as a separate Colony with its own capital. 

Main picture: In 1854, the Cape Colony was split into 2 provinces comprising 22 districts

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