n Kultuurhistoriese beeld van die Vrystaat in die vroee Brand-era

Badenhorst, Andre Riaan (1990)

Proefskrif (D. Phil.) -- Universiteit van Stellenbosch, 1990.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Right from the beginning it is obvious that the term "Cultural History" has as many meanings as you have cultural historians. The cultural history of the Free State finds itself located in a very definite physical milieu, where the loss of land led to internal unity amongst the Free Staters, where their proximity to the well- known Cape Colony, the Basuto danger and the farming prospects influenced the pattern of expansion very definitely. In its architecture and infrastructure one can also see the practical, but plain viewpoints of this people, supported by their religious idea, not to invest in earthly posessions. From characteristics of the Free-Staters it is obvious that they were a tough emigrant offspring, familiar with frontier wars. They were also true farmers, whose tranquility, righteousness and hospitality was second nature to them. Their cultural life was peaceful, notwithstanding smaller differences between supporters of Free State nationalism and those supporting English nationalism, which originated from the Afrikaner-Dutch, English, German, French and Jewish groups in the Free State, encouraged by their flag, coat of arms, national anthem and national monument. Typical of the Free State farmer was his diligence, initiative, drive, self sufficiency and honesty. The farmers and villagers both experienced the bitter-sweet of life, but in different spheres. The various social, cultural and leisure activities indicate the full cultural life of the inhabitants. Judged by the numbers and diversity of dealers, business flourished and although profits were not very high, needs and costs were adjusted accordingly. Dealers played an important part in the cultural life of their communities. This also includes the banking institutions and mining in the Free State. After this the complete educational system, i.e . teachers, individual schools, classrooms and even books were discussed, with emphasis on the cultural aspects. Divine services and religious freedom played an important part in the national economy and the attitude towards mission work was a sympathetic or Religion not only resulted in the origin of towns, but it also acted as a unifying social power. Not only the D.R. -church, but also the Anglican, Wesleyan, Roman- Catholic, Lutheran and "Gereformeerde" churches, as well as the Anabaptists and Jews were examined closely. There were well-qualified doctors as well as successful unqualified doctors in the Free State. Amongst them, like in all walks of social life, there were those who were a disgrace to the profession. The medical doctor in all his facets, as well as illness, accidents and medicine are discussed . A critical shortage of hospitals and nursing staff is obvious. Under the heading, "The authority", it is clear that the legislative , executive and judicial powers excercised by the Free Staters rendered an effective and fair service to the people, in spite of a lack of finances and education. State departments such as interior and exterior affairs, postal services, finance, defence, welfare, and the judicature got its proper share. After the Basutu wars the Free State experienced periods of peace and development. The discovery of diamonds played an important and positive role, too. However, the arrival of president J H Brand, the third President of the Free State, in 1864 formed the watershed between a wavering, poverty-stricken State and a model Republic.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Reeds ten aanvang is dit baie duidelik dat die term kultuurgeskiedenis soveel betekenisvariasies het as wat daar kultuurhistorici is. Die kulturele geskiedenis in die Vrystaat speel homself in 'n baie definitiewe fisiese milieu af, waar grondverliese lei tot interne Vrystaatse eenheid en waar onder andere hul geborgenheid in die Kaapkolonie, die Basoetogevaar en boerderymoontlikheid 'n besliste patroon van uitbreiding voorskryf. Ook in sy argitektuur en infrastruktuur kom die Vrystater se praktiese, maar eenvoudige lewensuitkyk na vore, verder onderskraag deur sy religieuse siening, om nie te belê in aardse skatte nie. Uit hul karaktereienskappe blyk dit duidelik dat hulle 'n geharde emigrante nageslag was, bekend met Oosgrensoorloë en boer-wees as tweede natuur, en rustigheid, regverdigheid en gasvryheid as uitstaande kenmerke. Hul kulturele lewe was oorheersend rustig, ongeag kleiner botsings tussen die aanhangers van Vrystaatse en Engelse nasionalisme, afkomstig vanuit Afrikaner-Hollander, Engelse, Duitse, Franse en Joodse bevolkingsgroepe en aangevuur deur hul vlag, wapen, volkslied en nasionale monument. 'n Vergelyking tussen die lewe van die inwoners in die dorpe en op die plase het getoon dat beide plaas- en dorpsbewoner hul soet en suur lewensvaring, moontlik net op verskillende terreine opgedoen het. Die verskeidenheid sosiale, kulturele en ontspannings aktiwiteite dui op 'n ryke kulturele lewe vir die inwoners. Die handel het, te oordeel aan handelaarsgetalle en tipes, gefloreer. Hoewel winste nie groot was nie, was hul behoeftes en uitgawe hierby aangepas en het hulle 'n belangrike kulturele rol in hul gemeenskap vervul. Dit omvat ook die bankinstellings en mynwese in die Vrystaat. Hierop volg 'n ontleding van hul opvoeding. Die hele onderwyssisteem w o. onderwysers, individuele skole, klaskamers en selfs boeke ressorteer word ontleed, met die klem weer eens op die kulturele. Ook die godsdiens en godsdiensvryheid het 'n belangrike plek in die volkshuishouding beklee en die sendinggedagte is simpatiek benader. Nie alleen die N.G. kerk nie maar ook die Anglikaanse, Wesleyaanse, Rooms-katolieke, Lutherse en Gereformeerde kerke, asook die Wederdopers en Jode word onder die sosiale soeklig geplaas. Soos op elke ander terrein was die Vrystaat met gekwalifiseerde, sowel as suksesvolle ongekwalifiseerde medici, toebedeeld. Ook hier was egter diegene wat die beroep tot skade en skande gestrek het. Die mediese dokter in al sy fasette sowel as siektes, ongelukke en geneesmiddels word behandel. 'n Duidelike tekort aan hospitale en verpleegpersoneel is deurgaans sigbaar. Onder die opskrif, die owerheidsgesag kom die raakvlakke tussen kultuur en regering duidelik na vore. Die wetgewende, uitvoerende en regterlike gesag het effektief en regverdig diens selewer, ongeag finansiële- en opleidingstekortkominge. Staatsdepartemente w. o. binne- en buitelandse sake, poswese, finansies, verdediging, welsyn, en regstoepassing, kry elk sy regmatige plek. In die opbou- en uitbouproses was die rustigheid, na die Basoeto-oorloë, asook die diamantontdekking belangrike positiewe tendense, maar die koms van J.H. Brand as Vrystaatse Staatspresident in 1864, was die waterskeiding tussen 'n wankelmoedige, armoed-geteisterde staat en 'n model-republiek.

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