The digitisation and transcription of rich archival sources and the use of statistical techniques combined with modern computing power, have, over the last decade, allowed social scientists to reinterpret eighteenth-century Cape history. This review essay summarises the main results from the burgeoning literature; assesses whether these new studies refute or support earlier hypotheses; shows how new quantitative evidence can inform our understanding of the process of economic development; and appeals to historians and economists to learn the language of the other.
The Quantitative Cape: Notes from a new Histriography of the Dutch Cape Colony
Working paper 371
South African Historical Journal