The Cape Colony was a European colony in what is now southern and western South Africa. The Dutch East India Company founded the Cape Colony in 1652. The British took over the colony in 1795. They gave it back to the Dutch government in 1803, but they occupied it again in 1806. In 1814, the Dutch recognized the Cape as a British colony.
The Cape Colony expanded through frontier wars between British and Dutch forces and settlers and native groups. Many of the settlers were people with Dutch, German, and French ancestors. They were sometimes called Boers, meaning farmers. Today they are called Afrikaners. Native groups in the colony include the Khoikhoi, San, and Xhosa.
Many Dutch-speaking settlers resented British rule and left the colony in the 1830′s. They later founded the South African Republic (also called Transvaal) and the Orange Free State.
In 1910, the Cape Colony, Natal, the Orange Free State, and the South African Republic became provinces of the Union of South Africa (now the Republic of South Africa). The Cape Colony became Cape Province. In 1994, Cape Province was split into Eastern Cape, Western Cape, and Northern Cape provinces. A northeastern part of Cape Province became part of the new North West province.