The Quantitative Cape: Notes from a new Histriography of the Dutch Cape Colony
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.
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