The history of the Dutch settlers (later to become the Afrikaners), bound to their strong Calvinistic beliefs, became the cornerstone of white South African history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The Great Trek (the emigration from the Eastern Cape Colony into the interior of Southern Africa by some 12,000 to 14,000 Dutch-speaking farmers between 1834 and the early 1840s) is regarded by Afrikaners as a central event of their history and the origin of their nationhood. It was during The Great Trek that the Afrikaans language and their unique culture developed. It was during this period that the Afrikaners’ attitude toward the British hardened and the Afrikaner philosophy of apartheid (separateness) was formulated. It was during The Great Trek that the Afrikaners came to believe that they were a “chosen race” and that it was their “manifest destiny” to populate the areas north of the Orange River.