Boer War

973 Words2 Pages

The Boer War was a conflict that lasted from 1899 to 1902 in southern Africa between Great Britain and their allies, Transvaal (South African Republic) and Orange Free State, in what is now South Africa. Throughout the 19th century, after Great Britain conquered the Cape of Good Hope in 1814 and expanded its territory in Southern Africa, there was tension between the British settlers and the Dutch-descended population which were called Afrikaners or Boers. This resulted in the Afrikaner migration called the Great Trek, which was from 1835 to 1843, and the establishment of the Afrikaner republics. These republics were called Natal, Orange Free State, and the South African Republic. Natal became a British colony in 1843, but the Transvaal territories were granted independence from Great Britain in 1852. In 1854, Orange Free State also got their independence. In the late 1850s, the Transvaal territories formed the South African Republic. In 1884, gold was discovered in the Witwatersrand, which lured thousands of British miners and prospectors to settle in the area. The Afrikaners, who were mainly farmers, didn’t like the newcomers (Uitlanders), so they taxed them and denied them voting rights. The dislike of one another grew, which lead to a revolt by the Uitlanders in Johannesburg against the Afrikaner government. This revolt was instigated by the British colonial statesman and financier Cecil Rhodes, the premier of the Cape Colony, who wanted to bring all of Southern Africa into the British Empire. In December of 1895, Leander Starr Jameson, who was a friend of Rhodes, led a group of 600 armed British men in an attempt to support the Uitlanders in the South African Republic. This was called the Jameson Raid. It resulted in Jameson’s capture and imprisonment, and in Rhodes’s resignation. Jameson later became the premier of the Cape Colony from 1904 to 1908. Direct negotiations to solve the South African problem were unsuccessful, and hostility between the Afrikaners and the Uitlanders continued. The president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger, would not back down from the Uitlanders. In 1899 the British governor of Cape Colony, Alfred Milner, who strongly disliked the Afrikaners’ treatment of British subjects, issued orders to build up the 12,000 man British army in Southern Africa. The British army eventually grew to 500,000 men. On October 9, 1899,... ... middle of paper ... ...ion to the Afrikaner soldiers who promised their loyalty to the British monarch. The Treaty of Vereeniging brought peace and political unification to South Africa but did not erase the causes that had triggered the conflict. Even after the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910, the Afrikaners kept themselves culturally and socially separate. This event involves imperialism, nationalism, militarism, economics, mercantilism, and geography. Imperialism is shown when the British and the Afrikaners were trying to conquer each other. Nationalism played a part in the Boer War because the people of both sides were willing to fight and stand up for their land. Militarism and mercantilism were involved because both Britain and the Afrikaners had to trade with other countries in order to build up their military and gain technology. Geography played a role in the war because Britain was fighting for land in order to expand their territories, while the Afrikaners were fighting to keep their land. Economics were involved because as a result of the Boer War Britain had to pay the Afrikaner soldiers a 3 million dollar indemnity, which was worth a lot more at that time then it is now.

Open Document