Gold And The Boer War

643 Words3 Pages
As always throughout the course of history the discovery of gold usually does not bode well for one party or another. In South America it meant killing of the population, in North America it meant moving and killing the Indians, and again in Africa it spelled thousands of deaths of the innocent. Even worse were the finding of diamonds, with the gold, to add to the level of greed and lust. Always greed will drive men on to do terrible things. The British Empire is not exempt from the atrocities committed during the Boer Wars. Concentration camps, scorched earth policy, and the use of foreign colonial troops would win Britain the day but also forever remain in the hearts and minds of South Africans. Pictures of the atrocities can still be seen and pictures of starving women and children of the Boer are no easy sight to bear. In 1806, Britain would take possession of the Dutch Cape colony during the Napoleonic wars with Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte of France. The Boers, descendants of the original Dutch settlers in Africa, would come to resent this British rule and Britain's anti-slavery policies that would be forced upon them. Much of the Boer way of life depended on the work from their slaves. In attempts to free themselves from British rule the Boers would make the “Great Trek” in 1833. They would press into tradition tribal territory and would found the twin republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. Peace between the new republics and the British would hold until gold and diamonds were discovered, in 1867. In the spirit of greed, war was inevitable to break out between the Boer and the British, although peace did hold for several years after the discovery. In 1890 skirmishes would begin and in 1899 an all-out war prec... ... middle of paper ... ...be forcibly removed from the Boer areas and placed in concentration camps. The camps would then be segregated with the Africans in one camp and the Boer families in another. Surprisingly, the Africans would be treated in the same manner as the Boer, although this treatment was bad it could have been a lot worse for the native Africans. The blood of the innocent grease the wheels of greed. Always greed will drive men on to do terrible things. The atrocities committed during the Boer Wars not just to the Boer families but also to the native Africans shall always be a stain on the British history tapestry. Although Britain would win the war their scorched earth policy and concentration camps will always be remembered in the hearts and minds of South Africans. Was the quest for gold and diamonds worth the blood that would be shed of the innocent caught in the crossfire?
Open Document