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The British Rise to Power In South Africa
The people of South Africa will forever mark the ANGLO-BOER WAR of 1899-1902 as one of South Africa's most significant events. Though nick named a "white man's war" research later proved that all of Africa's inhabitants including its black "neutral" occupants were affected both directly and indirectly by the events of the war.
On October 11th, 1899, war broke out between the two former republics (the Orange Free State and Transvaal) and Britain. As tensions rose and the war escalated Britain brought reinforcements from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada as well as several volunteers from other British colonies. The war lasted three years, and the casualties for both sides were astronomical. Tensions were on the rise in the preceding years, but what caused the Boers and Britain to come to sudden blows? The following essay will look at the events and causes that led to war, the battles(briefly), the victims, and the events that followed the war. Evidence will show that Britains "capitalist and imperialistic"attitudes set the stage for the unavoidable conflict. And that Britain was not fighting to end oppression, they were in fact jockeying their position to become the oppressor.
In the late 19th century two very different political ideologies occupied South Africa. Britain held true to its ideas of "imperialism," while its African counterparts believed in the new found feelings of "Afrikaner nationalism." Britain aspired to unify South Africa under the British flag. This conflicting ideology created tensions, and made the Transvaal and the Orange Free State a stumbling block for the aggressive European superpower.On the other hand, the two South African Republics led by Prime Minister Kruger, wanted to preserve their independence while turning their republics into regional forces. Therefore they were not willing to become a united South Africa under British authority.
Another major catalyst to the upcoming conflict was the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand located in the South African Republic in1886. For Britain this new found wealth was to serve as a tool in maintaining their economic status in the global sphere. The result was thousands of Europeans flocking to the goldfields to make their fortunes. These newcomers known as Uitlanders (outlanders), were seen by the residents of the South African Republic as a threat to their continuing independence. To counteract the invasion of European (mainly British) immigrants, President Kruger devised a plan to restrict the political rights of these new inhabitants. Kruger set forth a policy that would deny the Uitlanders the right to vote in presidential and Volksraad elections until they met a requirement of fourteen years residence and became naturalized citizens. This stance by Kruger was taken to prevent a British take over in the government, as the Afrikaners were quickly becoming a min!
ority. This resulted in an outraged British government, and this became the central issue between the two powers. Following that, Kruger's government introduced new policies to weaken the European strongholds in the mining industry. This was done by ushering in policies that limited British profits. The first of these policies was a taxation that was placed on rail transport, and the manufacturing of dynamite. This would eventually lead to many grievances between the Chamber of Mines and the Government. The Uitlanders believed that to overcome these problems, and to prosper a new government was an absolute necessity. This began a new era in the relations between the two governments. So in 1895 the British appointed Joseph Chamberlain to the colonial office. Chamberlain was a die-hard imperialist who wanted to place South Africa under the British flag.
In December of 1895, Cecil Rhodes (who was the premier of the cape) and some of his subordinates, and associates from the mining industry wanted to overthrow the government of the South African Republic. Rhodes felt that since foreign miners (in Transvaal) outnumbered the Boers (2:1) that he could easily take the region by force and prevent an expensive and lengthy war. Rhodes contacted his long time friend Doctor Leander Starr Jameson, the two men then conspired a plan to attack Johannesburg, Pitsani, and finally Cape Town. The attack was to take place between Christmas 1895 and January 4th 1896. Rhodes and Jameson had sent many telegraphs in the preceding weeks. These telegraphs, along with rumors slurred from drunken Uitlander sympathizers fell directly into the lap of president Kruger. When Rhodes had realized that he did not have total support from the Uitlanders he began to telegraph Jameson to call off the raid. However, Jameson believed that Rhodes was simply trying t!
o cover up the conspiracy, and he continued to move forward with the attack. On the evening of the raid Jameson sent a besotted Uitlander trooper to cut the telegraph wires t
Terminology mentioned in this term paper
South African, British,
Names mentioned in this term paper
Prime Minister Kruger, an “uncompromising negotiator intent, Cecil Rhodes, Starr Jameson, a die-hard imperialist, Ed, Frederick S. Roberts, Hobson, Bibliography Barbary, nick, Theodore C. Caldwell, Andrew, Britains, Howard Fertig, Mc Ewan, Boers,
Organizations referenced in this research material
British government, British South African league, Oxford University, Pretoria Government,
Locations included in this research paper
the late 19th century, Britain, Africa., London, Great Britain, New York, Canada, Johannesburg, Pemberton, New Zealand, Boston, Australia,
Holiday mentioned in this report
Companies talked about in this term paper
Microsoft Corp, Sons Publishing Co., Microsoft® Encarta®, Batsford Ltd.,
Keywords referenced in this term paper
South Africa, boer, South African, south african republic, the boer war, south african war, Orange Free State, anglo boer war, president kruger, british government, New York, uitlanders, British colonies, British flag, British military, British South African, Oxford University Press, Rhodes, Alfred Milner, war machine, war debt, Transvaal, Joseph Chamberlain, the british government, afrikaners, Cape Colony, Nineteenth Century, Microsoft Corp, telegraph, Cecil Rhodes, London, Bloemfontein Conference, Leander Starr Jameson, political rights, Great Britain, New Zealand, Canada, black people, Horatio Herbert Kitchener, camps, Afrikaner nationalism, self government, six thousand, Kopje, political ideologies, labourers, commando, crown colony, labour camps, labour force,