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.