Beor war revision notes

extensive notes on the war how it was fought , why , and consequences it follows the edexcel book,

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History revision the Boer war.
The second Boer war/ Great Boer war.
Started on the 12 of October 1899, began because the British refused to withdraw troops from the
borders of south Africa and refused to redirect them away from south Africa. This cause two small
states Orange Free State and Transvaal Republic only made up of about 400,00 Dutch speaking people
to declare war on the powerful British empire.
How did the war come about?
Most of the heading to Africa did not know the origins or purpose of
the war. You must remember at this point the British were incredibly
powerful. They controlled and ¼ of the worlds land, 1/5 of humanity,
most of the worlds oceans, 50% of merchant shipping was British. The
Boer decision to declare war was seen as incredibly foolish. The root
of most wars are always complicated but this war mostly boils down to
whose going to own southern Africa the British empire or the Dutch
republic. At this time the British prime minister was Lord Salisbury.
A bit of background.
Colonisation of southern Africa.
In the seventeenth century the Dutch seized the tip of southern
Africa from the Portuguese, through out the next two centuries
the Dutch fanned out, establishing farms. They caused a lot of
conflict with the native tribes as they tried to expand. In the
Napoleonic wars the British seized the cape, this was because it
safe guarded their trade route to India. In the peace treaties of
1814-25 the British ownership of the cape was confirmed. British
now joined the Dutch in being farmers and traders of south
In 1833 Britain abolished slavery, the Boers did not agree with
this reform. So they moved further into Africa and set up their
own two states these were Orange Free State and Transvaal. This
was so far into Africa it was almost out of British reach but the Dutch also called vortrekkers were
still dependent on communications through British territory.
Zulu Wars.
battle at Rorke's Drift
In the 1870s the British high commissioner Sir Bartle Frere wanted to 'tidy up' the British rule in
south Africa, he aimed to do this by weakening the natives (Zulus) and he wanted imperial
dominion over cape province, natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. This is what started the Zulus
wars, the Boers joined the British against the Zulus. The Transvaal were not prepared for war they
could not afford It they had equal to 75 pence in their treasury. The war began with a terrible
disaster, the bulk of a British regiment was wiped out by the Zulus at Isandlwana, due to a shortage
of screwdrivers which caused a shortage of ammo as they could not open the ammo crates. This left
the British line open and the Zulus broke through. All was not lost though a couple days later the
British defeated the Zulus at Rorke's Drift. They were also defeated again in the battle of ulundis on
the 4 July 1879. it seemed frere scheme worked. They managed to defeat the Zulus but these
caused the leader of the Boers Kruger to want independence.First boer war.

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Now the Zulu threat was removed, the Boers of Transvaal wanted their independence back. Due to
a new liberal government led by William Gladstone and a fighting in Afghanistan, the Boers were
given their independence, but this was only after the British were defeated at Majuba hill in
February 1881. this is the first Boer war. The Boer thought this was what had won their
independence, but in reality Gladstone was already going to grant them their independence.…read more

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The course of the great Boer war.
What was the Boer army like?
The Boer army was vastly different from the British army. Made up of just over 50,000 men both
from Orange Free State and Transvaal as well as 500 foreign volunteers. It was a citizen army, with
out uniform. But each man had a rifle and was an excellent shot. Their transport they relied on
ponies. Each man had a say in strategies and tactics. They were organised into commandos.…read more

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Roberts carried on succeeding and eventually capturing the capital of the free
state, Bloemfontein, in march. There were severer shortages of supplies after these successes due
to relying too heavily on one railway. Also the typhoid disease hit Roberts army hard killing more
troops than the Boers had killed. By the end of may British troops had captured Johannesburg.
Pretoria was captured a week later making the war seem almost over. Roberts and Buller left in
autumn and Kitchener took over as Commander-in-chief in November.…read more

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For example with black week a lot of papers noticed how good the Boers were
as soldiers. But not everyone was always honest.
Support and opposition for the war
initially there was widespread support and enthusiasm for the war. Many papers encouraged this and
used it to increase sales.
There was also a lot of pro-boer supporters and many were hostile towards people considered
pro-beor.…read more

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The conservatives won 51 % of the votes 402 MPs compared to liberals
182 and labours 2 this was a staggering victory.
Significance of the war and its wider effects.
The aftermath of war and army reform.
At a large loss of life and money there were many lessons learnt from the Boer war. New
departments were set up specifically to look at problems with the military e.g. whole defence
establishment. Also post were abolished to help army organisation e.g. commander-in-chief.…read more


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