- During the Napoleonic Wars, Britain seized the southern tip of South Africa from the Dutch, and British settlers joined the Dutch as farmers and traders
- In 1833, the British abolished slavery across the empire. The Dutch farmers (or Boers) disliked this reform and British control, and began to move north.
- British power followed them, and in the 1840's Natal was annexed
- The Voortrekkers established 2 dutch states beyond the GB empire: The Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic
- The British acknowledged these states, provided they abolish slavery
- The dutch were dependant on communication through British territory
The Zulu Wars, 1879-80
- In the 1870's, Britain simed to tidy up their control of South Africa by weakednin gthe dominant native power (the Zulus) and federating the 4 white states (Natal, Transvaal Republic, Orange Free State and cape province)
- The Boer states were annexed the face of Zulu Power
- Transvaal very poor
- War began with disaster at Islandhlwana- most of one GB regiment wiped out (shortage in screwdrivers led to a delay in opening ammunitions)
- days later a comapny of the same regiment used the Martini Henry Rifle to win at "Rhorke's Drift"
- 4th 1879- Zulu Power destroyed at Ulandi
The First Boer War
- The "first Boer War" took place as after the Zulu threat had been removed, the Boers of the Transvaal demanded their independance back
- Boers defeated the British at the battle of Majuba Hill (the first boer was, feb 1881)
- The British conceded to the Boer demands- but were going to even before the battle took place, as Gladston (PM) and the liberal government had decided Britain was overstretched due to troops in Afghanistan
- Boers thought that their show of strength had paid off when really they were going to be granted independance anyway
- Kruger: had this opinion, thought that any future demands could be gained by swift military victory. His standing within the TR rose.
- He was leader of the Boer militants and from 1883 President of the TR
- In 1886, vas gold deposits were found in the Transvaal republic
- It became very rich and therefore a threat to the British Empire
- Produced 27% of the world's gold by 1898- suddenly independant, could be the centre of a new, rich Boer Empire
- The TR bought in weapons from the German Empire and also sought diplomatic help and protection from them
- Many "uitlanders"- British immigrants- went to the TR to find jobs and money
- But were not treated very well and were unhappy about high taxes, corruption in the TR and the fact that they were denied political rights
- Uitlanders and mine owners preferred British rule to the old fashioned, protestant rule of the Boer Farmers.
- GB pressed for better rights for uitlanders and the High Commissioner, Milner, used this as an excuse to take over
- BOER ULTIMATUM, 9th October 1899
Marxist Historians often see the war as capitalist, fought for gold and the profits of mine owners
Other historians say it was a struggle for British power dominance in South Africa- they sought establish their superiority over the Transvaal Republic on a firmer basis