SAHIS4: VEREENIGING TREATY

This unit is about the treaty of Vereeniging which was signed after the Anglo- Boer wars.

 

VEREENIGING TREATY

When after some Africans like the Pedi entered the war and started targeting the Boers, the Transvaal Boers (Handsoppers) convinced their friends in O.F.S (bitterinders) that it was hopeless to sacrifice their states for independence. The result was the Vereeniging meeting.

The Vereeniging meeting took place in the city of Vereeniging south of Johannesburg in the Transvaal state near the small town of Meyrton.

The treaty was between the victorious British and the Vanquished Boers especially those in Transvaal who hated the continuity of war.

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The treaty was signed on 31st may 1902.

The Boers were represented by the new crop of leaders i.e. general Smuts, Botha and Hertzoy yet Alfred Milner and Lord Kitchener represented the British.

AIMS OF THE TREATY (why it was signed)

  • The treaty primarily at ending the second Anglo Boer war especially then that both parties were worn out.
  • It was to end the hostility and rivalry between the two enemies
  • It was aimed at finding a middle ground to be followed by both the British and Boers and to forget their bitter past in the interest of external unity.
  • It aimed at confirming write superiority in South Africa and thus had to fix the Africans problem once and for all and bring the whole of South Africa under one meaningful authority.
  • It was aimed at preparing the way for the formation of the south Africans of union
  • It was to decide on the issue of citizenship and voting rights in South Africa.
  • It was also to find a solution over the official language to be used in South Africa.
  • The war had destroyed and demanded South Africa a solution had to be found how to put back the economy of sound footing.
  • It was supposed to pave way for the making of the draft constitution for South Africa.
  • It was also to find a way of having the whites control the economy of South Africa.

TERMS OF THE TREATY

Both Transvaal and Orange Free State were to lose their independence and become British colonies.

Whereas Transvaal’s name was to remain intact Orange Free State was to become Orange River Colony. Both the Boer provinces of Transvaal and Orange River colony were promised independence in the near future.

The Boers were to accept the hoisting of the British flag in their areas and had to accept the British crown as their head.

The Boers were to lay down their arms and ammunition and therefore the British soldiers would then be withdrawn.

Both the English and the Dutch languages were to be official and equal in status.

The Africans were not to play meaningful roles in South Africans politics and the issue of granting them Franchise was not to be addressed until after the Boers had got independence.

Those Africans who had deserted there work during the war were to be heavily punished.

Britain was to stop being the champion of Africans rights and had to stop protecting them.

Britain was to release all Boer prisoners of war and forgive all those bitternders who were still fighting them.

All the Africans held in concentration camps were to remain prisoners until further notice.

All those Africans holding arms were to be disarmed by Baden Powell

The Boers were allowed to keep their arms as a defense against their African neighbors.

The Boers were to stop discriminating against British goods and trade was to be made free and all had to charge similar tariffs on goods from outside South Africa.

The British were to give and 3 million to the Boers as compensation and 30 million pounds as developmental loans to rehabilitate Boer destroyed economy.

EFFECTS OF THE VEREENIGING TERMS ON THE WHITES

  • The only to independent Boer republics of O.F.S and Transvaal lost their independence and became British colonies.
  • The treaty created a foundation on which the British and Boers built for lasting unity between the two major white nations.
  • Placed South Africa in the hands of the whites since they alone were declared as the true citizens of the country.
  • The Boers lost Swaziland as it was declared a British protectorate in 1902.
  • It produced new progressive leaders for the Boers i.e. the prosperous farmer and clever guerrilla leader, Louis Botha emerged from Transvaal, San Christian Smuts an intelligent lawyer came from the cape and James Hertzog another brilliant lawyer emerged from Orange Free State.
  • The treaty boosted Boer nationalism and by 1908 vigorous Boer parties like Het Volk (the people) had pushed for their independence both in Transvaal and Orange Free State.
  • The treaty ended by making the British equal to the Boers setting the stage for white superiority.
  • The British stopped championing African rights and sided with the Boers in persecuting Africans.
  • It created peace among the whites and there arose no core Anglo Boer conflicts after then.
  • It laid the foundation for the union of South Africa which materialized in 1910 since it created Anglo Boer friendship.
  • It created a new chapter in Anglo Boer relationship whereby all their differences were to be solved through dialogue, negotiations and as equal partners.
  • It destroyed a possible German and Portuguese intrusion into South Africa politics since the Boers could not now a lie with any of the two.
  • The Boers economy was boosted by the British extension of large sums of money to them for example pounds 3 million was extended as compensations for the damage caused and pounds 30 million as developmental loans.
  • The whites promoted their languages i.e. English and the Dutch at the expense of the native language.
  • Boers won a great deal of what they had been fighting for example their hostility towards Africans was supported by the British.
  • The treaty destroyed the old Boer rivalry and actually by 1908 all the Boers from the four South African areas were one.
  • The treaty cleared the way for the national convention of 1908 which confirmed the union of all the whites in South Africa.
  • It led to the destruction of Krugernism since Paul Kruger was exiled and died in exile.

EFFECTS TO THE AFRICANS

  • The Africans were to be racially segregated since the ground was laid for the passing of apartheid.
  • With the loss of British protection Africans loss of independence was confirmed.
  • Africans military resistances were under mineral since the whites made a military alliance against the Africans.
  • The treaty however promoted Africans nationalism since the whites intensified their hostility against them.
  • Africans who had deserted their work during the war were punished heavily.
  • The pass law against the Africans was intensified and all those who had abused their passes were heavily punished. Africans became prisoners in their own country.
  • Africans were disfranchised especially in orange free colony and Transvaal making them second rate citizens.
  • It led to a lot of death among the Africans especially those who remained concentration camps weakening them further.
  • Africans were completely disarmed and it became illegal for them to own arms.
  • It intensified African military risings against the whites i.e. Bambatha rebellion of 1906.
  • Africans lost their land to the whites.
  • Reserves were made very poor since no financial help was extended to them yet they too had lost a lot of their property.
  • It increased African consciousness about their plight leading to the formation of A.N.C in 1912.
  • The treaty also led to African depopulation.

In conclusion the whites especially the Boers gained more than the Africans, as L. Thompson stated in his book, the compromise of union. The price of unity and conciliation was the institutionalization of white supremacy in short Africans lost their country to the whites.

 

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ASSIGNMENT : VEREENIGING TREATY assignment MARKS : 10  DURATION : 1 week, 3 days

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