ANGLO-BOER RELATIONSHIP IN THE LAST HALF OF 19TH CENTURY
In spite of the occasional alliances between the Boers and the British, the two were never good friends and this enmity resulted into three wars i.e. first Anglo Boer war of 1881, the Jameson raid of 1895 and the second Anglo Boer war/ South African war.
The event that set off the wars between the British and the Boers was the annexation of Transvaal by the British in 1877. This annexation should be treated in deeper details.
BRITISH ANNEXATION OF TRANSVAAL IN 1877
Transvaal means beyond the Vaal river. It was a republic established by the Boer trekkers in the first half of the 19th century.
The British annexed it almost immediately but granted independence in 1852. In 1877 the British annexed Transvaal for the second time setting the stage for the first Anglo Boer war of 1880-1881.
CAUSES OF ANNEXATION
- The long held hatred and suspicion between the Boers and British since the British occupation on the cape easily lead to the British annexation.
- There was rise of British imperialism championed by Lord Carnavan and thus the state had to go
- This was the peak of the federation attempts by the British an d supporters of the scheme led by Carnavan
- The Transvaal President by that time Burghers was so unpopular partly coz of his poor financial policies and his financial religious beliefs.
- Even Pretorious who was President before Burgers had failed to establish a stronger government that could fight against annexation.
- The British were alarmed that Transvaal was seeking permanent links with other Europeans
- President Burgers economic mistake of borrowing from the cape British to construct a railway line caused economic and political hardships i.e.
- The land he had given as security was actually controlled by the Pedi though claimed by the Boers
- The British at the cape refused to give more loans to Transvaal leaving the state on the brink of economic collapse.
- The proposed Transvaal-Delageas railway failed to take off because of lack of technical staff so the material started rotting at Lauren co. Margues.
- As a result of the above Transvaal stated experiencing a state of bankruptcy
- The Boers already fed up by the misuse of Burghers refused to pay taxes to save their country from bankruptcy
- The British thought that the financial problems combined with the Pedi war had weakened the Transvaal state terribly
- The British feared that the instability and inefficient government could be exploited by the Zulu to attack Transvaal
- The British also wanted to secure the land that the Boers had given to the cape as security for their railway loan.
- The British policy since the great trek was to follow the Boers whenever they were
- The British wanted to kill off the rising trend of Boer nationalism at wanted to defend any interference into their independent existence.
- The British desire to exploit the minerals in Transvaal and take full monopoly over them.
- Disraeli’s government favored annexation to appease the capitalism backers of his regime.
BRITISH ANNEXATION OF TRANSVAAL IN 1877
EFFECTS OF THE ANNEXATION TO THE WHITES
- Initially there was no open Boer opposition to the annexation especially from Transvaal.
- It destroyed the federation plans of Carnavan and Sir Bartle Frere sent to complete the confederation project faced a lot of opposition from the Orange Free State.
- The British suspended the sitting of the Volksraad she feared it could increase anti- British feeling through condemning British occupation.
- The Boers lost independence to the British
- It increased the enmity and hostility of the Boers towards the British clearing.
- The Boers were humiliated since the British ignored their Volksraad and hence became a subjugated state.
- Later their British were faced with rising demands by the Transvaalers for the restoration of their independence.
- One of the major results was the starting of a series of wars between the British and the Boers.
- The disgusted Boers now looked towards the more active Kruger for leadership leading to the rise of Paul Kruger who dominated Boer politics up to 1902.
- There was growth of British imperialism since Britain’s control of South Africa increased.
- The annexation marked the beginning of serious attempts of federation and later led the union of the whites in 1910
- Transvaal sent delegates to London led by Kruger to plead for their independence though the British refused.
- President Burger lost his power to now energetic Paul Kruger
- The Boers refused to pay taxes to the British
- Sir Bartle Frere lost credibility after his failure to force a federation and a new lieutenant was appointed for South Africa.
TO THE AFRICANS
- They lost land to the Boers
- It cultivated divisions among the Africans
- It led to Anglo Pedi conflicts
- Many Africans lost their lives
- A lot of property was also destroyed
- The Pedi and the Zulu lost independence
- Sekukuni and Cetewayo lost their influence and authority
- The Zulu defeated the British at Isandhlwana in January 1879.
THIS VIDEO EXPLAINS MORE ABOUT THE BRITISH SETTLERS