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In the 2nd half of the 19th century attempts to bring together the whole of white South Africa under one regime started.
Both the Boers and the British realized the need for unity but while the Boers were after the Boers republics union only, the British were after the union of all the whites.
A MAP OF SOUTH AFRICA SHOWING THE PERFORMANCE OF DIFFERENT STATES AT FORMING A REPUBLIC
By 1854 Utreclt, Lydenburg Zoutpansburg had emerged with Transvaal to form the South African republic which despite the union remained popularly known as Transvaal Orange Free State remained alone.
The British had also united British Kafaria with natal to form the British colony of natal. So by 1854 4 political units existed in South Africa i.e. cape colony and natal under the British and Orange Free State and Transvaal under the Boers.
WHY WAS THERE A GENERAL DESIRE FOR FEDERATION
MAP OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Why was the national convention called?
The national convention was the body managed to present debate and to pass a new union constitution.
Delegates to the convention came from the four states of the cape, natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State.
Only delegates from the cape represented both the Africans and Europeans.
Racist Rhodesia sent observers but of course their impact was reflected into the convention outcomes.
The convention took place at Durban in Natal in October 1908.
Delegates met to discuss details of the nature of the proposed union.
The convention had to sort out the inter- territory railways and custom differences.
They met to prepare the removal of economic barriers to allow for closer economic cooperation.
It was to find an acceptable formula for the union that was binding to both Boers and the British.
It was to debate the nature of franchise
It was to bar the possibility of the re-occurrence of Anglo Boer wars.
It was to discuss the issue of the national language.
The convention was to clear the political economic and social problems hindering the union.
It was to debate the nature of the political governance that suited South Africa.
The British wore worried at the increasing Boer nationalism which they wanted to halt.
It was to pave way for the final reconciliation and unity between the Boers and the British.
The Boer advances to the Germans also worried the British into meeting the Boers in Durban.
It was also to determine the nature and rights of voting among the various races of South Africa.
RESULTS FOR THE CONVENTION
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