|Boer militiamen at Spioenkop|
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
History Documentary: The Story of the Second South African Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902, History Documentary, the Boer War, the Anglo-Boer Wars
First Anglo-Boer War, First Boer War
Long-standing Boer resentment turned into full-blown rebellion in the Transvaal (under British control from 1877), and the first Anglo-Boer War, known to Afrikaners as the "War of Independence", broke out in 1880. The conflict ended almost as soon as it began with a crushing Boer victory at Battle of Majuba Hill (27 February 1881). The republic regained its independence as the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek ("South African Republic"), or ZAR. Paul Kruger, one of the leaders of the uprising, became President of the ZAR in 1883. Meanwhile, the British, who viewed their defeat at Majuba as an aberration, forged ahead with their desire to federate the Southern African colonies and republics. They saw this as the best way to come to terms with the fact of a white Afrikaner majority, as well as to promote their larger strategic interests in the area.
In 1879, Zululand came under British control. Then in 1886, an Australian prospector discovered gold in the Witwatersrand, accelerating the federation process and dealing the Boers yet another blow. Johannesburg's population exploded to about 100,000 by the mid-1890s, and the ZAR suddenly found itself hosting thousands of uitlanders, both black and white, with the Boers squeezed to the sidelines. The influx of English labour in particular worried the Boers, many of whom resented the English miners.
The enormous wealth of the mines, soon became irresistible for British imperialists. In 1895, a group of renegades led by Captain Leander Starr Jameson entered the ZAR with the intention of sparking an uprising on the Witwatersrand and installing a British administration. This incursion became known as the Jameson Raid. The scheme ended in fiasco, but it seemed obvious to Kruger that it had at least the tacit approval of the Cape Colony government, and that his republic faced danger. He reacted by forming an alliance with Orange Free State.
The Second Boer War (Dutch: Tweede Boerenoorlog, Afrikaans: Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, literally "Second Freedom War") otherwise known as the Second Anglo-Boer War, was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on the one hand, and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic) and the Orange Free State on the other. The British war effort was supported by troops from several regions of the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, Canada, Newfoundland, British India, and New Zealand. The war ended in victory for the British and the annexation of both republics. Both would eventually be incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910.