Joseph Chamberlain

ChamberlainJoseph The Right Honourable '''Joseph Chamberlain
Chamberlain sought British domination of the Transvaal and Orange Free State by endorsing the civil rights of the disenfranchised Uitlanders. Britain also exerted steady military pressure. In April 1897, Chamberlain asked the Cabinet to increase the British garrison in South Africa by three to four thousand men – consequently, the quantity of British forces in the area grew during the next two years. The government appointed Sir Alfred Milner to the posts of High Commissioner and Governor-General of the Cape in August 1897 to pursue the issue more decisively.


Boerstrekboerswhite farmers
They contend that the Boers of the South African Republic (ZAR) and Orange Free State republics were recognised as a separate people or cultural group under international law by the Sand River Convention (which created the South African Republic in 1852), the Bloemfontein Convention (which created the Orange Free State Republic in 1854), the Pretoria Convention (which re-established the independence of the South African Republic 1881), the London Convention (which granted the full independence to the South African Republic in 1884), and the Vereeniging Peace Treaty, which formally ended the Second Anglo-Boer War on 31 May 1902.

Secretary of State for the Colonies

Colonial SecretaryColonial OfficeBritish Secretary of State for the Colonies
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner - born in Grand Duchy of Hesse (now in Germany) to Charles Milner (who had English roots from his father). Leo Amery - born in British India to an English father serving in India.

Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener

Lord KitchenerKitchenerHerbert Kitchener
He even entertained a peace treaty proposed by Louis Botha and the other Boer leaders, although he knew the British government would reject the offer; this would have maintained the sovereignty of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State while requiring them to sign a perpetual treaty of alliance with the UK and grant major concessions to the British, such as equal rights for English with Dutch in their countries, voting rights for Uitlanders, and a customs and railway union with the Cape Colony and Natal.


Pretoria, GautengPretoria, South AfricaSilverton
Republic of the Transvaal; 1852-1881 and 1884-1902) the principal battleground for the First and Second Boer War, the latter which brought both the Transvaal and the Orange Free State republic under British rule. "Marching to Pretoria" was one of the songs that British soldiers sang as they marched from the Cape Colony, under British Rule since 1814, to the capital of the Southern African Republic (or in Dutch, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek). As the song's refrain puts it: "We are marching to Pretoria, Pretoria, Pretoria/We are marching to Pretoria, Pretoria, Hurrah."

Cape Town

Cape Town, South AfricaCapeCape Town, Western Cape
Conflicts between the Boer republics in the interior and the British colonial government resulted in the Second Boer War of 1899–1902, which Britain won. In 1910, Britain established the Union of South Africa, which unified the Cape Colony with the two defeated Boer Republics and the British colony of Natal. Cape Town became the legislative capital of the Union, and later of the Republic of South Africa. In the 1948 national elections, the National Party won on a platform of apartheid (racial segregation) under the slogan of "swart gevaar".

Jan Smuts

SmutsGeneral SmutsJan Christiaan Smuts
Orange Free State President Martinus Steyn called for a peace conference at Bloemfontein to settle each side's grievances. With an intimate knowledge of the British, Smuts took control of the Transvaal delegation. Sir Alfred Milner, head of the British delegation, took exception to his dominance, and conflict between the two led to the collapse of the conference, consigning South Africa to war. On 11 October 1899, war was declared with a Boer offensive into the British-held Natal and Cape Colony areas, Boer republics, beginning the Second Boer War.

Pretoria Boys High School

Pretoria Boys HighPretoria Boys
This school was not in operation for very long owing to the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899. At the time, the building served as a prison, where notably Winston Churchill was briefly imprisoned. The school was part of the whites-only education system, until the abolition of apartheid. With Pretoria under British control, it became apparent to Lord Milner, the Colonial Secretary at the time, that the educational facilities in the city needed attention as there was no secondary school for English-speaking pupils. The Staats Model School was duly refurbished.

Cape Colony

Cape of Good HopeCapeGovernor of the Cape of Good Hope
This was known as the Great Trek, and the migrating Boers settled inland, forming the "Boer republics" of Transvaal and the Orange Free State. British immigration continued in the Cape, even as many of the Boers continued to trek inland, and the ending of the British East India Company's monopoly on trade led to economic growth. At the same time, the long series of border wars fought against the Xhosa people of the Cape's eastern frontier finally died down when the Xhosa partook in a mass destruction of their own crops and cattle, in the belief that this would cause their spirits to appear and defeat the whites.

Paul Kruger

KrugerPresident KrugerPresident Paul Kruger
The Boer War (1979).

Transvaal Colony

TransvaalWestern TransvaalColony of Transvaal
The Transvaal Colony was the name used to refer to the Transvaal region during the period of direct British rule and military occupation between the end of the Anglo-Boer War in 1902 when the South African Republic was dissolved, and the establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. The physical borders of the Transvaal Colony were not identical to the defeated South African Republic (which had existed from 1856 to 1902), but was larger. In 1910 the entire territory became the Transvaal Province of the Union of South Africa. Both the Boer republics, the South African Republic (ZAR) and the Orange Free State were defeated in the Anglo-Boer War and surrendered to Britain.

Ian Hamilton's March

Ian Hamilton's March is a book written by Winston Churchill. It is a description of his experiences accompanying the British army during the Second Boer War, continuing after the events described in London to Ladysmith via Pretoria. Churchill had officially resigned from the British army in order to pursue a political career, but on hearing of the outbreak of war in South Africa between the British colonies and the free Boer states of Transvaal and Orange Free State, immediately made arrangements to take part. He arranged to act as correspondent for The Morning Post, and by playing them off against the rival newspaper, the Daily Mail, obtained a salary of £250 per month.

South African Wars (1879–1915)

South African WarsSouth African WarBechuanaland Expedition
In 1881 the Boers rebelled and the First Anglo-Boer War ensued. In this war, power was regained by the Boers, though any possibility of expansion and alliance was blocked by the British. With the discovery of diamonds around 1885 in Griqualand, West Transvaal struggled with the Cape and the Free State for land, but to no avail. At the end of the South African Wars, the Transvaal was annexed by the 1910 Union of South Africa. By the beginning of the South African Wars, the Orange Free State was independently ruled by the Boers.

South African Republic

TransvaalTransvaal RepublicZuid-Afrikaansche Republiek
The former national flag, from 1927 to 1994, had, as part of a feature contained within its central white bar, a horizontal flag of the Transvaal Republic (ZAR). * Orange Free State * Documents Illustrating South African History 1795-1910


Bloemfontein, South AfricaTempebloem
With colonial policy shifts, the region changed into the Orange River Sovereignty (1848–54) and eventually the Orange Free State Republic (1854–1902). From 1902–10 it served as the capital of the Orange River Colony and since that time as the provincial capital of the Free State. In 1910 it became the Judicial capital of the Union of South Africa The Orange Free State was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century.

Great Trek

voortrekkervoortrekkersBoer Trek
The Voortrekkers retaliated with a 347-strong punitive raid against the Zulu (later known as the Flight Commando), supported by new arrivals from the Orange Free State. They were roundly defeated by about 7,000 warriors at Ithaleni, southwest of uMgungundlovu. The well-known reluctance of Afrikaner leaders to submit to one another's leadership, which later hindered sustained success in the Anglo-Boer Wars, was largely to blame. In November 1838 Andries Pretorius arrived with a commando of 60 armed trekkers and two cannon to assist in the defence.

Jameson Raid

Dr. Jameson's RaidAftermathfailed raid
Second Boer War. Second Matabele War.

Colony of Natal

NatalGovernor of the Colony of NatalLieutenant-governor of the Colony of Natal
In 1898, Natal entered the Customs Union already existing between Cape Colony and the Orange Free State. The Second Boer War broke out on 11 October 1899 with the Boer seizure of a Natal train on the Orange Free State border. Boer forces quickly occupied Newcastle. In the Battle of Talana Hill on 20 October 1899, outside Dundee, British forces under William Penn Symons defeated the Boer columns at high cost, and withdrew to Ladysmith. Boer forces proceeded to Ladysmith and surrounded the town, cutting off its communications from the south. The Siege of Ladysmith lasted until 28 February 1900, when the town was relieved by forces under Redvers Buller.


From 1897 onwards, the High Commissioner for South Africa, Sir Alfred Milner, and the Colonial Secretary, Joseph Chamberlain, used the denial of rights to the uitlanders as their main point of attack against the Transvaal. They encouraged uitlander agitation and pressed uitlander claims, with veiled threat of war, upon Kruger's government. In the end, British insistence and Kruger's intransigence led to the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899. Upon its defeat in 1902, the Transvaal became a British colony.

Treaty of Vereeniging

VereenigingTreaty of the Peace of Vereenigingconclusion of peace
The Treaty of Vereeniging (commonly referred to as Peace of Vereeniging) was the peace treaty, signed on 31 May 1902, that ended the Second Boer War between the South African Republic and the Republic of the Orange Free State, on the one side, and the United Kingdom on the other. This settlement provided for the end of hostilities and eventual self-government to the Transvaal (South African Republic) and the Orange Free State as colonies of the United Kingdom. The Boer republics agreed to come under the sovereignty of the British Crown and the British government agreed on various details.

David Lloyd George

Lloyd GeorgeRt Hon. David Lloyd GeorgeBritish Prime Minister David Lloyd George
February 1921 – Winston Churchill succeeds Lord Milner as Colonial Secretary. Sir Laming Worthington-Evans succeeds Churchill as War Secretary. Freddie Guest, Churchill's successor as Air Secretary, was not in the Cabinet. Lord Lee of Fareham succeeds Walter Long at the Admiralty. Sir Arthur Griffith-Boscawen succeeds Lee as Minister of Agriculture. March 1921 – Austen Chamberlain succeeds Bonar Law as Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the Commons. Sir Robert Horne succeeds Chamberlain at the Exchequer. Stanley Baldwin succeeds Horne at the Board of Trade. April 1921 – Lord French resigns from the cabinet, remaining Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

Orange River Colony

Orange Rivera British colonycolony
The Orange River Colony was the British colony created after Britain first occupied (1900) and then annexed (1902) the independent Orange Free State in the Second Boer War. The colony ceased to exist in 1910, when it was absorbed into the Union of South Africa as Orange Free State Province. During the Second Boer War, the British forces entered the territory of the Orange Free State and occupied the capital Bloemfontein on 13 March 1900.

H. H. Asquith

AsquithAsquithianHerbert Henry Asquith
He sometimes debated against his Balliol contemporary Alfred Milner, who although then a Liberal was already an advocate of British imperialism. He was elected Treasurer of the Union in 1872 but was defeated at his first attempt at the Presidency. During the General Election in January and February 1874 he spoke against Lord Randolph Churchill, who was not yet a prominent politician, at nearby Woodstock. He eventually became President of the Union in Trinity Term 1874, his last term as an undergraduate.

Siege of Ladysmith

Ladysmithdefence of LadysmithRelief of Ladysmith
Contrary to the advice of several British officials such as Sir Alfred Milner, the High Commissioner for Southern Africa, the Boer governments were not over-awed by the despatch of British troops to Natal. Instead, they regarded it as evidence of Britain's determination to seize control of the Boer republics. The Transvaal government under President Paul Kruger considered launching an attack in September, but President Steyn of the Orange Free State, who would later become the spiritual heart of the Boer resistance, dissuaded them for several weeks while he tried to act as intermediary. With the complete breakdown in negotiations, both republics declared war and attacked on 12 October.

British Empire

Eventually the Boers established two republics which had a longer lifespan: the South African Republic or Transvaal Republic (1852–77; 1881–1902) and the Orange Free State (1854–1902). In 1902 Britain occupied both republics, concluding a treaty with the two Boer Republics following the Second Boer War (1899–1902). In 1869 the Suez Canal opened under Napoleon III, linking the Mediterranean with the Indian Ocean. Initially the Canal was opposed by the British; but once opened, its strategic value was quickly recognised and became the "jugular vein of the Empire".