Boer (/ˈboʊ.ər, bɔːr, bʊər/; Afrikaans: [buːr]) is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun for "farmer". In South African contexts, "Boers" (Afrikaans: Boere) refers to the descendants of the then Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th and much of the 19th century. From 1652 to 1795 the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806.
In addition, the term "Boers" also applied to those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State, Transvaal (together known as the Boer Republics), and to a lesser extent Natal. They emigrated from the Cape primarily to escape British rule and to get away from the constant border wars between the British imperial government and the indigenous peoples on the eastern frontier.
Boer family in 1886
|c. 1.5 million|
|Related ethnic groups|
The Dutch East India Company had been formed in the Dutch Republic in 1602, and the Dutch had entered keenly into the competition for the colonial and imperial trade of commerce in Southeast Asia. In 1648 one of their ships was stranded in Table Bay, and the shipwrecked crew had to forage for themselves on shore for several months. They were so impressed with the natural resources of the country that on their return to the Republic, they represented to the directors of the company the great advantages to the Dutch Eastern trade to be had from a properly provided and fortified station of call at the Cape. The result was that in 1652, a Dutch expedition led by surgeon Jan van Riebeek constructed a fort and laid out vegetable gardens at Table Bay.
Landing at Table Bay, Van Riebeek took control over Cape Town, the settlement developed during the previous 10 years. In 1671 the Dutch first purchased land from the native Khoikhoi beyond the limits of the fort built by Van Riebeek; this marked the development of the Colony proper. The earliest colonists were for the most part people of low station; but, as the result of the investigations of a 1685 commissioner, the government worked to recruit a greater variety of immigrants to develop a stable community. They formed a class of "vrijlieden", also known as "vrijburgers" (free citizens), former Company employees who remained at the Cape after serving their contracts. A large number of vrijburgers became independent farmers and applied for grants of land, as well as loans of seed and tools, from the Company administration.
More settlers were landed from time to time, including a number of orphan girls from Amsterdam, and during 1688–1689, the colony was greatly strengthened by the arrival of nearly two hundred French Huguenots. Political refugees from the religious wars in France, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, they were settled at Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Franschhoek and Paarl. The influence of this small body of immigrants on the character of the Dutch settlers was marked. The Company in 1701 directed that only Dutch should be taught in the schools. This resulted in the Huguenots assimilating by the middle of the 18th century, with a loss to the community in the use and knowledge of French. The little settlement gradually spread eastwards, and in 1754 the country as far as Algoa Bay was included in the colony.
At this time the European colonists numbered eight to ten thousand. They possessed numerous slaves, grew wheat in sufficient quantity to make it a commodity crop for export, and were famed for the good quality of their wines. But their chief wealth was in cattle. They enjoyed considerable prosperity.
Through the latter half of the 17th and the whole of the 18th century, troubles arose between the colonists and the government. The administration of the Dutch East India Company was extremely despotic. Its policies were not directed at development of the colony, but to using it to profit the Company. The Company closed the colony against free immigration, kept the whole of the trade in its own hands, combined the administrative, legislative and judicial powers in one body, prescribed to the farmers the nature of the crops they were to grow, demanded a large part of their produce as a kind of tax, and made other exactions.
From time to time, servants in the direct employment of the company were endowed with the right of "freeburghers"; but the company retained the power to compel them to return into its service whenever they deemed it necessary. This right to force into servitude those who might incur the displeasure of the governor or other high officers was not only exercised with reference to the individuals themselves who had received this conditional freedom; it was claimed by the government to be applicable likewise to the children of all such.
The effect of this tyranny was inevitable: it drove men to desperation. They fled from oppression, and even before 1700 trekking began. In 1780, Joachim van Plettenberg, the governor, proclaimed the Sneeuberge to be the northern boundary of the colony, expressing "the anxious hope that no more extension should take place, and with heavy penalties forbidding the rambling peasants to wander beyond." In 1789, so strong had feeling amongst the burghers become that delegates were sent from the Cape to interview the authorities at Amsterdam. After this deputation, some nominal reforms were granted.
It was largely to escape oppression that the farmers trekked farther and farther from the seat of government. The company, to control the emigrants, established a magistracy at Swellendam in 1745 and another at Graaff Reinet in 1786. The Gamtoos River had been declared, c. 1740, the eastern frontier of the colony; but it was soon passed. In 1780, however, the Dutch, to avoid collision with the warlike Bantu tribes advancing south and west from east central Africa, agreed with them to make the Great Fish River the common boundary. In 1795 the heavily taxed burghers of the frontier districts, who were afforded no protection against the Bantus, expelled the officials of the Dutch East India Company, and set up independent governments at Swellendam and Graaff Reinet.
The Trek Boers of the 19th century were the lineal descendants of the Trek Boers of the 18th century. What they had learnt of government from the Dutch East India Company they carried into the wilderness with them. The end of the 19th century saw a revival of this same tyrannical monopolist policy in the Transvaal. If the formula, "In all things political, purely despotic; in all things commercial, purely monopolist," was true of the government of the Dutch East India Company in the 18th century, it was equally true of Kruger's government in the latter part of the 19th.
The underlying fact which made the trek possible is that the Dutch-descended colonists in the eastern and northeastern parts of the colony were not cultivators of the soil, but of purely pastoral and nomadic habits, ever ready to seek new pastures for their flocks and herds, and possessing no special affection for any particular locality. These people, thinly scattered over a wide territory, had lived for so long with little restraint from law that when, in 1815, by the institution of "Commissions of Circuit", justice was brought nearer to their homes, various offences were brought to light, the remedying of which caused much resentment.
In 1795, Holland having fallen under the revolutionary government of France, a British force under General Sir James Henry Craig was sent to Cape Town to secure the colony for the Prince of Orange, a refugee in England , from the French. The governor of Cape Town at first refused to obey the instructions from the prince; but, when the British proceeded to take forcible possession, he capitulated. His action was hastened by the fact that the Khoikhoi, deserting their former masters, flocked to the British standard. The burghers of Graaff Reinet did not surrender until a force had been sent against them; in 1799 and again in 1801 they rose in revolt. In February 1803, as a result of the peace of Amiens (February 1803), the colony was handed over to the Batavian Republic, which introduced many needed reforms, as had the British during their eight years' rule. One of the first acts of General Craig had been to abolish torture in the administration of justice. Still the country remained essentially Dutch, and few British settlers were attracted to it. Its cost to the British exchequer during this period was £16,000,000. The Batavian Republic entertained very liberal views as to the administration of the country, but they had little opportunity for giving them effect.
When the War of the Third Coalition broke out in 1803, a British force was once more sent to the Cape. After an engagement (January 1806) on the shores of Table Bay, the Dutch garrison of Castle of Good Hope surrendered to the British under Sir David Baird, and in the 1814 Anglo-Dutch treaty the colony was ceded outright by Holland to the British crown. At that time the colony extended to the line of mountains guarding the vast central plateau, then called Bushmansland, and had an area of about 120,000 sq. m. and a population of some 60,000, of whom 27,000 were whites, 17,000 free Khoikhoi and the rest slaves, mostly imported blacks and Malays.
Although the colony was fairly prosperous, many of the Dutch farmers were as dissatisfied with British rule as they had been with that of the Dutch East India Company, though their grounds for complaint were not the same. In 1792, Moravian missions had been established for the benefit of the Khoikhoi, and in 1799 the London Missionary Society began work among both Khoikhoi and Bantus. The missionaries' championing of Khoikhoi grievances caused much dissatisfaction among the majority of the colonists, whose views temporarily prevailed, for in 1812 an ordinance was issued which empowered magistrates to bind Khoikhoi children as apprentices under conditions differing little from that of slavery. Meantime, however, the movement for the abolition of slavery was gaining strength in England, and the missionaries appealed from the colonists to the mother country. An incident which occurred in 1815–1816 did much to make permanent the hostility of the frontiersmen to the British.
A farmer named Frederick Bezuidenhout refused to obey a summons issued on the complaint of a Khoikhoi, and, firing on the party sent to arrest him, was himself killed by the return fire. This caused a small rebellion, known as Slachters Nek, in 1815, called “the most insane attempt ever made by a set of men to wage war against their sovereign” (Henry Cloete). Upon its suppression, five ringleaders were publicly hanged at the spot where they had sworn to expel “the English tyrants.” The feeling caused by the hanging of these men was deepened by the circumstances of the execution , for the scaffold on which the rebels were simultaneously hanged broke down from their united weight and the men were afterwards hanged one by one. An ordinance was passed in 1827, abolishing the old Dutch courts of landdrost and heemraden (resident magistrates being substituted) and establishing that henceforth all legal proceedings should be conducted in English. The granting in 1828, as a result of the representations of the missionaries, of equal rights with whites to the Khoikhoi and other free coloured people, the imposition (1830) of heavy penalties for harsh treatment of slaves, and finally the emancipation of the slaves in 1834, were measures which combined to aggravate the farmers' dislike of government. Moreover, the inadequate compensation awarded to slave-owners, and the suspicions engendered by the method of payment, caused much resentment; and in 1835 the farmers again removed to unknown country to escape an unloved government. Emigration beyond the colonial border had in fact been continuous for 150 years, but it now took on larger proportions.
The year which witnessed the emancipation of the slaves and the creation of the first treaty state also saw the beginning of another disastrous Frontier war. Fighting began in December 1834, and lasted nearly a year. The Xhosa wrought great havoc; and Sir Benjamin D'Urban, the governor, in order to secure peace, extended the boundary of the colony to the Kei River. The Xhosa had suffered much injustice, especially from the commando-reprisal system, but they had also committed many injustices, and the vacillating policy of the Cape government was largely to blame for the disturbed state of the border. Sir Benjamin's policy , which had support of both Dutch and British colonists , was one of close settlement by whites in certain districts and military control of the Bantus in other regions, and it would have done much to ensure peace.
Lord Glenelg, secretary for the colonies in Lord Melbourne's second administration, held that the Xhosa were in the right in the quarrel, and he compelled D'Urban to abandon the conquered territory, a decision adopted largely on the advice of John Philip and his supporters. By 1836 a critical state had arisen in South Africa. The colonists had lost their slaves, the eastern frontier was in a state of insecurity, the British immigrants of 1820 were still struggling against heavy odds, and the Dutch colonists were in a state of great indignation.
The Great Trek occurred between 1835 and the early 1840s. During that period some 12,000 to 14,000 Boers (including women and children), impatient of British rule, emigrated from Cape Colony into the great plains beyond the Orange River, and across them again into Natal and the vastness of the Zoutspansberg, in the northern part of the Transvaal. Those Trekboere who occupied the eastern Cape were semi-nomadic. A significant number in the eastern Cape frontier later became Grensboere ("border farmers") who were the direct ancestors of the Voortrekkers.
Though the Boers accepted British rule without resistance in 1877, they fought two Boer Wars in the late 19th century to defend their internationally recognised independent countries, the republics of the Transvaal (the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, or ZAR) and the Orange Free State (OFS), against the threat of annexation by the British Crown. This led the key figure in organising the resistance, Paul Kruger, into conflict with the British.
After the second Anglo-Boer War, a Boer diaspora occurred. Starting in 1903, the largest group emigrated to the Patagonia region of Argentina. Another group emigrated to British-ruled Kenya, from where most returned to South Africa during the 1930s, while a third group under the leadership of General Ben Viljoen emigrated to Mexico and to New Mexico and Texas in the southwestern United States.
The Maritz Rebellion (also known as the Boer Revolt, the Five Shilling Rebellion or the Third Boer War) occurred in 1914 at the start of World War I, in which men who supported the re-creation of the old Boer republics rose up against the government of the Union of South Africa because they did not want to side with the British against Germany so soon after a long bloody war with the British.
Many Boers had German ancestry and many members of the government were themselves former Boer military leaders who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War. The rebellion was put down by Louis Botha and Jan Smuts, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment. One, Jopie Fourie, was convicted for treason when, as an officer in the Union Defence Force, he refused to take up arms with the British, and was executed in 1914.
The desire to wander, known as trekgees, was a notable characteristic of the Boers. It figured prominently in the late 17th century when the Trekboere began to inhabit the northern and eastern Cape frontiers, again during the Great Trek when the Voortrekkers left the eastern Cape en masse, and after the major republics were established during the Thirstland (Dorsland) Trek. When one such trekker was asked why he has emigrated he explained, "a drifting spirit was in our hearts, and we ourselves could not understand it. We just sold our farms and set out northwestwards to find a new home." A rustic characteristic and tradition was developed quite early on as Boer society was born on the frontiers of white settlement and on the outskirts of civilisation.
The Boer quest for independence manifested in a tradition of declaring republics, which predates the arrival of the British; when the British arrived, Boer republics had already been declared and were in rebellion from the VOC (Dutch East India Company).
The Boers of the frontier were known for their independent spirit, resourcefulness, hardiness, and self-sufficiency, whose political notions verged on anarchy but had begun to be influenced by republicanism. Most of the men were also skilled with the use of guns as they would hunt and also were able to protect their families with them.
The Boers had cut their ties to Europe as they emerged from the Trekboer group.
The Boers possessed a distinct Calvinist culture and the majority of Boers and their descendants were members of a Reformed Church. The Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk was the national Church of the South African Republic (1852–1902). The Orange Free State (1854–1902) was named after the Protestant House of Orange in the Netherlands.
The Calvinist influence, in such fundamental Calvinist doctrines such as unconditional predestination and divine providence, remains present in much of Boer culture, who see their role in society as abiding by the national laws and accepting calamity and hardship as part of their Christian duty.
During recent times, mainly during the apartheid reform and post-1994 eras, some white Afrikaans-speaking people, mainly with "conservative" political views and of Trekboer and Voortrekker descent, have chosen to be called "Boere", rather than "Afrikaners," to distinguish their identity. They believe that many people of Voortrekker descent were not assimilated into what they see as the Cape-based Afrikaner identity. They suggest that this developed after the Second Anglo-Boer War and the subsequent establishment of the Union of South Africa in 1910. Certain Boer nationalists have asserted that they do not identify as a right-wing element of the political spectrum.
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. Others contend, however, that these treaties dealt only with agreements between governmental entities and do not imply the recognition of a Boer cultural identity per se.
The supporters of these views feel that the Afrikaner designation (or label) was used from the 1930s onwards as a means of unifying (politically at least) the white Afrikaans speakers of the Western Cape with those of Trekboer and Voortrekker descent (whose ancestors began migrating eastward during the late 17th century and throughout the 18th century and later northward during the Great Trek of the 1830s) in the north of South Africa, where the Boer Republics were established.
Since the Anglo-Boer war, the term "Boerevolk" was rarely used in the 20th century by the various regimes because of the effort to assimilate the Boerevolk with the Afrikaners. A portion of those who are the descendants of the Boerevolk have reasserted use of this designation.
The supporters of the "Boer" designation view the term "Afrikaner" as an artificial political label which usurped their history and culture, turning "Boer" achievements into "Afrikaner" achievements. They feel that the Western-Cape based Afrikaners – whose ancestors did not trek eastwards or northwards – took advantage of the republican Boers' destitution following the Anglo-Boer War. At that time, the Afrikaners attempted to assimilate the Boers into a new politically based cultural label as "Afrikaners".
In contemporary South Africa, Boer and Afrikaner have often been used interchangeably. The Boers are the smaller segment within the Afrikaner designation, as the Afrikaners of Cape Dutch origin are more numerous. Afrikaner directly translated means "African," and thus refers to all Afrikaans-speaking people in Africa who have their origins in the Cape Colony founded by Jan Van Riebeeck. Boer is the specific group within the larger Afrikaans-speaking population.
The BCVO (Movement for Christian-National Education) is a federation of 47 Calvinist private schools, primarily in the Free State and the Transvaal, committed to educating Boer children from grade 0 through to 12.
Some local Radio stations promote the ideals of those who identify with the Boer people, like Radio Rosestad (in Bloemfontein), Overvaal Stereo and Radio Pretoria. An internet-based radio station, Boerevolk Radio, serves as a mouthpiece for Boer separatists.
Participants in the Second Anglo-Boer War
In the latter part of 1834, the frontier districts were full of talk of a mass trek. Exploring parties rode out to South-West Africa, to the north-eastern Transvaal, and along the coast belt to Natal. [...] These preparations are conclusive evidence against the traditional idea that the two primary causes of the Great Trek were the inadequate compensation paid for emancipated slaves and the upsetting of D'Urban's settlement of the eastern frontier after the Kaffir War of 1834-5 by the combined forces of Downing Street and Exeter Hall. It is true that many Trekkers, and those the most vocal, came from the eastern frontier lands, but others came from the northern districts where there was no Kaffir menace. The overthrow of the settlement was only a subsidiary cause though a powerful one.
The Boer War Memorial in Woolwich is located opposite the Royal Artillery Barracks on Grand Depot Road in Woolwich. The memorial marks the deaths of the 18 soldiers of the 61st Battery Royal Field Artillery who died in the Second Boer War. The memorial is a tall thin pink granite obelisk on a square plinth with a three-step base.The memorial has been Grade II listed on the National Heritage List for England since 1973.Barnet Boys School Boer War Memorial
The Barnet Boys School Boer War Memorial is located opposite Christ Church on the St Albans Road in Chipping Barnet, London. It marks the deaths of the eight former pupils of Barnet Boys School who died in the Second Boer War of 1899 to 1902 and was unveiled by Field Marshal Lord Grenfell in July 1903. It has been grade II listed on the National Heritage List for England since June 2017. The heritage listing describes the monument as "simple yet dignified".Boer Republics
The Boer Republics (sometimes also referred to as Boer states) were independent, self-governed republics in the last half of the nineteenth century, created by the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of the Cape Colony and their descendants, variously named Trekboers, Boers and Voortrekkers in mainly the middle, northern and north eastern and eastern parts of what is now the country of South Africa. Two of the Boer Republics achieved international recognition and complete independence: the South African Republic (ZAR or Transvaal) and the Orange Free State. The republics did not provide separation of church and state, and initially only the Dutch Reformed Church, then also other churches in the Calvinist Protestant tradition, were allowed. The republics came to an end after the Second Boer War which resulted in the British annexation and later incorporation into the Union of South Africa.Boerehaat
Boerehaat is an Afrikaans word that means "ethnic hatred of Boers", or Afrikaners as they became known after the Second Boer War. The related term Boerehater (English: "Boer-hater" or "Boer hater") has been used to describe a person who hates, prejudices or criticises Boers or Afrikaners.These terms were initially applied to British people perceived as prejudiced against the Boers, in the context of political conflict between the British and the Boers in southern Africa which culminated in the British defeat of the Boers in the Second Boer War. Accusations of Boerehaat have subsequently been made by Afrikaner nationalists to exploit historical British prejudice against the Boers for political gain. They have applied the term Boerehater to anyone who criticised them or opposed their interests in the Cape Colony, including English-speaking white South Africans, dissident Afrikaners and black South Africans.First Boer War
The First Boer War (Afrikaans: Eerste Vryheidsoorlog, literally "First Freedom War"), also known as the First Anglo-Boer War, the Transvaal War or the Transvaal Rebellion, was a war fought from 16 December 1880 until 23 March 1881 between the United Kingdom and the South African Republic (also known as the Transvaal Republic; not to be confused with the modern-day Republic of South Africa). The war resulted in defeat for the British and the second independence of the South African Republic.Frank de Boer
Franciscus "Frank" de Boer (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfrɑŋg də ˈbuːr]; born 15 May 1970) is a Dutch football manager who is currently the head coach of Atlanta United. A former defender, De Boer spent most of his professional playing career with Ajax, winning five Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Champions League. He later spent five years at Barcelona, where he won the 1998–99 La Liga title, before retiring after short spells at Galatasaray, Rangers, Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal.
De Boer is the second most capped outfield player in the history of the Netherlands national team, with 112 caps. He captained the Oranje to the semi-finals of both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000. He is the twin brother of Ronald de Boer, with whom he was a teammate at Ajax, Barcelona, Rangers, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal and the Netherlands national team.
After retiring from playing, De Boer went into management with the Ajax youth team and as assistant to Bert van Marwijk with the Netherlands national team. In December 2010, he took over as manager of Ajax and went on to win the Eredivisie title in his first season. In 2013, he received the Rinus Michels Award for manager of the year in the Netherlands after leading Ajax to their third successive Eredivisie title. The following year, he became the first manager to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles. He then had brief spells managing in Serie A with Internazionale in 2016 and Crystal Palace in the Premier League in 2017.History of South Africa
The first humans are believed to have inhabited South Africa more than 100,000 years ago. The historical record of this ethnically diverse country is generally divided into five distinct periods: the pre-colonial era, the colonial era, the post-colonial and apartheid eras, and the post-apartheid era. Much of this history, particularly of the colonial and post-colonial eras, is characterised by clashes of culture, violent territorial disputes between European settlers and indigenous people, dispossession and repression, and other racial and political tensions.
The discoveries of diamonds and gold in the nineteenth century had a profound effect on the fortunes of the region, propelling it onto the world stage and introducing a shift away from an exclusively agrarian-based economy towards industrialisation and the development of urban infrastructure. The discoveries also led to new conflicts culminating in open warfare between the Boer settlers and the British Empire, fought essentially for control over the nascent South African mining industry.
Following the defeat of the Boers in the Anglo-Boer or South African War (1899–1902), the Union of South Africa was created as a dominion of the British Empire in terms of the South Africa Act 1909, which amalgamated the four previously separate British colonies: Cape Colony, Natal Colony, Transvaal Colony, and Orange River Colony. The country became a self-governing nation state within the British Empire, in 1934 following enactment of the Status of the Union Act. The dominion came to an end on 31 May 1961 as the consequence of a 1960 referendum, which legitimised the country becoming a sovereign state named Republic of South Africa. A republican constitution was adopted.
From 1948–1994, South African politics were dominated by Afrikaner nationalism. Racial segregation and white minority rule known officially as apartheid, an Afrikaans word meaning "separateness”, came into existence in 1948 (under British rule), and became an official law of segregation when South Africa became a republic (it was an extension of segregationist legislation enacted in 1960). On 27 April 1994, after decades of armed struggle, terrorism and international opposition to apartheid, during which military and political support was provided primarily by the Soviet Union to the racial African National Congress (ANC), the ANC achieved victory in the country's first democratic election in which all races could vote. Since then, the African National Congress has controlled the politics of South Africa, in an uneasy alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions.History of South Africa (1815–1910)
During the Napoleonic Wars, the Cape Colony was annexed by the British and officially became their colony in 1815. Britain encouraged settlers to the Cape, and in particular, sponsored the 1820 Settlers to farm in the disputed area between the colony and the Xhosa in what is now the Eastern Cape. The changing image of the Cape from Dutch to British excluded the Dutch farmers in the area, the Boers who in the 1820s started their Great Trek to the northern areas of modern South Africa. This period also marked the rise in power of the Zulu under their king Shaka Zulu. Subsequently several conflicts arose between the British, Boers and Zulus, which led to the Zulu defeat and the ultimate Boer defeat in the Second Anglo-Boer War. However, the Treaty of Vereeniging established the framework of South African limited independence as the Union of South Africa.Louis Botha
Louis Botha (Afrikaans pronunciation: [ˈlu.i ˈbʊəta]; 27 September 1862 – 27 August 1919) was a South African politician who was the first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa—the forerunner of the modern South African state. A Boer war hero during the Second Boer War, he would eventually fight to have South Africa become a British Dominion.
In 1905, as prime minister, he called for the newly discovered Cullinan Diamond to be presented to King Edward VII.Maritz rebellion
The Maritz rebellion, also known as the Boer revolt or Five Shilling rebellion was an armed insurrection which occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, led by Boers who supported the reestablishment of the South African Republic in the Transvaal. Many members of the government were themselves former Boers who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War, which had ended twelve years earlier. The rebellion failed, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment.Military history of South Africa
The military history of South Africa chronicles a vast time period and complex events from the dawn of history until the present time. It covers civil wars and wars of aggression and of self-defence both within South Africa and against it. It includes the history of battles fought in the territories of modern South Africa in neighbouring territories, in both world wars and in modern international conflicts.Opposition to the Second Boer War
Opposition to the Second Boer War (1899–1902) was a factor in the war. Inside Britain and the British Empire, there was strong opposition to the Boers and a minority in favour of them. Outside the situation was reversed and indeed condemnation of Britain was often intense from many sources, left, right and centre. Inside Britain influential groups, especially based in the opposition Liberal Party formed immediately. They fought ineffectually against the British war policies, which were supported by the Conservative Party of Prime Minister Salisbury.
After the Boers switched to guerrilla warfare in 1900 and the British imposed very harsh controls on Boer civilians, the intensity of opposition rhetoric escalated. However, at all times supporters of the war controlled the British government, recruited soldiers in large numbers, and represented a majority of public opinion. Outside the British Empire the Boer cause won far more support as the British were reviled. However, all governments remained neutral. "Opposition" includes both opponents of the British war and also opponents of the Boers' war. This article includes opponents and supporters in the general public and the media, in Britain, the British Empire, and major neutral countries.Orange Free State
The Orange Free State (Dutch: Oranje-Vrijstaat, Afrikaans: Oranje-Vrystaat, abbreviated as OVS) was an independent Boer sovereign republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, which later became a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province. Extending between the Orange and Vaal rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein.In the northern part of the territory a Voortrekker Republic was established at Winburg in 1837. This state was in federation with the Republic of Potchefstroom which later formed part of the South African Republic (Transvaal).Following the granting of sovereignty to the Transvaal Republic, the British recognised the independence of the Orange River Sovereignty and the country officially became independent as the Orange Free State on 23 February 1854, with the signing of the Orange River Convention. The new republic incorporated the Orange River Sovereignty and included the traditions of the Winburg-Potchefstroom Republic.Although the Orange Free State developed into a politically and economically successful republic, it experienced chronic conflict with the British (in the Boer Wars) until it was finally annexed as the Orange River Colony in 1900. It ceased to exist as an independent Boer republic on 31 May 1902 with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging at the conclusion of the Second Anglo-Boer War. Following a period of direct rule by the British, it joined the Union of South Africa in 1910 as the Orange Free State Province, along with the Cape Province, Natal, and the Transvaal. In 1961, the Union of South Africa became the Republic of South Africa.The republic's name derives partly from the Orange River, which in turn was named in honour of the Dutch ruling family, the House of Orange, by the Dutch explorer Robert Jacob Gordon. The official language in the Orange Free State was Dutch.Raccoon
The raccoon ( or US: (listen), Procyon lotor), sometimes spelled racoon, also known as the common raccoon, North American raccoon,, northern raccoon, or coon, is a medium-sized mammal native to North America. The raccoon is the largest of the procyonid family, having a body length of 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in) and a body weight of 5 to 26 kg (11 to 57 lb). Its grayish coat mostly consists of dense underfur which insulates it against cold weather. Three of the raccoon's most distinctive features are its extremely dexterous front paws, its facial mask, and its ringed tail, which are themes in the mythologies of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Raccoons are noted for their intelligence, with studies showing that they are able to remember the solution to tasks for at least three years. They are usually nocturnal and omnivorous, eating about 40% invertebrates, 33% plants, and 27% vertebrates.
The original habitats of the raccoon are deciduous and mixed forests, but due to their adaptability they have extended their range to mountainous areas, coastal marshes, and urban areas, where some homeowners consider them to be pests. As a result of escapes and deliberate introductions in the mid-20th century, raccoons are now also distributed across much of mainland Europe, Caucasus, and Japan.
Though previously thought to be generally solitary, there is now evidence that raccoons engage in gender-specific social behavior. Related females often share a common area, while unrelated males live together in groups of up to four animals to maintain their positions against foreign males during the mating season, and other potential invaders. Home range sizes vary anywhere from 3 hectares (7.4 acres) for females in cities to 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) for males in prairies. After a gestation period of about 65 days, two to five young, known as "kits", are born in spring. The kits are subsequently raised by their mother until dispersal in late fall. Although captive raccoons have been known to live over 20 years, their life expectancy in the wild is only 1.8 to 3.1 years. In many areas, hunting and vehicular injury are the two most common causes of death.Ronald de Boer
Ronaldus "Ronald" de Boer (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈroːnɑld də ˈbuːr]; born 15 May 1970) is a Dutch former football midfielder who played for the Netherlands national team as well as a host of professional clubs in Europe. He is the older twin brother of Frank de Boer. He had the vast majority of his career success with Ajax. He currently works as Ajax A1 assistant manager.Royal Artillery Boer War Memorial
The Royal Artillery Boer War Memorial is located on The Mall in Central London. It marks the deaths of the 1083 soldiers of the Royal Artillery who died in the Second Boer War of 1899 to 1902 and was unveiled by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught in July 20 1910. It has been Grade II* listed on the National Heritage List for England since February 1970. The heritage listing describes the monument as "a war memorial of clear architectural and sculptural quality, designed by two well-respected artists".Second Boer War
The Second Boer War (11 October 1899 – 31 May 1902) was fought between the British Empire and two Boer states, the South African Republic (Republic of Transvaal) and the Orange Free State, over the Empire's influence in South Africa. It is also known variously as the Boer War, Anglo-Boer War, or South African War. Initial Boer attacks were successful, and although British reinforcements later reversed these, the war continued for years with Boer guerrilla warfare, until harsh British counter-measures brought them to terms.
The war started with the British overconfident and under-prepared. The Boers were very well armed and struck first, besieging Ladysmith, Kimberley, and Mahikeng in early 1900, and winning important battles at Colenso, Magersfontein and Stormberg. Staggered, the British brought in large numbers of soldiers and fought back. General Redvers Buller was replaced by Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener. They relieved the three besieged cities, and invaded the two Boer republics in late 1900. The onward marches of the British Army, well over 400,000 men, were so overwhelming that the Boers did not fight staged battles in defence of their homeland.
The British seized control of all of the Orange Free State and Transvaal, as the civilian leadership went into hiding or exile. In conventional terms, the war was over. The British officially annexed the two countries in 1900. Back home, Britain's Conservative government wanted to capitalize on this success and use it to maneuver an early general election, dubbed a "khaki election" to give the government another six years of power in London. British military efforts were aided by Cape Colony, the Colony of Natal and some native African allies, and further supported by volunteers from the British Empire, including Southern Africa, the Australian colonies, Canada, India and New Zealand. All other nations were neutral, but public opinion was largely hostile to the British. Inside the UK and its Empire there also was significant opposition to the Second Boer War.
The Boers refused to surrender. They reverted to guerrilla warfare under new generals Louis Botha, Jan Smuts, Christiaan de Wet and Koos de la Rey. Two years of surprise attacks and quick escapes followed. As guerrillas without uniforms, the Boer fighters easily blended into the farmlands, which provided hiding places, supplies, and horses.
The UK's response to guerilla warfare was to set up complex nets of block houses, strong points, and barbed wire fences, partitioning off the entire conquered territory. In addition, civilian farmers were relocated into concentration camps. Very large proportions of these civilians died of disease, especially the children, who mostly lacked immunities.
British mounted infantry units systematically tracked down the highly mobile Boer guerrilla units. The battles at this stage were small operations. Few died during combat, though many of disease. The war ended in surrender and British terms with the Treaty of Vereeniging in May 1902. The British successfully won over the Boer leaders, who now gave full support to the new political system. Both former republics were incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910, as part of the British Empire.South African Republic
The South African Republic (Dutch: Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek; ZAR), often referred to as the Transvaal or as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent and internationally recognised country in Southern Africa from 1852 to 1902. The country defeated the British in what is often referred to as the First Boer War and remained independent until the end of the Second Boer War on 31 May 1902, when it was forced to surrender to the British. After the war the territory of the ZAR became the Transvaal Colony.
The land area that was once the ZAR now comprises all or most of the provinces of Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and North West in the northeastern portion of the modern Republic of South Africa.Uitlander
Uitlander, Afrikaans for "foreigner" (lit. "outlander"), was the name given to foreign (mainly British) migrant workers during the Witwatersrand Gold Rush in the independent Transvaal Republic following the discovery of gold in 1886. The limited rights granted this group in the independent Boer Republics was one of the contributing factors behind the Second Boer War.