January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History
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The South African War Part 4: Aftermath

Why did the SA War end? - Boers prolonged the war but could not win it. - British had larger numbers of soldiers in the field, superior weapons and resources. - Boer farms were devastated by British Scorched Earth Policy - Loss of lives in concentration camps → Fear that entire Afrikaner volk (people) would die out. - Concern that Africans were reclaiming land in the republics they had lost to Boers (NB: Zulu attack on a commando at Holkrantz in 1902). - Many Boers had surrendered (hensoppers) although a hard core of bittereinders (bitter enders) were fought until the very end.

Treaty of Vereeninging - 1902 • 1901 peace negotiations at Middelburg broke down – war dragged on another 13 months • May 1902: 60 Boer representatives (voted for by the commandos) met with British at Vereeniging. • Generals Botha and Smuts played key role in negotiations. • 31 May 1902 peace treaty was signed (54 of the 60 Boer representatives agreed to the terms)

Treaty of Vereeniging - 1902 • Boers were forced to accept British rule but British agreed to the following conditions: – Protection of Dutch language – Protection of Boer property rights – Promise of eventual self-government – Agreement that no rights would be given to blacks until self-government was set up – The British would pay 3 million towards settlement of Boer war debts. (The war had already cost the British over £200 million)

Signing the Treaty of Vereeniging at Melrose House 31 May 1902

Accessed at:

Human Cost of the South African War Military casualties 22,000 British soldiers died (35% in action 65% of disease) (Did you know? 80% of British men presenting for service in the Boer War were found by the Army Medical Corps to be physically unfit to fight.) 4,000 – 7,000 Boer soldiers died (estimates vary) Unknown how many black soldiers and agterryers died

Civilian casualties: • 27,927 Boer civilians died in concentration camps • At least 15,00 Black people died in camps.

Did the South African War cause the rise of Afrikaner nationalism th in the 20 century?

Afrikaner Nationalism • Some historians, such as G H L Le May, below have argued that the war gave rise to Afrikaner Nationalism:

“In the event, the memory of the war, carefully nurtured as it was, did more to unite Afrikanerdom than Kruger had ever succeeded in doing. The war gave to Afrikaners throughout South Africa common victims to mourn, common injuries upon which to brood, a common cause in the restoration of republicanism…” (S.B. Spies, Methods of Barbarism, p.337)

Afrikaner Nationalism Other historians disagree: ‘…In the early years after of the century, Afrikaners were fratricidally divided [brother against brother]. The war and its settlement were not an automatic forcing ground for Afrikaner nationalism…the need to create a new ‘imagined’ community arose at the moment of greatest external challenge and internal disintegration’ (S.Marks, Cambridge History of South Africa (2012) p.181)

Some Boers did not see the end of the war as a British victory. The author Stuart Cloete’s main character in his romance Rags of Glory, Louis van den Berg, says to himself on returning home after the war: “The British were of no importance now. They could do nothing more to him, these well-fed, red-faced Tommies, the smart officers on their fat, well-groomed horses. Victorious, yes. But he knew, and they knew that the Boers had never been properly beaten, had not been brought to their knees. Millions had been spent to bring about an unconditional surrender, but it had not been unconditional. There had been conditions, as there had to be with so many Boers still in the field at the end of it.” (Quote in J. GrobellerJ. Memories of a Lost Cause. Comparing remembrance of the Civil War by Southerners to the Anglo-Boer War by Afrikaners , Historia 52, 2, Nov 2006, pp 199-226. 199-226. 282006%29.pdf?sequence=1)

While the South African War was being fought…. What happened to the Boer Republics after the British captured Bloemfontein and Pretoria in 1900?

British control of the Republics: 1900-1905 • 1900: British military governor (Colin Mackenzie) took control of Transvaal. He was supported by the Uitlanders. • Lord Milner (Governor of the Cape and British High Commissioner of southern Africa) took control of former Boer republics late 1900. • His administration, which included a group of young, Oxford educated men was known as Milner’s ‘Kindergarten’.

Milner’s administration supported and protected the mining industry • Production and profit declined during War (see next slide) • Milner wanted to get the mining industry up and running as it was ‘South Africa’s one substantial, taxable asset’. • Mine owners had slashed wages (from 52s to 30s) so it was difficult to attract labour. • 1901: Milner revised and strengthened the pass and liquor laws which existed in the Boer Republics • Negotiated with Portuguese for access to African labour in Mozambique. • 1904-07: 60,000 Chinese indentured labourers were imported to work on mines.

Impact of War on Gold Production Gold Production on the Witwatersrand 1898 to 1905



Relative 2010 value (GB£) 4,295,608 £15,141,376 £6,910,000,000

1899 (Jan–Oct)


3,946,545 £14,046,686 £6,300,000,000

1899 (Nov- 1901 Apr)


574,043 £2,024,278


1901 (May–Dec)


238,994 £1,014,687




1,690,100 £7,179,074 £3,090,000,000



2,859,482 £12,146,307 £5,220,000,000



3,658,241 £15,539,219 £6,640,000,000



4,706,433 £19,991,658 £8,490,000,000


No. of Gold output Mines (fine ounces)

Value (GB£)

Milner’s Imperial Policy Lord Alfred Milner (Governor of British colonies of Cape, Natal, Orange River and Transvaal) tried to Anglicise (make more British) the old Boer Republics. He said: ‘The British population should be so increased and British interests, British ideas, British education, should gain ground to such an extent that the natural leaning of any federal selfgovernment of the future would be towards Great Britain and the Imperial Connection’

Milner’s Attitude to the Black Population in post-war South Africa “The white man must rule, because he is elevated by many, many steps above the black man; steps which it will take the latter centuries to climb, and it is quite possible that the vast bulk of the black population many never be able to climb at all” (Milner quoted by Marks in Cambridge History of South Africa (2012) p.175) • NB: Unlike the Boers, Black farmers whose farms had been destroyed received no compensation after the war.

The British re-establish White : Black power relations in ex-Boer Republics • After 1902 Africans were disarmed by British • British used negotiation, and if necessary force, to re-settle Boers on land and reestablish labour relations between white landowners and black tenant labourers. “The land belongs to the Boers as before the war” A British Native Commissioner told the Pedi. • By early 1903 taxes were being collected again.

How has the South Africa War been memorialised? (+ separate ppt) • This is part of the memorial to the Boer women and children to died in the British concentration camps during the South African war.

Post-war Afrikaner Politics • 1905: Leading Boer generals established the Transvaal based Het Volk (the people): Jan Smuts was the leader • Het Volk demanded self-government (granted in 1906) • Won the support of English as well as Afrikaans speaking whites by promising job creation for all poor whites. • 1904-06 Oranje Unie (Orange Union) founded with JBM Hertzog as leader

Post War opposition to the treatment of Black population. - Many Black people had supported the British. - They believed that political rights for Black people would be extended if they won. - Black people were disappointed when they realised that the British were more interested in creating a united white South Africa. - British wanted to reconcile with Boers. - New black parties established: eg: 1902 – African Political Organisation

Steps towards Union of South Africa • 1906: Former Boer republics were granted ‘responsible government’ within British Empire (only whites could vote) • 1909: The Act of Union was passed. • 1910: The country of South Africa was created - South Africa had four provinces: Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal. - Louis Botha became the first Prime Minister with Jan Smuts as his deputy. Both men were former Boer generals and both believed in unity and rencilliation between English and Afrikaners

Post War opposition to Union (1909). • South African Native Convention Called by J.Dube, JT Jabavu, W. Rubusnana in Bloemfontein. - Demanded the vote for all men regardless of colour and an end to racial discrimination. • Rubusana (with Abdurahman) led an unsuccessful delegation to London to protest against the colour bar and the planned Act of Union. • Ghandi also led a unsuccessful delegation to London to give Indian the population’s view of Union.

What happened to Black people after the Union of South Africa?

‘Segregation was the cement of the new white South Africa’ • 1911: Mines and Works Act (reserved skilled and semi-skilled jobs for whites only) • 1913: Land Act (Only 7% land reserved for black people – this increased to 13% in 1936) • 1923: Urban Areas Act (black people required to live in segregated urban ‘locations’) • 1924: ‘Civilised Labour Policy’ government encouraged the employment for white labour in public sector at a higher wage level. • 1936: Blacks people in Cape removed from common voters rolls.

The Native Land Act, 1913 The terms of the Land Act: - 93% of south African land was reserved for white ownership and occupation. - Black people (70% of the population) could own 7% of the land. - Black people could only stay in white south Africa if they were legally employed. Who signed this Act? - The all-white South African Parliament.

Impact of the 1913 Land Act • The Act made sharecropping illegal. • The Land Act was unevenly applied across South Africa • Many black people (especially in Orange Free State) were forced off land and into ‘native reserves’. • Overcrowding, soil erosions, malnutrition in reserves. • Further loss of independence for African peasant farmers (some of whom were economically competing with white farmers)

Black people’s response to the 1913 Land Act. 1912: South African Native National Congress (Later became the ANC) founded 1919: SANNC sent a delegation to London to protest against the Land Act and pass laws. The British government refused to interfere in SA affairs but Prime Minister Lloyd George wrote to Smuts: “If they [black people] have no effective mode of expression, it is obvious that sooner or later results must come … The colour question is now a world question…”

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