The Cape of Good Hope ,South Africa was founded in 1652 as a halfway house for the Dutch fleet to pick up fresh water and fresh vegetable for their crews. These ships were on their way to trade in the Orient, to places like Batavia ,India and Malaysia. The only indigenous people living in this area were the Koi ,so as the Colony grew, more workers were needed and the Dutch imported slaves from Malaysia, India and the east coast of Africa.
After the Dutch ,some Germans arrived and after the prosecution of the Catholics in Europe ,many French Huguenots also arrive at the southern point of Africa. As the Europeans never invaded Southern Africa like the Americas, it grew slowly and supplied the trading fleet of ships with their fresh food and water.
In 1806 the British defeated the Dutch and the Cape become a British Colony by 1814.
Battle of Blauwberg 1806 . British take over the Cape of Good Hope.
In 1838 many of the Dutch ( Boers) decided to move north and remove themselves from British rule. Historians have identified various factors that contributed to the migration of an estimated 12,000 Voortrekkers to the future Natal, Orange Free State and Transvaal regions. The primary motivations included discontent with the British rule. The migrants also sought fertile farmland, as good land was becoming scarce within the colony's frontiers. The Great Trek also resulted from increasing population pressures, as Trekboer migrations eastward had come to a virtual stop for at least three decades, though some Trekboers did migrate beyond the Orange River prior to the Great Trek.
The Great Trek was made up of a number of waves of parties and migration of Afrikaans speaking settlers from the Cape Colony to most of the rest of what is today modern day South Africa. Outside of the Cape Colony borders they formed the two Boer Republics the Orange Free State (named after the Royal House of the Netherlands) and the Transvaal. The Boers and Africans lived side by side -not always peaceful but mostly so. After towns and cities where established ,the Africans would enjoy some of the first world amenities and some would seek work on the farms and towns, to earn wages. In 1866 all this changed when diamonds and gold were discovered and the two barren Boer Republics all of a sudden became very important to the rest of the world.
Paul Kruger the president of the Transvaal Republic tried to control the sales of the gold and establish a railroad to the harbor of Lourenco Marques where the gold could be shipped world wide ,without using the Cape harbors and avoiding the taxes imposed by the British Government.
Cecil John Rhodes .
Cape to Cairo- Rhodes wanted it to be part of the British Empire.
Cecil John Rhodes the prime minister of the Cape Colony was furious and instigated several attacks on the Boer Republics, but to no avail. In 1899 he got Chamberlain on his side and the Boer War started. It would last for three years and kill 26,000 women and children in their "scourged earth" policy to defeat the Boers.
Below are some photos and cartoons that were published all over the world as many people saw it for what it was- a war by the British Empire to grab the riches of the Boer Republics.
The Boer Republics in Orange.
Young Boer Warriors.
Republic of the Orange Free State.
Republic of Tranvaal
The Boer Republics in Orange.
Paul Kruger. President of the Transvaal.
Boers on Commando.
Generals De la Rey, De Wet and Botha.
Cecil John Rhodes Instigator.
The Devil is off to War.
Kruger and the British tin soldiers.
Tin soldiers captured.
Theater of War.
Bad news for Mr. Chamberlain.
John Buller tied down like Gulliver by the Transvaal and the Free State.
Kruger clobbering the Brits while Queen Vic looks on.
Kruger kicks the British out of Transvaal.
Paul Kruger and "Dogs of War"
John Buller telling the Boers to back off!
Boers waiting for the British Army in Natal.
Loosing a British Train.
Queen Victoria giving her soldiers chocolate while Kruger gives them hell.
Britannia consoling her people.
Kruger taking over England- as Caesar.
Buller before- Buller after....
Kruger cleaning up at Ladysmith.
Ladysmith has fallen.
John Bull is a little Boer-ed.
Kruger smacking the Khaki's
Queen Vic viewing her mules.
Theater of War. Queen Vic on stage.
England boiling in the sausage kettle.
Kruger and Father Christmas.
Kruger as a bull fighter.
President and Mrs. Kruger having a cup of coffee.
Death of Mrs. Kruger.
Mrs. Kruger in Heaven- Queen Victoria in Hell.
Lord Roberts and Kitchener.
David and Goliath- Buller fighting Kruger for the mountain of gold.
"Boer en Rooinek " game.
Boer head on a stick.
John Buller and Queen Victoria in bed worrying about the Boer War. Paper Soldiers.
The Boer on the right on the mountain .
The English Lion being gaffed by Kruger the Bull.
Boer and Brit.
John Buller lost the key to Ladysmith.
Boer War concentration camps.
"A little Transvaal Prisoner"
Concentration Camps for Boer Women and Children.
Boer Concentration Camps.
"Stop the War"
Buller and Boer.
Boer War Death toll.
According top the Encyclopedia Britannica nearly 100,000 lives were lost, including those of more than 20,000 British troops and 14,000 Boer troops. Noncombatant deaths include the more than 26,000 Boer women and children estimated to have died in the concentration camps from malnutrition and disease; The total number of African deaths in the concentration camps was not recorded, but estimates range from 13,000 to 20,000.
War in Transvaal.
Tragedy of the Boer War.
Cecil Johan Rhodes with a bottle of Champagne while the Transvaal burns.
Transvaal and the Orange Free State on the pyre.
Cost of War.
Boer War. Asking Uncle Sam to help.
Read here about the American involvement in the Boer War.