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Wednesday, 01 May 2013

Boer Wars

 The Boer Wars (Afrikaans: Vryheidsoorloë, literally "freedom wars") were two wars fought during 1880–1881 and 1899–1902 by the British Empire against the Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic. They are sometimes referred to as "the South African War" in South Africa since the black population of South Africa was also involved in the conflicts.

The First Anglo-Boer War (1880–1881), was a rebellion of Boers (farmers) against British rule in the Transvaal that re-established their independence. The conflict occurred against the backdrop of the Pretoria government becoming increasingly ineffective at dealing with growing claims on South African land from rival interests within the country.
  1. The war was between the Transvaal Boers and the British.
  2. When the British annexed Transvaal in 1877 the Boers were angered.
  3. In 1877, the Pedi attacked the Boers of Transvaal, and Boers claimed the British had not adequately assisted them.
  4. The Transvaal population included many who were in debt to Cape bankers, perhaps adding to negative British perception of the Boers.
  5. The British wished to bring Transvaal by force into a union, which furthered chances of war.
  6. The British defeat by Zulus in 1879 at the Battle of Isandlwana had encouraged Boers to armed resistance.
 The Second War (1899–1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war—involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions, which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-governance). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa. The British fought directly against the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, defeating their forces first in open warfare and then in a long and bitter guerrilla campaign. British losses were high due to both disease and combat. The policies of "scorched earth" and civilian internment in concentration camps (adopted by the British to prevent support for the farmers/Boer commando campaign) ravaged the civilian populations in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State and news of which led to a significant erosion of support for the war in Britain