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The South African Republic ( nl, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek; the ZAR; also known as the Transvaal Republic, af, Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek) was an independent
republic A republic () is a form of government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a month ...

republic
in
Southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pr ...
which existed from 1852 to 1902, when it was annexed into the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
as a result of the
Second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
. The ZAR was established as a result of the 1852 Sand River Convention, in which the
British government The Government of the United Kingdom, domestically referred to as Her Majesty's Government, is the central government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
agreed to formally recognise independence of the
Boers Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonist A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation ...

Boers
living north of the
Vaal River The Vaal River ( ; Khoemana ǃOrakobab or ''Khoemana'', also known as Korana, ǃOra, or Griqua, is a Moribund language, moribund Khoe languages, Khoe language of South Africa. Names "Khoemana" (from ''khoe'' 'person' + ''mana'' 'language') i ...

Vaal River
. Relations between the ZAR and Britain started to deteriorate after the British
Cape Colony The Cape Colony ( nl, Kaapkolonie), also known as the Cape of Good Hope, was a British Empire, British colony in present-day South Africa named after the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Corporate colony that b ...
expanded into the Southern African interior, eventually leading to the outbreak of the
First Boer War The First Boer War ( af, Eerste Vryheidsoorlog, literally "First Freedom War"), 1880-1881, 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 betw ...
between the two nations. The Boer victory confirmed the ZAR's independence; however, Anglo-ZAR tensions soon flared up again over various diplomatic issues. In 1899, war again broke out between Britain and the ZAR, which was swiftly occupied by the British military. Many Boer combatants in the ZAR refused to surrender, leading British commander
Lord KitchenerLord Kitchener may refer to: * Earl Kitchener, for the title * Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener (1850–1916), British soldier in the Sudan, the Second Boer War, and First World War ** Lord Kitchener Wants You, a British Army recruitment poster ...

Lord Kitchener
to order the adoption of several
scorched-earth policies
scorched-earth policies
. In the
treaty A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally accepted in relat ...
which ended the war, the ZAR was transformed into the
Transvaal Colony 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 Second Boer War The Second Boer War (11 October 189931 May 1902), also know ...
, and eventually the
Union of South Africa The Union of South Africa ( nl, Unie van Zuid-Afrika; af, Unie van Suid-Afrika ) was the historical predecessor to the present-day South Africa, Republic of South Africa. It came into existence on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the British ...
. During
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, there was a failed attempt at resurrecting the republic in the
Maritz rebellion #REDIRECT Maritz rebellion#REDIRECT Maritz rebellion The Maritz rebellion, also known as the Boer revolt or Five Shilling rebellion,General De Wet publicly unfurled the rebel banner in October, when he entered the town of Reitz, Free State, Rei ...
. The land area that was once the ZAR now comprises all or most of the provinces of
Gauteng Gauteng ( ; tn, Gauteng; Sotho language, Northern and Southern Sotho: ; zu, eGoli; ts, Gauteng/; Southern Ndebele language, Ndebele, xh, iRhawuti; nr, I-Gauteng; ve, Gauteng) is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The name in Sotho-T ...
,
Limpopo Limpopo is the northernmost province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdiv ...

Limpopo
,
Mpumalanga Mpumalanga () is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, ...

Mpumalanga
, and North West in the northeastern portion of the modern-day Republic of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 60 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most ...

South Africa
.


Name and etymology

In 1853 the Volksraad adopted a resolution briefly adopting the name of the (South African Republic). The same year, the Volksraad renamed the state to the (South African Republic to the North of the Vaal River). In 1858, the constitution permanently established the name of the country as the . The ZAR was also commonly referred to as in reference to the area beyond (or "
trans Trans- is a Latin prefix meaning "across", "beyond", or "on the other side of". Used alone, trans may refer to: Media * ''Trans'' (film), US film * Trans (Festival), a former festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom * Trans Corp, a ...

trans
") the
Vaal River The Vaal River ( ; Khoemana ǃOrakobab or ''Khoemana'', also known as Korana, ǃOra, or Griqua, is a Moribund language, moribund Khoe languages, Khoe language of South Africa. Names "Khoemana" (from ''khoe'' 'person' + ''mana'' 'language') i ...

Vaal River
, including by the British and European press. The British objected to the use of the name . After the end of the First Boer War, the ZAR came under British
suzerainty Suzerainty () is a relationship in which one state or other polity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organized by some form of Institutionalisation, institutionalized socia ...
and in the
Pretoria Convention The Pretoria Convention was the peace treaty that ended the First Boer War (16 December 1880 to 23 March 1881) between the Transvaal Boers and Great Britain. The treaty was signed in Pretoria Pretoria (; zu, ePitoli) is one of South Africa ...
of 3 August 1881, the British insisted on the use of the name Transvaal State over . This convention was renegotiated in a subsequent treaty between Britain and the ZAR, the London Convention of 27 February 1884, where Britain acquiesced to the ZAR's demands to revert to the use of the previous name. The name of the South African Republic was of such political significance that on 1 September 1900, the British declared by special proclamation that the name of the country be changed from to the Transvaal. This proclamation was issued during the British occupation of the region in the
Second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
and while the ZAR was still nominally an independent country. On 31 May 1902, the
Treaty of Vereeniging The Treaty of Vereeniging was a peace treaty, signed on 31 May 1902, that ended the Second Boer War between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, on the one side, and the United Kingdom on the other. This settlement provided for ...
was signed with the government of the South African Republic, the Orange Free State government, and the British government, ending the war, and converted the ZAR into the
Transvaal Colony 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 Second Boer War The Second Boer War (11 October 189931 May 1902), also know ...
. Following the establishment of the
Union of South Africa The Union of South Africa ( nl, Unie van Zuid-Afrika; af, Unie van Suid-Afrika ) was the historical predecessor to the present-day South Africa, Republic of South Africa. It came into existence on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the British ...
in 1910, the Transvaal Colony became
Transvaal Province The Province of the Transvaal ( af, Provinsie Transvaal), commonly referred to as the Transvaal (; ), was a province of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With ...
. The name Transvaal was finally changed in 1994, when the post-
apartheid Apartheid (: ; , segregation; lit. "aparthood") was a system of institutionalised that existed in and (now ) from 1948 until the early 1990s. Apartheid was characterised by an authoritarian political culture based on ' (or ), wh ...

apartheid
African National Congress The African National Congress (ANC) is a social-democratic political party in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the Southern Africa, southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of ...
-dominated South African government broke up the province into four provinces and renamed the core region
Gauteng Gauteng ( ; tn, Gauteng; Sotho language, Northern and Southern Sotho: ; zu, eGoli; ts, Gauteng/; Southern Ndebele language, Ndebele, xh, iRhawuti; nr, I-Gauteng; ve, Gauteng) is one of the nine provinces of South Africa. The name in Sotho-T ...
.


History


Establishment

The South African Republic came into existence on 17 January 1852, when the British signed the Sand River Convention treaty with about 40,000  Boer people, recognising their independence in the region to the north of the
Vaal River The Vaal River ( ; Khoemana ǃOrakobab or ''Khoemana'', also known as Korana, ǃOra, or Griqua, is a Moribund language, moribund Khoe languages, Khoe language of South Africa. Names "Khoemana" (from ''khoe'' 'person' + ''mana'' 'language') i ...

Vaal River
. The first president of the ZAR was
Marthinus Wessel Pretorius Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (17 September 1819 – 19 May 1901) was the first president of the South African Republic The South African Republic ( nl, Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek; the ZAR; also known as the Transvaal Republic, af, Suid-Afr ...

Marthinus Wessel Pretorius
, elected in 1857, son of Boer leader
Andries Pretorius Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (27 November 179823 July 1853) was a leader of the Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonists of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa ...

Andries Pretorius
, who commanded the Boers to victory at the
Battle of Blood River The Battle of Blood River (16 December 1838) was fought on the bank of the Ncome River Blood River ( af, Bloedrivier; zu, Ncome) is situated in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. This river has its sources in the hills south-east of Utrecht, KwaZulu ...
. The capital was established at
Potchefstroom Potchefstroom (, colloquially Potch) is an college town, academic city in the North West (South African province), North West Province of South Africa. It hosts the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. Potchefstroom is on the Moo ...
and later moved to
Pretoria Pretoria is one of South Africa’s three Capital city, capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, and as the host to all foreign embassies to South Africa. Cape Town is the legislature, legislative capital wher ...

Pretoria
. The parliament was called the and had 24 members.


British annexation

The unpopular presidency of Thomas F. Burgers came to a head with his campaign against the
Bapedi The Pedi or (also known as the Northern Sotho or and the Marota or ) – are a southern Africa Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally id ...
under
Sekhukhune Sekhukhune I (Matsebe; circa 1814 – 13 August 1882) was the paramount King of the Marota, more commonly known as the Bapedi, from 21 September 1861 until his assassination on 13 August 1882 by his rival and half-brother, Mampuru II. As the Pedi ...
. The republic close to bankruptcy and his siege of Sekhukhune's stronghold failed because commando members objected to Burgers's theology, calling him a heretic, and abandoned the siege in droves. Burgers, having failed to eliminate the threat of the Bapedi, resigned and left the country. A. N. Pelzer writes: "Although Sekhukhune made overtures for peace, he was not defeated and this fact, together with the shaky financial position, gave Sir
Theophilus Shepstone Theophilus Shepstone Sir Theophilus Shepstone (8 January 181723 June 1893) was a British South African Politician, statesman who was responsible for the annexation of the Transvaal Colony, Transvaal to Britain in 1877. Early life Theophilus She ...
the pretext he required to annex the republic
TransvaalTransvaal is a historical geographic term associated with land north of (''i.e.'', beyond) the Vaal River in South Africa. A number of states and administrative divisions have carried the name Transvaal. * South African Republic (1856–1902; af, Z ...
, a British colony, on 12 April 1877." Sir Garnet Wolseley, High Commissioner for South East Africa, declared war on Sekhukhune, and with the aid of British troops and allied troops – including the Swazis who had supported Burgers – and in 1879 defeated him and imprisoned him in Pretoria. With the threat of Sekhukhune removed, the burghers were no longer so amenable to British rule. On 13 December 1880, the members of the last were summoned to a meeting at Paardekraal, where authority was placed in the hands of a triumvirate comprising
Paul Kruger Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (; 10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was a South African politician. He was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of ...

Paul Kruger
,
Piet Joubert Petrus Jacobus Joubert (20 January 1831 - 28 March 1900), better known as Piet Joubert, was Commandant-General of the South African Republic from 1880 to 1900. He also served as Vice-President to Paul Kruger from 1881 - 1883. He served in First B ...
and Marthinus W. Pretorius. They declared
Heidelberg Heidelberg () is a university town in the German state The Federal Republic of Germany, as a federal state, consists of sixteen partly sovereign federated states (german: Land (state), plural (states); commonly informally / federated s ...

Heidelberg
their seat of government and hoisted the
Vierkleur Image:South African Burgers Flag.svg, 300px, 'Burgers Flag' (1874–75) Two flags were used as the flag of the South African Republic, which existed from 1852 to 1877, Pretoria Convention, 1881 to Treaty of Vereeniging, 1902, and Maritz Rebelli ...
there on 16 December. The war – not officially declared to the occupying British troops – opened with an irregular attack on a British regiment on the march at
Bronkhorstspruit Bronkhorstspruit is a town 50 km east of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa along the N4 road (South Africa), N4 highway towards Witbank. It lies on the border between the Gauteng and Mpumalanga Province, Mpumalanga provinces. It also consists of ...
. The British garrisons in the Transvaal were besieged, but only one fell to the republicans. The British suffered defeat at
Laing's Nek Laing's Nek, or Lang's Nek is a mountain pass, pass through the Drakensberg mountain range, South Africa, immediately north of Majuba, at at an elevation of 5400 to . It is the lowest part of a ridge which slopes from Majuba to the Buffalo River ...
and
Ingogo Ingogo is a locality some 25 km north of Newcastle, site of a battle A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a ...
, and on 27 February 1881, at Majuba, where General Sir
George Pomeroy Colley Major General Major general (abbreviated MG, maj. gen. and similar) is a military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical relationships in armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, ...
fell at the head of his troops. While the British would in other circumstances have sent more troops and defeated the rebels, Prime Minister
William Gladstone William Ewart Gladstone (; 29 December 1809 – 19 May 1898) was a British statesman and Liberal Liberal or liberalism may refer to: Politics *a supporter of liberalism, a political and moral philosophy **Liberalism by country *an a ...
chose to make peace. Drawing up of the detailed peace treaty (the
Pretoria Convention The Pretoria Convention was the peace treaty that ended the First Boer War (16 December 1880 to 23 March 1881) between the Transvaal Boers and Great Britain. The treaty was signed in Pretoria Pretoria (; zu, ePitoli) is one of South Africa ...
) was left in the hands of a royal commission comprising Sir
Hercules Robinson Hercules George Robert Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead, (19 December 1824 – 28 October 1897), was a British colonial administrator who became the 5th Governor of Hong Kong and subsequently, the 14th Governor of New South Wales, the first Govern ...
, General Sir Evelyn Wood and Justice John de Villiers of the Cape Colony. Britain now referred to the territory as the Transvaal State, but the regarded the old South African Republic as having been restored.


Independence

The ZAR became fully independent on 27 February 1884, when the London Convention was signed. The country independently also entered into various agreements with other foreign countries after that date. On 3 November 1884 the country signed a postal convention with the government of the
Cape Colony The Cape Colony ( nl, Kaapkolonie), also known as the Cape of Good Hope, was a British Empire, British colony in present-day South Africa named after the Cape of Good Hope. The British colony was preceded by an earlier Corporate colony that b ...
and later a similar convention with the
Orange Free State The Orange Free State ( nl, Oranje Vrijstaat, af, Oranje-Vrystaat, abbreviated as OVS) was an independent Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonist A settler is a person who ha ...
. In November 1859, the independent Republics of Lijdenburg and
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the List of cities in the Netherlands by province, fourth-largest city and a List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of the Netherlands, capital and most populous city of the Provinces of the Netherlands, provin ...
merged with the ZAR. On 9 May 1887, burghers from the territories of
Stellaland The Republic of Stellaland ( nl, Republiek Stellaland) was, from 1882 to 1883, a Boer republic 500px, Boer Republics and Griqua people, Griqua states in Southern Africa, 19th century The Boer Republics (sometimes also referred to as Boer state ...

Stellaland
and Goosen (sometimes referred to as "Goshen") were granted rights to the ZAR franchise. On 25 July 1895 the burghers that took part in the battle at
Zoutpansberg Zoutpansberg was the north-eastern division of the Transvaal, South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, ...
, were granted citizenship of the ZAR.


Constitution and laws

The constitution of the ZAR was legally interesting for its time. It contained provisions for the division between the political leadership and office bearers in government administration. The legal system consisted of higher and lower courts and had adopted a jury system. Laws were enforced by the South African Republic Police ( or ZARP) which were divided into Mounted Police () and Foot Police. Also established were municipal government, the
Witwatersrand The Witwatersrand () (locally the Rand or, less commonly, the Reef) is a , north-facing scarp in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of So ...

Witwatersrand
District Court and the High Court of Transvaal.


Demographics

The State Almanac for 1897 states that the total white population was 245,397; with the total black population being 622,544.


Religion

Initially, the state and church were not separated in the constitution; citizens of the ZAR had to be members of the
Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk The Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (, abbreviated NHK) is a Reformed Christian denomination based in South Africa. It also has congregations in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Along with the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK) and t ...
– a breakaway of the
Dutch Reformed Church The Dutch Reformed Church (, abbreviated NHK) was the largest Christian denomination in the Netherlands from the onset of the Protestant Reformation until 1930. It was the foremost Protestant denomination, and—since 1892—one of the two maj ...

Dutch Reformed Church
. In 1858, these clauses were altered in the constitution to allow for the to approve other Dutch Christian churches. The Dopper Church was approved by the in 1858, which had the effect of allowing
Paul Kruger Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (; 10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was a South African politician. He was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of ...

Paul Kruger
, a Dopper himself, to remain a citizen of the ZAR. The Bible itself was also often used to interpret the intention of legal documents. The Bible was also used to interpret a prisoner exchange agreement, reached in terms of the Sand River Convention, between a commando of the ZAR, led by Kruger, and a Commando of the Orange Free State. President
Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff Jacobus Nicolaas Boshof (31 January 1808 – 21 April 1881) was a South African (Boer) statesman, a late-arriving member of the Voortrekker movement, and the second Presidents of the Orange Free State, state president of the Orange Free State, in ...
had issued a death sentence over two ZAR citizens, for treason. Kruger argued with President Boshoff that the Bible said punishment does not mean a death sentence and at the prisoner exchange, it was agreed that the accused would be punished if found guilty. After consulting Commandant Kruger's Bible, Boshoff commuted the men's sentences to lashes with a
sjambok The sjambok () or litupa is a heavy leather Leather is a strong, flexible and durable material obtained from the tanning Tanning may refer to: *Tanning (leather), treating animal skins to produce leather *Sun tanning, using the sun to darken ...
.


Citizenship

Citizenship of the ZAR was legislated by the constitution as well as Law No 7 of 1882, as amended on 23 June 1890. Citizenship was gained by being born in the republic or by naturalisation. The voting age was 16 years. Persons not born in the republic could become citizens by taking the prescribed oath and procuring the letters of naturalisation. The oath involved abandoning, discarding and renouncing all allegiance and subjugation towards foreign sovereignties and in particular their previous citizenship. Under a law of 1855, only white people were permitted to be citizens of the ZAR and to own land. The constitution of the ZAR stated: "The ''volk'' (people) are not prepared to allow any equality of the non-white with the white inhabitants, either in the church or the state". The Witwatersrand gold rush led to an influx of Indians and Chinese into the new city of Johannesburg that was emerging on the ''veld'', which led the ''volksraad'' to pass Law Number 3, which was aimed at stopping Asian immigration into the Transvaal. Under Law Number 3, all Asians which were defined as "Coolies, Chinese etc, Arabs, Malays, and Mohammedan subjects of the Turkish dominion" were forbidden from owning fixed property, had to register with the local magistrate within 8 days of arriving, were restricted to living in certain neighborhoods and had to pay an entry free of £25. The Indian merchants, who were classified as "Arabs", objected to this law and appealed to the British government to protect their rights as British subjects. Following British diplomatic pressure, Law Number 3 was amended by the ''volksraad'' in 1887 to allow the "Asiatics" the right to own fixed property, though not land, and the entry fee was lowered to £3. Because the Indians in the ZAR had the British government to protect them, the anti-Asian laws in the ZAR tended to single out the Chinese, though the Hong Kong Chinese were like the Indians able to claim as British subjects certain exemptions from the anti-Chinese laws. To be eligible for citizenship, white foreigners had to have been residing in the Republic for a period of two years, be of good character and have been accepted as member of the Dutch Reformed or Reformed Church. On 20 September 1893 the ZAR Constitution was amended so that two-thirds of the
Volksraad The ''Volksraad'' (English: "People's Council") was the parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly ...

Volksraad
would have to agree to changes to the citizenship law. This proclamation, No 224, also changed Law No 7 with regard to voting. All citizens who were born in the ZAR or had obtained their franchise prior to 23 June 1890 would have the right to vote for both the first and second and in all other elections. Citizens who obtained their franchise through naturalization after 23 June 1890 would be able to vote in all elections, except those for the first . The total population of the republic in 1890 was an estimated 120,000 people.


Military

In common with the Orange Free State, the basis of the military of the ZAR was the ''kommando'' system under which all able-bodied ''burghers'' could be called up for military service under their own elected officers. The men of the ''kommandos'' wore no uniforms and had no medals. The basic officer was the field cornet who was elected by the local ''burghers'' and performed both military and administrative functions in his district. The field cornet was responsible for collecting taxes, performing the census, training the male ''burghers'', collecting arms and with upholding the power of the state over the local black population. The commander of the ZAR's military was the elected commandant-general who like the field cornets performed both military and political functions. The commandant-general was responsible for buying guns and ammunition, fixed the prices of commodities and most importantly controlled the ivory trade. The economy of the Transvaal was very much a barter economy, and ivory was one of the principal currencies used in trade and commence. The professional military of the ZAR was the ''Staatsartillerie'' (State Artillery), who in 1899 numbered 314 men. The ''Staatsartillerie'' was armed with the modern Krupp artillery guns imported from Germany, and whose second-in-command was the Austrian officer Captain Adolf Zboril, who did his best to bring up the ''Staatsartillerie'' to the level of a European army. The closest the ZAR had to a professional infantry and cavalry was the para-military ZARP (''Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Politie''- South African Republic Police). In 1899, the ZAR had about 30,000 men who were called up to serve in the ''kommandos''. Through in theory, any white male ''burgher'' could be elected to a military office, in practice the men who were elected came from the wealthier families, who used their wealth to build up patronage networks that put the poorer farmers into their debt in one manner or another. The South African historian Ian van der Waag described Boer society as being characterized by a quasi-feudalism as the wealthier families set themselves up as something alike to the
marcher lords A Marcher Lord () was a noble appointed by the King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from about 886, and ...
of medieval Europe. The field cornets often waged war against local African natives in order to seize land, ivory and people to distribute as spoils to their constituents in exchange for their electoral support, often specifically for elections to higher republic offices. There was a strong dynastic element to the election of generals who commanded the ''kommandos'' as there was a tendency for men from the same families to be elected to the office of general generation after generation. In 1899, the average age of a general in the ZAR was 58, the majority had a very limited education. In a society that venerated age, the most respected man was the ''takhaar'', the wealthy patriarch with the long hair and long beard that indicated wisdom, and these were accordingly the people most likely to be elected as officers. Most of the ''takhaars'' serving as officers in 1899 were in some way connected to President
Paul Kruger Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (; 10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was a South African politician. He was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of ...

Paul Kruger
, either by ties of blood or marriage.


Language

The language spoken and written by the citizens of the ZAR was a variant of
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
, locally referred to as . On 3 October 1884. the stated that they had reason to believe that in certain schools impure
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
(in fact an early form of
Afrikaans Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most po ...
) was being used. The issued Proclamation 207 and compelled the Superintendent of Education to apply the language law enforcing the exclusive use of Dutch. On 30 July 1888, Dutch language was declared the sole official language, in court as well as education, trade and general use. All other languages were declared "foreign". These changes to the ZAR laws made the use of all other foreign languages illegal in the ZAR. On 1 October 1895 Alfred Fernandez Harington was appointed English master at the Staats Model School in Pretoria. Use of any foreign language was subject to criminal penalty and fine of £20 (ZAR) for each offence. The British similarly had declared English to be the only language spoken in the Cape Colony some decades earlier to outlaw the Dutch language. The discovery of gold in 1885 led to a major influx of foreigners. By 1896, the language of government and citizens remained Dutch but in many market places, shops and homes the English language was spoken.


Military history


War with Mapela and Makapaan, 1854

Hendrik Potgieter Andries Hendrik Potgieter, known as Hendrik Potgieter (19 December 1792 – 16 December 1852) was a Voortrekker leader and the last known Champion of the Potgieter family. He served as the first head of state A head of state (or chief ...
was elected at the assembly of 1849 as commandant general for life and it became necessary, to avoid strife, to appoint three commandants general all possessing equal powers. Commandant General
Andries Pretorius Andries Wilhelmus Jacobus Pretorius (27 November 179823 July 1853) was a leader of the Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonists of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa ...

Andries Pretorius
became commandant general of the
Potchefstroom Potchefstroom (, colloquially Potch) is an college town, academic city in the North West (South African province), North West Province of South Africa. It hosts the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. Potchefstroom is on the Moo ...
and
Rustenburg Rustenburg (; , Afrikaans and Dutch language, Dutch: ''City of Rest'') is a city at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range. Rustenburg is the most populous city in North West (South African province), North West province, South Africa (549 ...

Rustenburg
districts. On 16 December 1852, Andries died and his son, Piet Pretorius, was appointed as commandant general of the
Lydenburg Lydenburg is a town in Thaba Chweu Local Municipality, Mpumalanga, South Africa. Alternatively known as Mashishing, Lydenburg is situated on the Sterkspruit/Dorps River tributary of the Lepelle/Letaba River, Lepelle River at the base of the Lon ...
and
Zoutpansberg Zoutpansberg was the north-eastern division of the Transvaal, South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, ...
districts in his stead. There were some disputes over cattle which Mapela was raising on behalf of Potgieter and earlier Commandant Scholtz had confiscated a large number of rifles and amounts of ammunition, rifle repair equipment and materials of war from the home of an English missionary, the Reverend Livingstone. Livingstone admitted to storing weaponry for the Secheli, a breach of the Sand River Convention, which prohibited providing arms or ammunition to the natives. In 1853, Herman Potgieter was called to Mapela to aid in a cull of the elephant population. Upon arrival, Maphela guided the Potgieter party, which included Herman, his son, his groom and a few other burghers to the purported location where the elephants were herding. Rather instead, Mapela led them unsuspecting Boers into an ambush where hundreds of native warriors attacked the Potgieter party, killing Andries, then proceeding to drag Herman up a hill, where he was skinned alive. They stopped once they had torn the entrails from his body. At the same time of these events, the Ndebele chief Magobane (known to the Boers as Makapaan) attacked and killed an entire convoy of women and children traveling to Pretoria. The two chiefs had concluded an agreement to murder all the Europeans in their respective districts and to keep the cattle that they were raising for the Europeans. General Piet Potgieter set out with 100 men from Zoutpansberg and Commandant General Pretorius left Pretoria with 200 men. After the commandos met up, they first attacked Magobane and the natives were driven back to their caves in the mountains where they lived before. The Boers held them at siege in their caves and eventually hundreds of women and children came out. Orphan children of the native tribes were booked in strictly controlled by legal process, at appointed Boer families to look after them until they came of age. The administration was similar to the system of indentured workers, which was simply another form of slavery, with the exception that children so registered had to be released at age 16. The commando would return all such children to the nearest landdrost district, for registration and allocation to a Boer family. As there were slavers and other criminals dealing in children, any burgher found in possession of an unregistered minor child was guilty of a criminal offence. These children were also often called "oorlams" in reference to being overly used to the Dutch culture, and in reference to a hand-raised orphan sheep, or "hanslam". These children, even after their 16th birthday, and being free to come and go as they please, rarely re-connected with their own culture and own language and except for surviving and being cared for in terms of food and shelter, were basically forcefully divorced from their native tribe forever. Among the casualties of this war was Commandant General Potgieter. The natives were armed with rifles and were good shots. The general was killed by a native sniper on the ridge of a trench and his body recovered by then commandant Paul Kruger whilst under heavy fire from the natives. What remained of the joint commando, now under command of General Pretorius focussed their attention on Mapela. By the time the commando had reached Mapela, the natives had fled. A few wagons, bloody clothes, chests and other goods were discovered at a kop near Mapela's town. Mapela and his soldiers escaped and with their rifles and ammunition intact and Mapela was only captured much later, in 1858.


Civil War, 1861–1864

Commandant-General
Stephanus Schoeman Stephanus Schoeman (14 March 1810 – 19 June 1890) was President of the South African Republic from 6 December 1860 until 17 April 1862. His red hair, fiery temperament and vehement disputes with other Boer leaders earned him the ...

Stephanus Schoeman
did not accept the proclamation of 20 September 1858, under which members of the Reformed Churches of South Africa would be entitled to citizenship of the ZAR. Consequently, Paul Kruger was not accepted as a citizen and disallowed from political intercourse. Acting President van Rensburg called a special meeting of the general council of the
Dutch Reformed Church The Dutch Reformed Church (, abbreviated NHK) was the largest Christian denomination in the Netherlands from the onset of the Protestant Reformation until 1930. It was the foremost Protestant denomination, and—since 1892—one of the two maj ...

Dutch Reformed Church
, which then voted in a special resolution to allow members of the Reformed Church access to the franchise.


Sekhukune War, 1876

In 1876, a war between the ZAR and the
Bapedi The Pedi or (also known as the Northern Sotho or and the Marota or ) – are a southern Africa Southern Africa is the southernmost region of the African continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally id ...
broke out over cattle theft and land encroachment. The declared war on the Pedi leader, Sekhukune, on 16 May 1876. The war only began in July 1876. The president of the ZAR, Burgers led an army of 2000 burghers and was joined by a strong force of Swazi warriors. The Swazis joined the war to aid Mampuru, who was ousted from his position of chieftain by Sekhukune. One of the early battles occurred at Botsabelo Mission Station on 13 July 1876, against Johannes Dinkwanyane, who was Sekhukune's brother. The Boer forces were led by Commandant Coetzee and accompanied by Swazi warriors. The Swazi warriors launched a surprise and successful attack while the Boers held back. Seeing this, the Swazis refused to hand over to the Boers any spoils from the battle, thereafter leaving and returning to
Swaziland Eswatini ( ; ss, eSwatini ), officially the Kingdom of Eswatini and formerly officially entitled (and still often known) in English as Swaziland ( ; officially renamed in 2018), is a landlocked country A landlocked country is a country ...

Swaziland
. Dinkwanyane's followers also surrendered after this campaign.


First Boer War, 1880–1881

On 12 April 1877, the British issued the "Annexation of the S. A. Republic to the British Empire." In it, the British stated that the country was "unstable, ungovernable, bankrupt and facing civil war", though in reality they wished to annex it merely for its strategic position, using the skirmishes merely as a poor excuse to justify this. The unsuccessful annexation apparently would not suspend self-government, but nonetheless attempted to convert the ZAR into a colony of the British Empire. The ZAR recognised this proclamation as an act of aggression, and resisted. Instead of declaring war, the country decided to send a delegation to the United Kingdom and the United States, to protest. This did not have any effect, and the
First Boer War The First Boer War ( af, Eerste Vryheidsoorlog, literally "First Freedom War"), 1880-1881, 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 betw ...
formally broke out on 20 December 1880. The First Boer War was the first conflict since the
American Revolution The American Revolution was an ideological and political revolution which occurred in colonial North America between 1765 and 1783. The Americans in the Thirteen Colonies The Thirteen Colonies, also known as the Thirteen British Colo ...
in which the British had been decisively defeated and forced to sign a peace treaty under unfavourable terms. It would see the introduction of the khaki uniform, marking the beginning of the end of the famous Redcoat. The
Battle of Laing's Nek The Battle of Laing's Nek was a major battle fought at Laing's Nek during the First Boer War on 28 January 1881. Background Following the Boer declaration of independence for the Transvaal Colony, Transvaal in 1880 the British suffered a series o ...
would be the last occasion on which a British regiment carried its official regimental colours into battle. The
Pretoria Convention The Pretoria Convention was the peace treaty that ended the First Boer War (16 December 1880 to 23 March 1881) between the Transvaal Boers and Great Britain. The treaty was signed in Pretoria Pretoria (; zu, ePitoli) is one of South Africa ...
of 1881 was signed on 3 August 1881 and ratified on 25 October 1881 by the ZAR, where the is referred to by the name "Transvaal Territory". The
Pretoria Convention The Pretoria Convention was the peace treaty that ended the First Boer War (16 December 1880 to 23 March 1881) between the Transvaal Boers and Great Britain. The treaty was signed in Pretoria Pretoria (; zu, ePitoli) is one of South Africa ...
of 1881 was superseded in 1884 by the London Convention, and in which the British suzerainty over the South African Republic, was relinquished. The British Government, in the London Convention, accepted the name of the country as the South African Republic. The convention was signed in duplicate in London on 27 February 1884, by
Hercules Robinson Hercules George Robert Robinson, 1st Baron Rosmead, (19 December 1824 – 28 October 1897), was a British colonial administrator who became the 5th Governor of Hong Kong and subsequently, the 14th Governor of New South Wales, the first Govern ...
,
Paul Kruger Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger (; 10 October 1825 – 14 July 1904) was a South African politician. He was one of the dominant political and military figures in 19th-century South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of ...

Paul Kruger
,
Stephanus Jacobus du Toit The Reverend Stephanus Jacobus du Toit (9 October 1847 – 29 May 1911) was a controversial South African Afrikaner nationalism, nationalist, theologian, journalist and failed politician. In his younger years Du Toit did much to promote the Afri ...
and
Nicolaas Smit Nicolaas Jacobus Smit (5 May 1837 – 4 April 1896) was a Boer general and politician. During the First Boer War, he led Boer forces to victory during the Battle of Majuba Hill. He was elected Vice State President of the South African Republi ...
, and later ratified by the South African Republic . In 1885, rich gold reefs were discovered. ZAR burghers were farmers and not miners and much of the mining fell to immigrants. The immigrants were also referred to as "outlanders". By 1897, immigrants had invested over 300,000,000 British Pounds in the ZAR goldfields.


Malaboch War, 1894

The
Malaboch War The Malaboch War ( af, Malaboch Oorlog) (1894) was between Chief Malaboch (Mmaleboho, Mmaleboxo) of the Bahananwa (Xananwa) people and the South African Republic, South African Republic (ZAR) Government led by Piet Joubert, Commandant-General Pi ...
was between Chief Malaboch (Mmaleboho, Mmaleboxo) of the Bahananwa (Xananwa) people and the South African Republic (ZAR) Government led by Commandant-General
Piet Joubert Petrus Jacobus Joubert (20 January 1831 - 28 March 1900), better known as Piet Joubert, was Commandant-General of the South African Republic from 1880 to 1900. He also served as Vice-President to Paul Kruger from 1881 - 1883. He served in First B ...
. Malboch refused to pay taxes to the Transvaal after it was given back to the Boers in 1881 by the British, which resulted in a military drive against him by the South African Republic (ZAR)..


Second Boer War, 1899–1902

The British first attacked the ZAR with the December 1895
Jameson Raid The Jameson Raid (29 December 1895 – 2 January 1896) was a botched Raid (military), raid against the South African Republic (commonly known as the Transvaal) carried out by British colonial administrator Leander Starr Jameson and his company ...
, which ended in failure. British forces started building up troops and resources at the borders, followed by a demand for voting rights for the ZAR's 60,000 foreign nationals—of whom 50,000 were British. Kruger rejected the British demand and called for the withdrawal of British troops from the ZAR's borders. When the British refused, Kruger declared war against Britain, Britain received assistance from its possessions Australia, and Canada, as well as Natal and the Cape Colony. The
Second Boer War The Second Boer War ( af, Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, lit. "Second Freedom War", 11 October 189931 May 1902), also known as the Boer War, the Anglo–Boer War, or the South African War, was a conflict fought between the British Empire and the two B ...
was a watershed for the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
in particular and for the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. ...

British Empire
as a whole. The British used
concentration camp Internment is the imprisonment of people, commonly in large groups, without charges or intent to file charges. The term is especially used for the confinement "of enemy citizens in war War is an intense armed conflict between state ...
s where women and children were held without adequate food or medical care. The abhorrent conditions in these camps caused the death of 4,177 women and 22,074 children under 16; death rates were between 344 and 700 per 1000 per year. The
Treaty of Vereeniging The Treaty of Vereeniging was a peace treaty, signed on 31 May 1902, that ended the Second Boer War between the South African Republic and the Orange Free State, on the one side, and the United Kingdom on the other. This settlement provided for ...
was signed on 31 May 1902. The treaty ended the existence of the ZAR and the
Orange Free State The Orange Free State ( nl, Oranje Vrijstaat, af, Oranje-Vrystaat, abbreviated as OVS) was an independent Boer Boers () ( af , Boere) refers to the descendants of the proto-Afrikaans-speaking colonist A settler is a person who ha ...
as independent Boer republics and placed them within the British Empire. On 20 May 1903, an Inter Colonial Council was established to manage the colonies of the British Government. The Boers were promised eventual limited self-government and this was granted in 1906 and 1907. The
Union of South Africa The Union of South Africa ( nl, Unie van Zuid-Afrika; af, Unie van Suid-Afrika ) was the historical predecessor to the present-day South Africa, Republic of South Africa. It came into existence on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the British ...
was established in 1910.


Maritz Rebellion, 1914–1915

The
Maritz rebellion #REDIRECT Maritz rebellion#REDIRECT Maritz rebellion The Maritz rebellion, also known as the Boer revolt or Five Shilling rebellion,General De Wet publicly unfurled the rebel banner in October, when he entered the town of Reitz, Free State, Rei ...
was an armed insurrection which occurred in
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...
in 1914 at the start of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
. It was led by Boers who created a provisional government and sought to reestablish the South African Republic in the Transvaal. Many members of the South African government were themselves former Boers who had fought with the Maritz rebels against the British in the Second Boer War. The self-proclaimed rebel republic allied with
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...
, with whom Britain and South Africa were at war.
Boer Commando The Boer commandos or "Kommandos" were volunteer military units of guerilla Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which small groups of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or Irregular military, irregular ...
s operated in and out of bordering
German South West Africa German South West Africa (german: Deutsch-Südwestafrika) was a colony of the German Empire The German Empire or the Imperial State of Germany,, officially '.Herbert Tuttle Herbert Tuttle (1846–1894) was an American historian. Biogr ...
. By 1915, the rebellion had failed, and the ringleaders received heavy fines and terms of imprisonment.


Economy and transport

The discovery of gold during the
Witwatersrand Gold Rush The Witwatersrand Gold Rush was a gold rush in 1886 that led to the establishment of Johannesburg, South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of ...
in 1886 changed the economic fortunes of the formerly impoverished ZAR. The city of Johannesburg was founded as a gold mining town in the same year. Within 10 years it grew into the largest city in Southern Africa, surpassing Cape Town. The discovery of gold allowed the construction of a railway network in the ZAR. The east–west railways in the ZAR, and notably the line from
Pretoria Pretoria is one of South Africa’s three Capital city, capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government, and as the host to all foreign embassies to South Africa. Cape Town is the legislature, legislative capital wher ...

Pretoria
to
Lourenço Marques Maputo (), officially named Lourenço Marques until 1976, is the Capital city, capital and most populous city of Mozambique. The city is named after chief Maputsu I of the Tembe clan, a subgroup of the Tsonga people. Located near the southern end ...
in
Portuguese East Africa Portuguese Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique) or Portuguese East Africa (''África Oriental Portuguesa'') was the common terms by which Mozambique Mozambique (), officially the Republic of Mozambique ( pt, Moçambique or , ; ny, Mozambiki; sw, ...
, were constructed by the Netherlands-South African Railway Company. The construction of the Pretoria-Lourenço Marques line allowed the ZAR access to harbour facilities not controlled by the British Empire, a key policy of Paul Kruger who deemed it vital to the country's long-term survival.


Flag

The
flag of the South African Republic Image:South African Burgers Flag.svg, 300px, 'Burgers Flag' (1874–75) Two flags were used as the flag of the South African Republic, which existed from 1852 to 1877, Pretoria Convention, 1881 to Treaty of Vereeniging, 1902, and Maritz Rebelli ...
featured three horizontal stripes of red, white and blue (mirroring the
flag of the Netherlands The flag of the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlandse vlag) is a horizontal tricolour (flag), tricolour of red, white, and blue. The current design originates as a variant of the late 16th century orange-white-blue ''Prince's Flag, Prinsenvlag'' ...

flag of the Netherlands
) with a vertical green stripe at the hoist, and was known as the (English: "Four colour"). While the only legislation describing the flag required that the green panel be inscribed "" ("Unity makes strength," the motto of the republic), this was in fact rarely seen, and instead the motto was displayed with the republic's coat of arms. The Vierkleur was later incorporated into the
flag of South Africa The flag of South Africa was designed in March 1994 and adopted on 27 April 1994, at the beginning of South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60  ...

flag of South Africa
between 1928 and 1994.


Books and articles

* *


Notes


References


External links

* {{Authority control 19th century in South Africa 1856 establishments in South Africa 1902 disestablishments in South Africa Former republics States and territories established in 1852 States and territories disestablished in 1902 South Africa and the Commonwealth of Nations