1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/South Africa
South Africa. As a geographical unit South Africa is usually held to be that part of the continent south of the middle course of the Zambezi. The present article (1) deals with that part of Africa as a whole, (2) outlines the constitution of the British possessions forming the Union of South Africa, and (3) summarizes the history of the country from the time of its discovery by Europeans.
In the geographical sense stated South Africa lies between 16° and 35° S. and 12° and 36° E., narrows from 1600 m. from west to east along its northern border to some 600 m. of coast facing south. Its greatest length south-west to north-east is also about 1600 m. It has an area of about 1,333,000 sq. m. It comprises the Union of South Africa (i.e. the provinces of the Cape of Good Hope, Natal, with Zululand, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal); Basutoland, Bechuanaland, Swaziland and Southern Rhodesia, all British possessions; German South-West Africa, and the southern part of Portuguese East Africa. By some writers Northern Rhodesia is included in South Africa, but that district belongs more accurately to the central portion of the continent. Other writers confine the term to the British possessions south of the Zambezi, but in this case British South Africa is the proper designation. South African standard time, adopted in 1903, is that of 30° E., or two hours in advance of Greenwich.
Physical Features. — There is a marked uniformity in physical features throughout South Africa. The coast line, from the mouth of the Kunene on the west to the delta of the Zambezi on the east, is little indented and contains only two sheltered natural harbours of any size — Saldanha Bay on the west and Delagoa Bay on the east. At Port Natal, however, the removal of the sand bar at its entrance has made available a third magnificent harbour, while at Table Bay (Cape Town) and at other places ports have been constructed. South Africa presents, however, a solid land mass without peninsulas of any size or any large islands off its coasts. Moreover, behind the low-lying coast lands, which extend in general from 50 to 250 m. inland, rise ramparts of hills shutting off the interior. This conformation of the country has been a powerful influence in determining its history and development. Here and there the mountains, which run in lines parallel to the coast, approach close to the sea, as at Table Bay. In the south-east, in the Drakensberg, they attain heights of 10,000 to 11,000 ft., elsewhere the highest points are between 8000 and 9000 ft. They form terrace-like steps leading to a vast tableland (covering about 900,000 sq. m.) with a mean elevation of 4000 ft., the highest part of the plateau — the High Veld of the Transvaal — being fully 6000 ft. above the sea. In its southern part the plateau has a general tilt to the West, in the north it tilts eastward. This tilt determines the hydrographical system. In the south the drainage is to the Atlantic, chiefly through the Orange River, in the north to the Indian Ocean through the Zambezi, Limpopo and other streams. A large number of smaller rivers rise on the outer slopes of the mountain ramparts and flow direct to the sea. In consequence of their great slope and the intermittent supply of water the rivers — except the Zambezi — are unnavigable save for a few miles from their mouths. The central part of the interior plateau, covering some 120,000 sq. m., is arid and is known as the Kalahari Desert. The western region, both plateau and coast lands, specially that part north of the Orange, is largely semi or wholly desert, while in the Cape province the terrace lands below the interior plateau are likewise arid, as is signified by their Hottentot name karusa (Karroo). The southern and eastern coast lands, owing to different climatic conditions (see infra) are very fertile.
The geological structure is remarkably uniform, the plateau consisting mainly of sedimentary deposits resting on crystalline rocks. The Karroo system (sandstones and marls) covers immense areas (see Africa, § Geology). Intrusive dikes — locally known as ironstone — by preventing erosion are often the cause of the flat-topped hills which are a common feature of the landscape. The Witwatersrand series of the Transvaal includes auriferous conglomerates which have been worked since 1886 and constitute the richest gold-mines in the world. The diamondiferous areas at Kimberley and in the Pretoria district are likewise the richest known. Coal beds are widely distributed in the eastern districts while there are large copper deposits in the west, both at the Cape and in German territory.
Climate. — The general characteristics of the climate are determined more by the physical conformation of the land than its proximity to the equator. The eastern escarpments (the Drakensberg, &c.) of the plateau intercept the rain-bearing winds from the Indian Ocean, so that over the greater part of the interior the rainfall is slight (5 to 24 in.). This, added to the elevation of the land, makes the climate in general dry, bracing and suitable for Europeans, notwithstanding that the northern part is within the tropics. Temperature is high, the mean yearly average lying between 60° and 70° F. Only along the south-eastern coast and in some of the river valleys is the climate of a markedly tropical character; here the rainfall rises to 50 in. a year and the coast is washed by the warm Mozambique current. The Cape peninsula and the western coast receive the cold currents from the Antarctic regions. Except in southern and western Cape Colony and along the Atlantic coast, summer is the rainy season.
Flora and Fauna. — In consequence of the deficient rainfall over the greater part of the country the flora is not luxuriant and there are no large forests. Coarse grasses are the characteristic vegetation of the tableland. On the plains where grasses cannot find sufficient moisture their place is taken by “bush,” composed mainly of stunted mimosas, acacias, euphoria, wild pomegranate, bitter aloes and herbaceous plants. Forest patches are found in the kloofs and seaward sides of the mountains; willows often border the watercourses; heaths and bulbous plants are common in some areas. In the semi-tropical regions south-east of the Drakensberg, i.e. the coast lands of Natal and Portuguese East Africa, the vegetation is abundant, and mangroves, palms, baobab and bombax trees flourish. Here, and also in the upper Limpopo valley, cotton, tobacco, and rubber vines are found. Among the timber trees are species of pine, cedar, ebony, ironwood, stinkwood and sneezewood. Flowering plants include numerous species of terrestrial orchids, the socalled arum lily (Richardia Africana), common in low-lying moist land, and the white everlasting flower, found abundantly in some regions of Cape Colony. Of non-indigenous flora are the oak, poplar, bluegum, the Australian wattle, the vine, and almost every variety of fruit tree and European vegetables. In suitable regions tea, coffee, sugar and rice, as well as tobacco and cotton, are cultivated. In the western districts of the Cape viticulture is largely followed. The cereal most grown is maize (known in South Africa as mealies); kaffir com, wheat, barley and oats are also largely cultivated. The soil is everywhere rich, but the lack of perennial water and the absence of irrigation works on a large scale retards agriculture. Most of the veld is divided into huge farms devoted to the rearing of cattle, sheep, goats and horses. On the Karroo are numerous ostrich farms. Lucerne is very largely grown as fodder for the cattle.
The native fauna was formerly very rich in big game, a fact sufficiently testified by the names given by the early European settlers to mountains and streams. The lion, elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giraffe, buffalo, quagga, zebra and other large animals were, however, during the 18th and 19th centuries driven out of the more southern regions (though a few elephants and buffaloes, now carefully preserved, are still found at the Cape), the quagga being totally exterminated. In the Kalahari and in the eastern lowlands (from Zululand to the Zambezi delta) most of these animals are still found, as well as the eland, wildebeest and gemsbok. The leopard (called a tiger in South Africa) is still fairly common in all mountainous regions. Spotted hyenas and jackals are also numerous. The kudu is now the most common of the larger antelopes, the duiker and klipspringer are among the smaller antelopes still existing in large numbers. Baboons are common in some districts. Birds include the ostrich, great kori bustard, the eagle, vulture, hawk and crane, francolin, golden cuckoo, loorie, scarlet and yellow finches, kingfishers, parrots (in the eastern regions), pelicans and flamingoes. There are thirty varieties of snakes. Locusts are conspicuous among the common plagues of the country. In Rhodesia and on the east coast the tsetse fly is found and termites are widely distributed.
Inhabitants. — The aborigines of South Africa are represented by the Bushmen and Hottentots, now found in any racial purity only in the Kalahari and in the southern part of German South-West Africa. All the other natives, popularly called Kaffirs, are members of the Bantu-negroid family, of whom they here form three distinct branches: (1) the Zulu-Xosas, originally confined to the south-east seaboard between Delagoa Bay and the Great Fish River, but later (19th century) spread by conquest over Gazaland, parts of the Transvaal, and Rhodesia (Matabeleland), (2) the Bechuanas, with the kindred Basutos, on the continental plateau from the Orange to the Zambezi, and ranging westwards over the Kalahari desert and the Lake Ngami region; (3) the Ova-Herero and Ova-Mpo, confined to German South-West Africa between Walfish Bay and the Kunene River.
|Area in sq. m.||White.||Coloured.||Total.|
|British South Africa:|
|Union of South Africa||Cape of Good Hope||276,995||579,741||1,830,063||2,409,804|
|Natal (with Zululand)||35,371||97,109||1,011,645||1,108,754|
|Orange Free State||50,392||142,679||244,636||387,315|
|German S.W. Africa||322,450||7,110²||200,000¹||207,110|
|Portuguese East Africa (southern part of)||145,000¹||10,000¹||1,700,000¹||1,710,000|
|Total South Africa||1,331,808||1,149,336||7,111,329||8,260,665|
¹ Estimates. ² 1907.
All these mixed Bantu peoples are immigrants at various periods from beyond the Zambezi. The Bechuanas, who occupy by far the largest domain, and preserve the totemic tribal system, were probably the first arrivals from the north or the north-sea coast lands. As early, probably, as the 8th century A.D. Arabs had formed a settlement on the coast at Sofala, 130 m. south of the mouth of the Zambezi, but they got no further south nor do they appear to have penetrated inland, though they traded for gold and other articles with the inhabitants of the northern part of the plateau-the builders of the zimbabwes and other ruins in what is now Rhodesia (q.v.) The Asiatic inhabitants of South Africa of the present day are mainly Indian coolies brought to Natal since 1860. The white races represented are mainly Dutch and British; colonization by European races dating from the 17th century. There are a few thousand Germans and Portuguese, chiefly in the territories belonging to their respective countries. The table on p. 464 shows the inhabitants, white and coloured, in the different territories into which South Africa is divided, and also the area of these territories.
It will be seen that the population is sparse, less than 6½ persons per square mile. (Excluding the Bechuanaland Protectorate and German South-West Africa, which contain very large desert areas, the population is slightly over 7 per square mile.) In British South Africa the coloured races are nearly five times as numerous as the whites. The great majority of the coloured inhabitants are Bantus of pure blood, but the total coloured population includes in the Cape province 298,334 persons of mixed blood (chiefly white and Hottentot) and in Natal 100,918 Asiatics. Save in the German colony the official returns do not discriminate between the nationality of the white inhabitants. Those of British and Dutch origin are probably about equal in numbers, but a very large proportion of the British inhabitants live in the towns, the country population being in most districts predominantly Dutch. The chie cities are Cape Town (pop. 1904, 77,668), Port Elizabeth (32,959), East London (25,220) and Kimberley (34,331) in the Cape province; Durban (67,847) in Natal; Johannesburg (155,642) and Pretoria (36,839) in the Transvaal; and Bloemfontein (33,883) in the Orange Free State. Salisbury and Buluwayo are the chief towns in Southern Rhodesia. The only town of any size outside the British possession is Lourenço Marques (Pop. 1907, 9849) in Delagoa Bay.
Economic Condition. — Originally regarded by Europeans merely as a convenient dépôt for ships on their way to India, the wealth of South Africa for long consisted in its agricultural and pastoral resources. Mealies and wheat were the principal crops. Wool, mohair and ostrich feathers were the chief exports, the only mineral exported being copper (from the Namaqualand mines). The opening up of the diamond mines at Kimberley (1870) followed (1886) by the discovery of the Witwatersrand goldfields completely revolutionized the economic situation and profoundly modified the history of the country. They led, among other things, to the improvement of ports and the building of railways, so that by the close of the first decade of the 20th century the reproach of inaccessibility from which South Africa had suffered was no longer true. From the seaports of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Durban, Lourenço Marques and Beira railway lines run to Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg and Pretoria, while a trunk line extends north from Kimberley through Rhodesia (in which gold mining began on an extensive scale in 1898) and across the Zambezi below the Victoria Falls into the Congo basin, where it serves the Katanga mineral area. The distance from Cape Town to Katanga is over 2100 miles. The German territory is also provided with railways, intended eventually to link with the British systems. The standard gauge is 3 ft. 6 in. and in 1910 some 12,000 m. of railway were open. In nearly every instance the railways are state owned. While gold and diamond mining continue the greatest of South African industries other sources of wealth have been added. In the Cape, Natal and the Transvaal coal mining is largely developed; in the Transvaal and the Cape tobacco is grown extensively; sugar, tea and other tropical and sub-tropical produce are largely cultivated in Natal and the Portuguese territory, and, since 1905, mealies have become an important article of export. There are few manufactures; among the chief are the making of wine and brandy in the Cape province, and flour-milling. Cattle and mealies constitute the most valuable possessions of the natives. The imports are of a general nature, textiles and food-stuffs being the most important.
Irrigation. — The scanty rainfall in many parts of South Africa and its unequal distribution necessitates a system of artificial irrigation unless much of the land be allowed to remain uncultivated. But in many regions the soil is deficient in phosphates and nitrates, and large irrigation works can be profitable only in districts where the soil is exceptionally fertile. Before 1877 little was done to make use of the water resources of the country. In that year the Cape legislature provided for the constitution of irrigation boards. Later boring operations were undertaken by the government, and the advice of engineers acquainted with Egyptian and Indian irrigation works sought. A report was drawn up by Sir (then Mr) Wm. Willcocks in 1901 in which he estimated that there were in the Cape, Orange Free State and the Transvaal, 3,000,000 acres which could be brought under irrigation at a cost of about £30,000,000. The value of the land, in its arid condition almost nil, when irrigated he placed at some £100,000,000. None of the South African governments was, however, then in a position to undertake large works. At the Cape the census of 1904 gave 415,688 acres as the area under irrigation, an increase of 105,827 acres since 1891. In the Robertson district a canal (completed in 1904) 21 m. long took off from the Breede River and fertilized a large area, with the result that Robertson ranks as the second richest district in the province. Over the Karroo and other arid regions some 10,000 boreholes had been sunk to depths varying from 50 to 500 ft., their yield being 60,000,000 gallons a year. The value of land under artesian well irrigation (e.g. in the Graaff Reinet district) has increased from 20s. to £200 per morgen. More important, however, are the supplies to be derived from the control of flood water, millions of cubic feet of the best soil being annually washed into the sea. The Boer governments had done little to promote irrigation, but during 1905–1907 a strong intercolonial commission investigated the subject as it affected the Transvaal and Orange Free State, and their final report, issued at Pretoria in 1908, contains full particulars as to the irrigation possibilities in those provinces. At least 350,000 acres in the Transvaal could be remuneratively irrigated, and a proportionally large area in the Orange province. In Natal an act of 1904 gave power to the government to forward irrigation schemes. Under that act the Winterton Irrigation Settlement (18,000 acres) was formed on the upper Tugela. In 1909 an irrigation congress representative of all the governments of British South Africa was held at Robertson, in the Cape province.
Commerce. — All the British states and territories are members of postal, telegraphic and customs unions. The customs are of a protective character, while there is a rebate on goods from Great Britain and British possessions (see below, History). There is internal free trade throughout the Union of South Africa. The customs tariff in the Portuguese possessions is of a highly protective nature; goods coming from Portugal pay one-tenth of the dues levied on foreign goods. In German South-West Africa no discrimination is made as to the country of origin of imports.
A South African Customs Statistical Bureau, which deals with the external trade of British South Africa was established in luly 1905. The statistics issued by the bureau showed a total volume of trade in 1905 of £72,910,000 made up as follows: Imports £29,859,000 (including £4,208,000 received through Portuguese ports); exports £43,050,000. Of this amount £25,644,000 was put as the value of raw gold exported, and £9,257,000 as the value of the diamonds shipped. Only £414,000 worth of goods was exported via Portuguese ports. For 1907 the figures were: Value of total trade £74,153,000; imports £25,920,000, exports £48,233,000. Goods valued at £4,036,377 received through Portuguese ports are included in the imports, and goods valued at £507,000 shipped at Portuguese ports in the exports. The value of raw gold exported in 1907 was £29,510,000, of diamonds £8,973,000. In 1908 the figures were: Total trade £70,093,000; imports £24,438,000 (including £4,641,000 via Portuguese ports); exports £45,655,000 (including £513,000 from Portuguese ports). The raw gold exported was worth £32,047,000 but the export of diamonds fell to £4,796,000. In 1909 the value of the imports into British South Africa was returned at £29,842,000; the value of the exports at £51,151,000. Of the imports over £16,850,000 came from the United Kingdom, over £2,240,000 from Australia, £2,450,000 from Germany, and £2,195,000 from the United States. Of the exports raw gold was valued at £33,303,000, diamonds at £6,370,000, wool at £3,728,000 and ostrich feathers at £2,091,000. The value of the imports through Delagoa Bay and other Portuguese ports was £6,795,000, the exports from Portuguese ports were valued at slightly over £500,000. In the four years the imports from the United Kingdom were about 58%, from other parts of the empire 13%. Of the exports the United Kingdom took some 95%; a considerable quantity of South African produce, especially wool, shipped to England ultimately however finds its way to other countries. Next to Great Britain the countries doing most trade with South Africa are Australia and New Zealand, Germany, the United States, Canada, Brazil, India, Belgium, Holland and France.
Religion.-The great majority of the white inhabitants are Protestants. Most of those of Dutch descent are members of the Dutch Reformed Church (Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk), the state church of the early Cape colonists, or of churches formed by dissentient members of the original church such as the Gereformeerde Kerk (the “Dopper” Church), a branch (introduced in 1858) of the Separatist Reformed Church of Holland. These churches are Calvinistic in doctrine and Presbyterian in organization. Until 1843 the Cape synod was controlled by government commissioners; it was then given power to regulate its own internal affairs. There are separate synods with independent authority for the congregations of the Dutch Reformed Churches in the Cape, Orange Free State and Transvaal provinces. The Doppers (“roundheads”) and other dissentient bodies have also separate synods. Besides these churches there are a number of Lutheran congregations among the Dutch speaking population.
The South Africans of British descent are divided, mainly, into Anglicans, Wesleyans and Presbyterians. The Baptists and Congregationalists are smaller bodies. All form independent churches in communion with the mother churches in Great Britain. The oldest established is that of the Presbyterians. The Anglican organization dates from 1847. Being declared by judicial decision in 1863 a voluntary body, the Anglicans formed “The Church of the Province of South Africa.” It is divided into the dioceses of Cape Town, Graham's Town, Maritzburg (Natal), Kaffraria, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Zululand, Mashonaland and Lebombo. The last-named diocese is that part of Portuguese East Africa south of the Sabi river; the Mashonaland diocese includes the Portuguese territory between the Sabi and the Zambezi. German South-West Africa is not included in the Anglican organization. The metropolitan is the archbishop of Cape Town. The constitution of the church was drawn up at a provincial synod in 1870. It accepts the doctrines of the Church of England, but acknowledges none save its own ecclesiastical tribunals, or such other tribunal as may be accepted by the provincial synod — in other words it rejects the authority of the English privy council. Bishop Colenso of Natal and other Anglicans did not accept the authority of the provincial synod, regarding themselves as in all respects members of the Church of England. This was, especially in Natal, the cause of prolonged controversy among the members of the Anglican community. By 1901, however, the majority of the “Church of England party” were represented in the provincial synod. Nevertheless the temporalities of this party remained in the hands of curators and not in the possession of the provincial church. In 1910 the practical amalgamation of the two bodies was effected (see further Natal). The Roman Catholics are a comparatively small body; the majority of their adherents are found in the Cape and Natal. At the head of their organizations are vicars-apostolic for the Cape (eastern district), the Cape (western district), Natal, Orange River, Kimberley and the Transvaal, and prefects-apostolic for Basutoland and Zambezi (or Rhodesia).
All the churches maintain missions to the natives. The first to enter the field were the Jesuits and Dominicans, who laboured on the south-east coast and among the subjects of the monomotapa (see Portuguese East Africa). Their work lasted from about Missions to Natives.1560 to 1760, but it has left little trace. The early modern missions were all Protestant. A Moravian mission to the Hottentots was begun in 1737, continued to 1744 and was re-established — against the wishes of the colonists — in 1792. Before the close of the century the London Missionary Society entered the field. The work of this society's agents has had a greater influence on the history of South Africa than that of any other religious body save the Dutch Reformed Church. Next in order came the Wesleyans and the Glasgow Missionary Society (Presbyterian), the last-named society founding in 1824 the station of Lovedale — now the most important institution in South Africa in connexion with native missions. In 1829 the Paris Evangelical Society (whose agents have laboured chiefly in Basuto and Barotse lands) sent out their first missionaries, who were closely followed by the agents of other societies (see Missions). The Roman Catholics entered the field later on. By the end of the 19th century fully 5% of the total native population professed Christianity.
The Jews form a small but influential community. There are some thousands of Mahommedans in the Cape (chiefly Malays) and larger numbers in Natal, where there is also a large Hindu population. At Lourenço Marques the Chinese colony has its own temple and religious services.
Law. — The basis of the common law of British South Africa is the Roman-Dutch law as it existed in Holland at the end of the 18th century. This was simply the old Roman jurisprudence embodied in the legislation of Justinian, modified by custom and legislative decrees during the course of the centuries which witnessed the growth of civilization in Europe; and it is to all intents and purposes the jurisprudence which was the foundation of the Code Napoléon. It was in part closely akin to the “modern Roman law” which is practised widely over the continent of Europe, and even in Scotland, at the present day. The authorities upon the common law in South Africa are: the Dutch commentators upon the civil law, the statute law of Holland, the decisions of the Dutch courts, and, failing these, the corpus juris civilis itself.
In the period which has elapsed since the establishment of British rule at the Cape the law has been considerably modified and altered, both by legislation and by judicial decisions, and it is not too much to say that at the present time there exists hardly any material difference in principle over the greater part of the field of jurisprudence between the law of England and the law of South Africa. The law of contracts, the law of torts, the mercantile law, the law relating to shipping and insurance, not to mention other subjects, are practically identical with those of England; and even the criminal law is virtually the same, though the greater elasticity of the civil jurisprudence allows fewer opportunities for the escape of malefactors, notably in cases of fraud or falsity in any form, than exist under the law of England. The constitution of the courts is based on the example of the English judiciary, and the rules of evidence and procedure are practically the same in both criminal and civil cases as in England. All serious cases of crime are tried before a judge and jury, with the same formalities and safeguards as in England, while minor offences are dealt with by stipendiary magistrates possessing a limited statutory jurisdiction. In criminal cases it is necessary for the jury to find a unanimous verdict. In civil cases either party may demand a jury, a privilege which is seldom exercised; but in a civil case the verdict of the majority of jurors prevails.
The most marked difference between the English and South African systems of law is, as might be expected, to be found in the law relating to real property. In South Africa there is a rigid and universal application of the principle of registration. The title to land is registered, in all cases; and so, with a few exceptions, is every servitude or easement, mortgage or charge, upon land. With regard to the devolution of property upon death, it may be remarked that the law of intestate succession applies equally to real and personal estate, there being no law of primogeniture. The rules of distribution in intestacy differ, however, very considerably from those established in England. There is absolute freedom of testamentary disposition in the Cape province and in some other parts of South Africa. The effect of marriage upon the property of the spouses is, by the Roman-Dutch law and in the absence of any ante-nuptial contract to the contrary, to bring about a complete community of property, virtually a universal partnership between husband and wife, subject to the sole and absolute control of the husband while the marriage lasts. The courts have, however, the right to interfere for the protection of the wife in case of any flagrant abuse of the power thus vested in the husband. Ante-nuptial agreements may be of any nature the parties may choose. Such agreements must in all cases be publicly registered. Upon the dissolution of a marriage in community of property, or in the event of a judicial separation a communione bonorum, the property of the spouses is divided as upon the liquidation of a partnership. It is not necessary here to refer particularly to certain exceptions to this general rule in cases of divorce.
By the common law gifts between husband and wife during marriage are void as against creditors. This rule cannot be evaded even by ante-nuptial agreement. By the statute law of Natal post-nuptial agreements between spouses are permitted under certain conditions, to which it is not possible now to refer at length. Divorce is granted to either spouse for either adultery or malicious desertion, the distinctions established by the English law between husband and wife in respect of divorce being disregarded.
Language. — The languages spoken in South Africa by the inhabitants of European descent are English and Dutch, the latter chiefly in the form of a patois colloquially known as the Taal. (German and Portuguese are spoken in the possessions of those countries, but a knowledge of English or Dutch is frequent even in those territories.) The history of the Dutch language in South Africa is intimately bound up with the history of the South African Dutch people. The basis of the language as spoken to-day is that 17th-century Dutch of Holland which the first settlers brought to the country; and although the Dutch of Holland and the Dutch of South Africa differ very widely to-day, Cape Dutch differs less widely from the Dutch language of the 17th century than from the modern Dutch of Holland. The tongue of the vast majority of the Dutch-speaking inhabitants may thus be said to be a degenerate dialect of the 17th-century Dutch of Holland, with a very limited vocabulary. The limiting of the vocabulary is due to two reasons. In the first place, the early settlers were drawn principally from the peasant class, being chiefly discharged soldiers and sailors; and, further, when once settled, the necessity for making the language intelligible to the natives by whom the settlers were surrounded led to a still further simplification of speech structure and curtailment of the vocabulary. There thus grew up an ungrammatical dialect of Dutch, suited only to the most ordinary requirements of the everyday life of a rural population. It became a language with neither a syntax nor a literature. At the same time it remained in character almost entirely Dutch, no French — in spite of the incorporation into the population of the Huguenot emigrants — and only a few Malay words finding a place in the Taal. But side by side with this language of everyday life a purer form of Dutch has continued to exist and find its uses under certain conditions. It must be borne in mind that the Boers of every grade have always been more or less sedulously instructed in religious subjects, at all events to the extent required to fit them for formal membership of their church, and in all their wanderings they have usually been attended by their pastors. The Dutch Bible and Catechism are written in pure Dutch. The language of the Dutch Bible is as majestic as that of the English version. Moreover, the services of the Church have always been conducted in grammatical though simple Dutch; and the clergy, in their intercourse with the people, have as a general rule abstained from conversing in the ordinary dialect. The Boer thus has but slight difficulty in reading and understanding pure Dutch. Under the influence of Africander nationalism strenuous efforts have been made to teach the language in the schools throughout the greater part of South Africa. In the Transvaal and Orange Free State education was imparted almost exclusively in Dutch. All public business in the government offices and law courts was conducted in the language, and the Transvaal at the time of its annexation by Great Britain was being gradually inundated by officials, railway servants and others introduced from Holland, who spoke modern Dutch. Officially throughout the Union of South Africa both languages are now on a footing of equality.
Throughout South Africa a number of words, mainly Dutch, are in general use by the English-speaking inhabitants and also, to a considerable extent, among the natives. The most common of these words, with their English meanings, are here set forth. When not otherwise stated the words are of Dutch origin: —
Among other Dutch words frequently used in place-names may be instanced: rhenoster (rhinoceros), olifant (elephant), mooi (pretty), modder (mud), klip (cliff), berg (mountain), burg or stad (town), zwart (black), klein (little), groote (great), breede (broad), nieuw (new), zuur (sour), bokke (buck).
A number of Dutch weights and measures are also in general use. They include: muid = 3 bushels; morgen = 2.11654 acres. A Cape rood equals 12.396 English feet, and a Cape ton contains 2000 lb.
In accordance with the provisions of an act of the British Parliament (South Africa Act 1909) Cape Colony, Natal, the Transvaal and Orange River colonies were united under one government in a legislative union under the British crown. The Union of South Africa, as the new state is named, was established on the 31st of May 1910. Upon its formation the colonies named became provinces of the Union. In the case of the Orange River colony its title was changed to Orange Free State province. The colonial legislatures were abolished, provincial councils, with strictly subordinate and delegated powers, were set up, and provincial administrators (local men) replaced the various governors. The history of the movement which led to unification is given in the following section. The main provisions of the constitution are as follows: —
The executive government of the Union is vested in the king and may be exercised by the sovereign in person. It is, however, The Executive.administered by a governor-general, who holds office during the king's pleasure. The governor-general can dismiss ministers and dissolve parliament. He is empowered to dissolve both houses of the legislature simultaneously or the House of Assembly alone. He can perform no official act when beyond the territorial limits of the Union, but he can appoint a deputy to act for him during temporary absences. The governor-general is paid £10,000 a year out of the consolidated funds of the Union. He is advised by an executive council, whose members he nominates. The council must include the ministers of state; ministers administering departments of state may not exceed ten in number. Ministers cannot hold office for a longer period than three months unless they are or become members of either house of parliament. The control and administration of native affairs (which before the Union was, except at the Cape, largely in the hands of the colonial governors personally) is vested exclusively in the governor in council and to the same authority is entrusted all matters specially or differentially affecting Asiatics throughout the Union.
The legislative power is vested in a parliament consisting of the Sovereign, a Senate, and a House of Assembly. The Senate consists of 40 members, 8 representatives from each province, and 8 members nominated by the governor-general in council. Four of the nominated members are selected on the ground mainly of their thorough acquaintance with “the reasonable wants and wishes” of the coloured races in South Africa. The presence of both nominated and elected members in the Senate is a novel provision in the constitution of the upper chambers of British colonial legislatures. The senators chosen in 1910 hold office for ten years. After 1920 The Legislature.the Union parliament may make any alteration it sees fit in the constitution of the senate. A senator must be a British subject of European descent, must be thirty years old. be a parliamentary voter in one of the provinces, have lived for five years in the Union, and if an elected member be possessed of immovable property within the Union of the clear value of £500. The House of Assembly consists (as originally constituted) of 121 members, elected by single-membered constituencies, each constituency containing as nearly as possible the same number of voters. Of these members the Cape Province returns 51, the Transvaal 36, and Natal and Orange Free State 17 each. As population increases the total number of members may be raised to 150. The seats allotted to each province are determined by its number of European male adults as ascertained by a quinquennial census, the quota for a constituency being obtained by dividing the total number of such adults in the Union as ascertained at the 1904 census by the number of members at the establishment of the Union. The commission charged with the delimitation of constituencies is permitted to vary the quota as much as 15% either way. Members of the House of Assembly must, like senators, be British subjects of European descent, they must be qualified to be registered as voters and have lived for live years within the Union. A general election must take place every five years, and all polls must be taken on the same day. There must be a session of parliament every year, so arranged that twelve months shall not elapse between the last day of one session and the first sitting of the next session.
The qualifications of parliamentary voters are those which existed in the several colonies at the establishment of the Union, save that “no member of His Majesty's regular forces on full pay” can be registered as a voter. As the franchise laws in the several colonies differed the qualifications of voters in the provinces differ also. In the Transvaal and Orange Free State provinces the franchise is restricted to white adult male British subjects. In neither province is there any property qualification, but a six months' residence before registration is required. In Natal (q.v.) there is a low property qualification. In that province coloured persons are not by name debarred from the franchise, but they are in practice excluded. In the Cape province, where there is also a low property qualification, no colour bar exists and there are a large number of Kaffir voters (see Cape Colony: Constitution). Parliament may alter the qualifications for the vote, but no law which would deprive coloured persons in the Cape province of the franchise can be effective “unless the bill be passed by both houses of parliament sitting together and at the third reading be agreed to by not less than two-thirds of the total number of members of both houses.”
Save as subject, ultimately, to the British parliament the Union parliament is a sovereign body. The provinces have no original authority, possessing only such powers as are delegated to them by the parliament. In certain cases the governor-general must reserve the royal assent to bills, e.g. any bill abolishing the coloured vote in the Cape province. The king is given the power to disallow any law within a year of it having received the assent of the governor-general.
With regard to bills the two houses are not in a position of equality. Bills appropriating revenue or moneys, or imposing taxation, must originate in the House of Assembly and may not be amended by the Senate. If a bill passed by the Assembly has been twice rejected by the Senate, provision is made for a joint sitting of both houses, when members vote and decide upon the measure concerned as one body. In the case of a money bill rejected by the Senate a joint sitting to decide its fate may be held in the same session in which the Senate has failed to pass the bill. Every minister of state may sit and speak in either house, but can vote only in the house of which he is a member. Re-election is not necessary on the appointment of a member as a minister of state. Members of parliament are paid £400 a year, £3 being deducted from this allowance for every day's absence during the session.
A Supreme Court of Judicature for South Africa was created at the establishment of the Union. The former Supreme, High and The Judicature.Circuit Courts of the several colonies then became provincial and local divisions of the Supreme Court of South Africa, which consists of two divisions, namely the Supreme Court and the Appellate Division. Appeals from the decisions of the provincial and local divisions of the court and from those of the High Court of southern Rhodesia, must be made to the appellate division of the Supreme Court. Unless special leave of the privy council be obtained there can be no appeal from the decisions of the Appellate Division, save in admiralty cases. This restriction of the power of appeal to the privy council is much greater than are the restrictions upon appeals from the Commonwealth of Australia, where appeals to the privy council lie by right from the several state Supreme Courts. The difference arises from the fact that the Commonwealth is a federation of states; whereas the Union of South Africa is but one state with but one Supreme Court. One result of this unification of the courts of South Africa is that any provincial or local division of the Supreme Court in which an action is begun can order its transference to another division if that course be deemed more convenient. Moreover the judgments of each provincial division can be registered and enforced in any other division. The administration of justice throughout the Union is vested in a minister of state who has all the powers of the attorney-generals of the several colonies at the time of the Union, save that power as to the prosecution of crimes is vested in each province in an official appointed by the governor-general in council and styled the attorney-general of the province.
Among the general provisions of the constitution the most important is that both the English and Dutch languages are official languages of the Union and are treated on a footing of equality; General Provisions.all records of parliament, and all notices of general public importance or interest issued by the government of the Union must be in both languages. (Persons in the public service at the establishment of the Union cannot, however, be dispensed with because of lack of knowledge of either English or Dutch.) Other general provisions enact free trade throughout the Union, but the customs and excise leviable under the laws existing in any of the colonies at the establishment of Union remain in force unless parliament otherwise provides. All persons who had been naturalized in any of the colonies are naturalized throughout the Union. All rights and obligations under conventions and agreements which were binding on any of the colonies have devolved upon the Union.
The harbours of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London and Durban are state owned, as are also nearly all the railways in the Union. All revenues derived from these services are paid into a separate fund. The administration of the railways, ports and harbours is entrusted to a board of not more than three commissioners (appointed by the governor-general in council) presided over by a minister of state. Each commissioner holds office for five years and may be reappointed. The board is directed to administer its service on business principles, due regard being had to agricultural and industrial development, &c., within the Union. So far as may be the total earnings are not to be more than are sufficient to meet necessary outlays.
Provincial Administration. — While the Union parliament has full power to make laws for the whole of the Union, to provincial councils have been delegated the immediate control of affairs relating solely to the provinces. The subjects delegated to the councils include direct taxation within the provinces for local revenue purposes, the borrowing of money (on the sole credit of the provinces) with the consent of the ministry; agriculture (within the limits defined by parliament) and municipal institutions, divisional councils, and other local institutions. The control of elementary education was also guaranteed to the provincial councils up to 1915, and thereafter until parliament otherwise provides.
The councils consist of not fewer than 25 members and not more than the number of members returned by the province to the House of Assembly. Each councillor represents a separate constituency, these constituencies, as far as possible, to be the same as the parliamentary constituencies. (In the Cape and Transvaal provinces they were the same in 1910; Natal and Orange Free State returning only 17 members to the House of Assembly, the parliamentary constituencies have been rearranged.) The qualifications for electors are the same as for parliament, and any person qualified to vote is qualified to be a member of the council. As in the Cape province coloured persons are qualified to vote, they are thus also qualified to be members of the provincial council. Any member of the provincial council who becomes a member of either House of Parliament thereupon ceases to be a member of such provincial council. Each provincial council continues for three years from the date of its first meeting and is not subject to dissolution save by effiuxion of time.
The executive power in each province is invested in an officer appointed by the government and styled provincial administrator. He holds office for five years. The administrator is assisted by an executive committee of four persons elected from among its own members, or otherwise, by the provincial council on the proportional representation principle. The administrator and any other member of the executive committee, not being a member of the council, has the right to take part in the proceedings of the council, but has not the right to vote. The provincial councils have not the right to make laws, but ordinances, which must receive the assent of the governor-general in council before becoming valid.
The history of South Africa is, almost entirely, that of its colonization by European races, of their conflicts with, and influence over, its native inhabitants, and of the struggle for supremacy between the British and Dutch settlers. The little that is known concerning the doings of the natives before the appearance of the white man belongs to the domain of ethnology rather than of history. When the Portuguese first reached the southern part of Africa there was but one place in it where a civilized race held sway. This was at Sofala, the most southerly post of the East African Arabs. From that port the Arabs traded for ivory, slaves and (principally) gold with Bantu peoples of the far interior — the Rhodesia of to-day. These natives, whose earliest existing buildings may go back to the time of the Norman Conquest, were in a higher state of development than the Bushmen and Hottentots living farther south. The part played by the various native races in modifying the character of the European colonization will be best considered as they successively came into contact with the white settlers. At this point it is only necessary to state that at the same time as the Europeans were slowly extending northward from the south-western point of the continent, a conquering race of Bantu negro stock, originating from somewhere beyond the Zambezi, was spreading southward along the western side of the country.
A. From the Discovery of the Cape to the Great Trek. — What led to the discovery of America led also to the discovery, exploitation and colonization of South Africa. In the 15th century the great Eastern trade with Europe was carried on by the Venetian Republic — Venice was the gate from West to East, and her fieets, richly laden with goods brought down to the shores of the Mediterranean in caravans, supplied Europe with the luxuries of the Orient. It was in that century that Portugal rose to prominence as a maritime power; and being anxious to enjoy at first hand some of the commerce which had brought such prosperity to Venice, Portugal determined to seek out an ocean pathway to the Indies. It was with this intention that Bartholomew Diaz, sailing southwards, discovered the Cape of Good Hope in 1488. Nine years after the discovery of the Cape by Diaz another Portuguese expedition was fitted out under Vasco da Gama. Da Gama entered Table Bay, but did not land. Thence he pushed on round the coast, landed in Mossel Bay, then sailing up the south-east coast he sighted land again on the 25th of December 1497, and named it in honour of the day, Natal. Still proceeding northwards he entered the Quilimane River and eventually reached India.
For many years subsequent to this date South Africa represented merely an inconvenient promontory to be rounded on the voyage to the Indies. Ships stopped at different ports, or rather at such few natural harbours as the inhospitable coast offered, from time to time, but no attempt was made by the Portuguese to colonize the southern end of the continent. On the west coast their southernmost settlement for a long period was Benguella, and the history of Angola (q.v.) had not until the last quarter of the 10th century any close connexion with that of South Africa. On the east coast the Portuguese were masters of Sofala by 1506, and a trading-post was first established in Delagoa Bay in 1545. Here alone Portugal obtained an important foothold in South Africa. But between Benguella on the west and Lourenço Marques on the east the Portuguese made no attempt to form permanent settlements or trading stations along the coast. It was too barren a shore to prove attractive when the riches of East Africa and India were available.
The first Europeans to follow in the wake of the Portuguese voyagers were the English. In 1601 the English East India English East India Company.Company fitted out a fleet of five vessels, which sailed from Torbay. After four months at sea they dropped their anchors in Table Bay, where they remained for seven weeks before proceeding eastwards. From that time forward Table Bay was used as an occasional port of call for British ships, and in 1620 two English captains formally took possession of the Cape in the name of James I. This patriotic act was not, however, sufficiently appreciated by either King James I. or the English East India Company to evoke any official confirmation on their part. Meanwhile the Dutch East India Company had been formed in Holland, and the Dutch had entered keenly into the competition for the glittering prizes of Eastern commerce. In 1648 one of their ships was stranded in Table Bay, and the shipwrecked crew were left to forage for themselves on shore for several months. They were so pleased with the resources of the country that on their return to Holland they represented to the directors of the company the great advantages that would accrue to the Dutch Eastern trade from a properly provided and fortified station of call at the Cape. The result was that in 1652 a fort and vegetable gardens were laid out at Table Bay by a Dutch expedition sent for the purpose under a surgeon named Jan van Riebeek. In 1657 a few soldiers and sailors, discharged by the Dutch East India Company, had farms allotted them, and these men Dutch East India Company.constituted the first so-called “free burghers.” By this step the station became a plantation or settlement. 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 some three hundred Huguenots (men, women and children), who were located at Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Frenchhoek and Paarl. In process of time the French settlers were absorbed in the Dutch population, but they have had an enduring influence on the character of the people. 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 white colonists numbered eight to ten thousand. They possessed numerous slaves, grew wheat in sufficient quantity to make it an article of export, and were famed for the good quality of their wines. But their chief wealth was in cattle. Such prosperity as they enjoyed was in despite of the system of government prevailing. All through the latter half of the 17th and the whole of the 18th century troubles arose from time to time between the colonists and the government. The administration of the Dutch East India Company was of an extremely despotic character. The most complete account of the company's tenure and government of the Cape was written in 1857 by E. B. Watermeyer, a Cape colonist of Dutch descent residing in Cape Town. He points out that it was after failing to find a route by the north-east to China and Japan that the Dutch turned their eyes to the Cape route. The Cape of Good Hope subsequently “became not a colony of the Republic of the United Provinces, but a dependency of the ‘Netherlands Chartered General East India Company’ for mercantile purposes; and to this fact principally can be traced the slow progress, in all but extension of territory, of a country which was settled by Europeans within thirty years of the time when the Pilgrim Fathers, the founders of a mighty empire, landed at Plymouth to plant democratic institutions and European civilization in the West.”
On the settlement under van Riebeek, and the position in it which the so-called “free burghers” enjoyed, this candid Dutch writer throws an interesting light.
“The people,” he says, “who came here with Riebeek himself were not colonists intending permanently to settle at the Cape … The proposition that any freemen or burghers not in the pay of the company should be encouraged to cultivate the ground was first made about three years after Riebeek's arrival. Accordingly, some discharged sailors and soldiers, who received on certain conditions plots of ground extending from the Fresh River to the Liesbeek, were the first free burghers of the colony … Here it is sufficient to say that, generally, the term ‘free burgher’ was a complete misnomer. The first burghers were, in truth, a mere change from paid to unpaid servants of the company. They thought, in obtaining their discharge, that they had much improved their condition, but they soon discovered the reverse to be the fact. And henceforward, to the end of the last [18th] century we find the constantly repeated and well-founded complaint, that the company and its officers possessed every advantage, while the freemen were not allowed even the fruit of their own toil; … The natural effect of this narrow and tyrannous rule was discontent, amounting often to disaffection. After a time every endeavour was made to escape beyond the immediate control of the authorities. Thus the ‘trekking’ system, with its attendant evils, the bane of South Africa, was born. By their illiberal spirit, which sought but temporary commercial advantage in connexion with the Eastern trade, the Dutch authorities themselves, although generally humanely disposed towards the natives, created the system which caused their oppression and extermination.”
When it is borne in mind that the Dutch at the Cape were for one hundred and forty-three years under the rule of the Dutch East India Company, the importance of a correct appreciation of the nature of that rule to any student of South African history is obvious. No modern writer approaches Watermeyer either in the completeness of his facts or the severity of his indictment. Referring to the policy of the company, Watermeyer says: —
The Dutch colonial system as exemplified at the Cape of Good Hope, or rather the system of the Dutch East India Company (for the nation should not wholly suffer under the condemnation justly incurred by a trading association that sought only pecuniary profit), was almost without one redeeming feature, and was a dishonour to the Netherlands' national name. In all things political it was purely despotic; in all things commercial, it was purely monopolist. The Dutch East India Company cared nought for the progress of the colony — provided only that they had a refreshment station for their richly laden fleets, and that the English, French, Danes and Portuguese had not. Whatever tended to infringe in the slightest degree on their darling monopoly was visited with the severest penalties, whether the culprit chanced to be high in rank or low. An instance of this, ludicrous while grossly tyrannical, is preserved in the records. Commander van Quaelbergen, the third of the Dutch governors of the colony, was dismissed from the government in 1667, and expelled the service of the company, because he had interchanged civilities with a French governor bound eastwards, the United Provinces being then at peace with France.
Of this nature was the foreign policy of the Dutch company at the Cape of Good Hope; modified, indeed, in some degree from time to time, but governed by principles of jealous, stringent monopoly until the surrender of the colony by Commissioner Sluysken in 1795. The internal government of the colonists for the entire duration of the East India Company's rule was always tyrannical, often oppressive in the extreme. With proclamations, placaats and statutes abundantly filling huge tomes, the caprice of the governor was in truth the law. A mockery of popular institutions, under the name of a burgher council, indeed existed; but this was a mere delusion, and must not be confounded with the system of local government by means of district burgher councils which that most able man, Commissioner de Mist, sought to establish during the brief government of the Batavian Republic from 1803 to 1806, when the Dutch nation, convinced and ashamed of the false policy by which they had permitted a mere money-making association to disgrace the Batavian name, and to entail degradation on what might have been a free and prosperous colony, sought to redeem their error by making this country a national colonial possession, instead of a slavish property, to be neglected, oppressed or ruined, as the caprice or avarice of its merchant owners might dictate.
From time to time servants in the direct employment of the company were endowed with the right of “freeburghers,” The Trek Boers.but the company retained the power to compel them to return into its service whenever they deemed it necessary. This right to enforce 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, adds Watermeyer, 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 thus trekking began, not in 1835, as is generally stated, but before 1700. From 1720 to 1780 trekking had gone steadily forwards. In 1780 van Plettenberg, the governor, proclaimed the Sneeuwbergen 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; but in 1795 a number of burghers settled in the Swellendam and Graaf Reinet districts drove out the officials of the company and established independent governments. The rebellion was accompanied by an assertion of rights on the part of the burghers or freemen, which contained the following clause, the spirit of which animated many of the Trek Boers: —
That every Bushman or Hottentot, male or female, whether made prisoner by commanders or caught by individuals, as well in time past as in future, shall for life be the lawful property of such burghers as may possess them, and serve in bondage from generation to generation. And if such Hottentots should escape, the owner shall be entitled to follow them up and to punish them, according to their merits in his discretion.
And as to the ordinary Hottentot, already in service, brought up at the places of Christians, the children of these shall be compelled to serve until their twenty-fifth year, and may not go into the service of any other save with their master's consent; that no Hottentot, in future deserting his service shall be entitled to refuge or protection in any part of the colony, but that the authorities throughout the country shall immediately, whatever be the alleged cause of desertion, send back the fugitive to his master.
After one hundred and forty-three years the rule of the Dutch East India Company came to an end at the Cape. What its principles were we already have seen. Watermeyer recapitulates its effects as follows: —
The effects of this pseudo-colonization were that the Dutch, as a commercial nation, destroyed commerce. The most industrious race of Europe, they repressed industry. One of the freest states in the world, they encouraged a despotic misrule in which falsely-called free citizens were enslaved. These men, in their turn, became tyrants. Utter anarchy was the result. Some national feeling may have lingered, but, substantially, every man in the country, of every hue, was benehted when the incubus of the tyranny of the Dutch East India Company was removed.
To this one further note must be added. The Trek Boers of the 19th century were the lineal descendants of the Trek Boers of the 18th. 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 Watermeyer's 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 rule of the Dutch East India Company was extinguished (September 1795) by the occupation of the colony by the British, who acted on behalf of the prince of Orange, Holland having fallen under the control of the revolutionary government of France. Following the peace of Amiens the colony was handed over (February 1803) by Great Britain to a commissioner of the Batavian Republic. During the eight years the British held the Cape notable reforms in the government were effected, but 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. In less than three years (January 1806) the Cape was reconquered by the British, who were at war both with France and Holland. The occupation was at first of a provisional character, but by the third additional article to the convention with the Netherlands of the 13th of August 1814 the country was definitely ceded to Great Britain. In consideration of retaining the Cape The British at the Cape.and the Dutch settlements now constituting British Guiana, Great Britain paid £6,000,000. The British title to Cape Colony is thus based upon conquest, treaty and purchase. The wishes of the inhabitants were not consulted, and among them resentment was felt at the way in which their future was thus disposed of. The Europeans at the Cape at that time numbered about 27,000.
Before tracing the history of South Africa during the 19th century, the early relations of the white settlers with the natives Early Relations with the Native Races.may be briefly reviewed. The natives first encountered at the Cape were the Hottentots (q.v.). They that time occupied the Cape peninsula and surrounding country, and in the early days of the settlement caused the colonists a considerable amount of trouble. An extract from the diary of van Riebeek in 1659 will best illustrate the nature of the relations existing between colonists and natives at that time: —
3rd June. — Wet weather as before, to the prevention of our operations. Our people who are out against the plundering Hottentots, can effect nothing, neither can they effect anything against us; thus during the whole week they have been vainly trying to get at our cattle, and we have been trying vainly to get at their persons; but we will hope that we may once fall in with them in fine weather, and that the Lord God will be with us.
Next to the Hottentots the white settlers encountered the Bushmen (q.v.). When first known to the early colonists they were inveterate stock thieves, and were treated as wild animals, to be shot whenever an opportunity occurred Such opposition as Hottentots and Bushmen were able to offer to European colonization was not difficult to overcome (see Cape Colony: History). The expansion of the colony was little retarded by native opposition until the Dutch encountered the Bantu negro tribes. As already stated, the Bantus, like the Europeans, were invaders of South Africa, and the meeting of these rival invaders was the cause of many bloody conflicts. At first the Cape government endeavoured to come to an amicable arrangement with the new power threatening its eastern border, and in 1780 it was agreed that the Great Fish River should be the permanent boundary between the colonial and Bantu territories. The Bantus or Kaffirs (q.v.), as they were universally called, then held all the coast-lands between Delagoa Bay and the Great Fish River, and for many years they were strong enough to bar the further progress eastward of the white races. But the agreement of 1780 was impossible of fulfilment. The peace was broken in 1789 by an invasion of the colonial territory by the Kaffirs, and this conflict proved to be but the first of a series of Kaffir wars which lasted for a century. In 1811 it was deemed necessary to expel the Kaffirs from the Zuurveld, and the British headquarters in that campaign became the site of Graham's Town. In 1817–1819 the Kaffirs returned and laid waste a large area. They were driven back and the country up to the Keiskama River annexed to the colony; but the disaster which nearly overwhelmed the eastern province convinced Lord Charles Somerset, then governor of the colony, of the necessity for a line British Settlers of 1820.of frontier forts and a more numerous settlement of colonists. Representations on the matter in England, coupled with assurances from Somerset as to the fertility of the district, induced the British government to vote £50,000 for the purpose of sending out a number of emigrants, Applications were called for, and no fewer than 90,000 were received. Of these, only 4000 were selected and shipped to South Africa. They were landed in 1820, in Algoa Bay, Where they founded Port Elizabeth and the Albany settlement. Among these settlers were a number of married men with families. They were recruited from England, Ireland and Scotland, and came from all grades of society. Among them were cadets of old families, retired officers, professional men, farmers, tradesmen, mechanics and labourers. They encountered many difficulties and some suffering in their early days, but on the whole they throve and prospered. Their descendants, the Atherstones, Bowkers, Barbers, Woods, Whites, Turveys, and a number of other well-known frontier families, are to-day the backbone of the eastern district of the Cape, and furnish the largest portion of the progressive element in that province. Among them was a gifted Scotsman named Thomas Pringle (1789–1834). His poems, including “Afar in the desert I love to ride,” depict the scenes of those early days in glowing lines. The vast spaces of the veld, the silence of the solitudes, the marvellous, varied and abundant animal life, the savage, half-weird character of the natives and the wild adventure of the early colonists have been caught with a true spirit of genius. Since his day no one, unless it be Olive Schreiner in The Story of on African Farm, has so vividly painted the life and the atmosphere of that vast continent lying to the south of the Zambezi.
Various Protestant missions had sent agents among the natives during the closing years of the 18th century, and after the definite acquisition of the Cape by Great Britain the number of missionaries in the country greatly increased. Many became pioneers, settling in regions beyond the limits of British jurisdiction. Others remained within Cape Colony, while several were stationed among the Kaffirs along the colonial border. The missionaries from the first often found themselves at variance with the Dutch and also the British settlers, whose methods of dealing with the natives often deserved condemnation. At this period Dr John Philip (q.v.), of the London Missionary Society, was the most prominent of the missionaries in the colony, and his influence was powerful with the home government. The publication in 1828 of his book Researches in South Africa had an important effect on the future of the country. The British government adopted his negrophil attitude and made its agents at the Cape conform to it. The equality of all free Hottentots and other free persons of colour with the white colonists was decreed in that year (1820). Philip's action lacked discrimination, and his faith in the natives was excessive. His charges greatly embittered the Boers, who were further aggrieved by the emancipation of the slaves. The Slave Emancipation Act, Emancipation of Slaves.freeing all slaves throughout the British Empire, came into force in December 1834. The slaves in Cape Colony, who consisted of negroes from Mozambique, natives of Madagascar, and of Hottentots and Malays were estimated at the time at 36,000. The Cape governments — both Dutch and British — had been consistently averse from the importation of slaves in large numbers, and the great majority of the slaves were therefore Hottentots. The sum voted by the British government to slave-owners in Cape Colony, out of a total compensation paid of £20,000,000, was £1,250,000 (the official estimate of their value being £3,000,000). This money was only made payable in London, and the farmers were compelled to sell their claims for compensation to agents, who frequently paid a merely nominal price for them. In many instances farmers were unable to obtain native labour for a considerable time after the emancipation, and in several cases ruin was the result. A very bitter feeling was thus created among the Dutch colonists.
The championship of the natives by the missionaries led to attacks, in part justified, upon the policy of the missions not only by the Dutch, but by the British colonists. The zeal of the missionaries frequently outran their discretion. This was especially the case in early days. They not only endeavoured to protect and guide the natives beyond the colonial border, but among the Hottentots within the colony they instilled notions of antipathy to the white farmers, and withdrew large numbers of them from agricultural pursuits. Their general attitude may be explained as a reaction against the abuses which they saw going on around them, and to a misconception of the character of the Hottentot and Bantu races. A longer experience of all the African negroid races has led to a considerable modihcation in Work of the Missionaries.the views originally held in regard to them. The black man is not simply a morally and intellectually undeveloped European, and education, except in rare instances, does not put him on an equality with the European. But, admitting all that may be justly urged against the extreme attitude of some of the missionaries, no unprejudiced man will deny that their work on the whole has been a good one. The fair fame of Great Britain has more than once been upheld in South Africa at the instigation and by the conduct of these intrepid pioneers. Robert Moffat and David Livingstone among the Bechuanas, E. Cassalis among the Basutos, François Coillard among the Barotse, James Stewart in Cape Colony, to name but a few of the great missionaries, have all had an excellent influence upon the natives. They have (besides their purely spiritual work) opposed the sale of alcohol, denounced inhumanity from the farmers, encouraged the natives to labour and taught them mechanical arts. Technical education, begun about 1840, now occupies a position little, if at all, inferior to that of doctrinal teaching, and the effect is an excellent one. Strong testimony to the beneficial result of their labours was borne by a thoroughly impartial commission, presided over by Sir Godfrey Lagden, which in 1903–1905 investigated the status and condition of the natives of South Africa.
To return to the period of Dr Philip's activity. Largely upon his advice it was decided to create a band of native states on the northern and eastern frontiers of the colony. These treaty Treaty States.states, as they were called, were intended to serve a double purpose; they would be a barrier protecting the colony from the inroads of hostile tribes, and they would enable native civilized nations to grow up (under the tutelage of the missionaries) strong enough to protect themselves from the encroachments of the whites. In fact, neither of these results followed. With one exception, that of Moshesh, the chief of the Basutos, none of the chiefs with whom treaties were made were men powerful enough to found kingdoms, nor had they, in most cases, any better right than their neighbours to the territory recognized as theirs by the British government. Moreover, to treat these men as independent or semi-independent princes was a complete mistake; the failure of the treaty state system is now seen to have been inevitable. The first treaty of this kind was concluded on the 11th of December 1834 with a Griqua chief named Andries Waterboer. This chieftain lived north of the Orange river in the district now known as Griqualand West, and ruled over some 4000 people, a bastard race sprung from the intercourse between Boers and native women. In 1843 two more of these treaty states were established, one under Adam Kok (the third of that name) and the other under Moshesh. Adam Kok had under him a small number of Griquas, who dwelt in the country east of that occupied by Waterboer (see Griqualand). And east of this country, again, was a tract of territory occupied by Basutos under Moshesh. In the same way Pondoland was established as a treaty state in 1844. The distinction between these states must be remembered to understand aright subsequent developments. Moshesh ruled over a region largely mountainous and over a people numerous and virile; Pondoland was somewhat remote and was densely inhabited by warlike Kaffirs; the two Griqua states were, however, missionary creations; they were thinly inhabited and occupied open plains easy of access — hence their ultimate collapse.
The year which witnessed the emancipation of the slaves and the creation of the first treaty state also saw the beginning of another disastrous Kaffir war. Fighting began in December 1834, and lasted nearly a year. The Kaffirs wrought great havoc, and Sir Benjamin D'Urban (q.v.), the governor, in order to secure peace, extended the boundary of the colony to the Kei river. The Kaffirs had suffered much injustice, especially from the commando-reprisal system, but they had also committed many injustices, and for the disturbed state of the border the vacillating policy of the Cape government was largely to blame. Sir Benjamin's policy — which had the cordial approval both of the Dutch and the British colonists — was one of close settlement by whites in certain districts and military control of the Kaffirs 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 Kaffirs were in the right in the quarrel, and he compelled D'Urban to abandon the conquered territory, a mistaken decision adopted largely on the advice of Dr Philip and his supporters. Thus at this time (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 Great Trek.The British immigrants of 1820 were still struggling against heavy odds; the Dutch colonists were in a state of great indignation. In these circumstances what is known as the Great Trek occurred. It lasted from 1836 to 1840. During that period no fewer than 7000 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 into the fastnesses of the Zoutspanberg, in the northern part of the Transvaal.
In view of the vast consequences ensuing from this exodus of Dutch families from the Cape a somewhat detailed consideration of its causes is necessary. Material for forming a judgment will be found chiefly in the correspondence of Sir Benjamin D'Urban with the Colonial Office, in the statements made by the voortrekkers, and in a series of lectures delivered in Pietermaritzburg in 1852–1855 by the Hon. Henry Cloete, whose statements as to the causes of the trek were founded on intimate knowledge and are impartially set forth. Piet Retief, the ablest of the leaders of the exodus, on the eve of leaving the colony published a declaration at Graham's Town, dated January 22nd 1837, in which he declared the chief reasons animating the emigrants to be: —
1. We despair of saving the colony from those evils which threaten it by the turbulent and dishonest conduct of vagrants, who are allowed to infest the country in every part; nor do we see any prospect of peace or happiness for our children in a country thus distracted by internal commotions.
2. We complain of the severe losses which we have been forced to sustain by the emancipation of our slaves, and the vexatious laws which have been enacted respecting them.
3. We complain of the continual system of plunder which we have ever endured from the Kafirs and other colored classes, and particularly by the last invasion of the colony, which has desolated the frontier districts and ruined most of the inhabitants.
4. We complain of the unjustifiable odium which has been cast upon us by interested and dishonest persons, under the cloak of religion, whose testimony is believed in England to the exclusion of all evidence in our favour; and we can foresee, as the result of this prejudice, nothing but the total ruin of the country.
These four points correspond to the “three great grievances” under which the farmers suffered, enumerated by Cloete as (1) The Hottentot Question (i.e. the first and fourth points of Retief's manifesto combined); (2) The Slave Question; (3) The Kaffir Question. Enough has already been said as to the relations between the missionaries, the Boer farmers and the Hottentots; this grievance, however, “proved quite secondary to the intensity of feeling with which the colonists saw the steps taken by the government to deprive them of that labour (slave labour) over which they claimed an unquestionable right of property.” Then came the Kaffir War of 1834–1835, the reversal by the home government of the statesmanlike settlement of Sir Benjamin D'Urban, and the refusal of any compensation to the sufferers from the war, whose losses amounted to some £500,000. These, then, were the direct causes of the voluntary expatriation of the majority of the first trekkers, who included some of the best families in the colony, but they fail to explain the profound hostility to Great Britain which thereafter animated many, but not all, of the emigrants, nor do they account for the easy abandonment of their homes by numbers of the trekkers. The underlying fact which made the trek possible is that the Dutch-descended colonists in the eastern and north-eastern parts of the colony were not cultivators of the soil, but of purely pastoral and nomad habits, ever ready to seek new pastures for their flocks and herds, and possessing no special affection for any particular locality. In the next place these people, thinly scattered over a wide extent of territory, had lived for long under little restraint from the laws, and 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. An effort to bring a man named Frederick Bezuidenhout to justice led to armed resistance and finally to the hanging of five men at Slachter's Nek in circumstances that made an indelible impression throughout the frontier (see Cape Colony: History). It intensified in the minds of many Boers the feeling of hostility towards the British already existing; some of the trekkers in 1836–1840 had taken part in and others had passively aided the rebellion of 1815 — “the most insane attempt ever made by a set of men to wage war against their sovereign” (Cloete, op. cit. p. 28). What, however, was probably the most powerful motive of the Great Trek was the equality established by the British between the black and white races. In the eyes of the Boers the possibility of equality between the whites and the natives was not admitted. This sentiment, which found formal recognition later on in the constitution of the South African Republic, was held in fullest force by the voortrekkers. Summing up, it may be said that the exasperation caused by just grievances unremedied was no stronger a motive with the trekkers than the desire to be free from the restraints imposed on British subjects and the wish to be able to deal with the natives after their own fashion.
The departure of so large a number of persons caused serious misgiving both to the Cape and the home governments. The trekkers had been told by the lieutenant-governor of the eastern province (Sir Andries Stockenstrom) that he was not aware of any law which prevented any British subject from settling in another country, and in the words of Piet Retief's declaration they quitted the colony “under the full assurance that the English government has nothing more to require of us, and will allow us to govern ourselves without its interference in future.” The British government thought otherwise; they held that the trekkers could not divest themselves of their allegiance to the Crown. Moreover, though the farmers might leave British territory they were still held to be liable to the jurisdiction of British courts. An act passed in 1836 (the Cape of Good Hope Punishment Act) empowered the colonial courts to deal with offences committed by British subjects in any part of South Africa up to the 25th degree of south latitude. Intended by its authors to protect the native tribes from aggression on the part of white men and to check the exploration by Europeans of the lands of the Kaffirs, Bechuanas, &c., the act led in fact to the assertion of British authority in regions beyond the Cape frontier.
B. From the Foundation of the Republics to Majuba. — While the home government was seeking to prevent the expansion Foundation of the Boer Republics and Natal.of the white races the first steps had been taken by a body of Englishmen to found a new colony at Natal. Since 1824 a few traders had been settled at Port Natal, and in 1834 formal petition was made that their settlement should be recognized as a British colony. The request was refused, and not long afterwards (1837) some of the Dutch emigrant farmers under Retief entered the country by way of the Drakensberg. Retief, like his English predecessors at Port Natal (known also since 1835 as Durban), sought a formal grant of territory from the chief of the Zulu nation, the Zulus being the acknowledged overlords of the tribes living in Natal. Retief and his party were, however, treacherously murdered by Dingaan, the Zulu king (February 1838). Other trekkers followed in the wake of Retief, and attacking Dingaan avenged the massacre.
The Boers then established a republican government at Maritzburg. Though most anxious to avoid any extension of responsibility in South Africa, Great Britain recognized the potential danger arising from the creation of an independent state on the coast. The Boers at first rejected offers of accommodation. Troops were then sent to the country, and finally a settlement was made by Henry Cloete, the British commissioner, with the Boer leaders, and Natal constituted a British colony in 1843. Many Boers, dissatisfied with this arrangement, withdrew beyond the Drakensberg. Natal shortly afterwards received a considerable number of emigrants from England, and the white inhabitants have since been predominantly British. At first Natal was dependent on Cape Colony. In 1856 it was constituted a separate colony, but it did not possess self-government until 1893. A notable departure from the labour policy of the other states was made by Natal in 1860, when Indian coolies were introduced. At the time the matter attracted little attention, but the Asiatic inhabitants speedily increased, and forty years later they outnumbered the whites (see Natal).
It had taken the British government nearly ten years to decide on the annexation of Natal; its policy towards the Boers settled north of the Orange was marked by the same hesitation (see Orange Free State). By 1847, when Sir Harry Smith became high commissioner, the failure of the treaty state policy was evident. Sir Harry, deeming no other course open to him, proclaimed (February 1848) the country between the Orange and Vaal rivers British territory, under the name of the Orange River Sovereignty. Sir Harry had, in the previous December, extended Orange River Sovereigntythe northern frontier of Cape Colony to the Orange, and had reoccupied the territory on the Kaffir border D'Urban had been forced to abandon. The extension of British rule north of the Orange was opposed by Andries Pretorius, who, being defeated at Boomplaats, withdrew north of the Vaal, where, though not interfered with by the British, the Boers split up into several rival parties. In the Sovereignty difficulties arose in defining the reserves of the native chiefs, and with the Basutos there were armed conflicts. The home government (the first Russell administration), which had reluctantly consented to confirm Sir Harry Smith's annexation of the Orange River territory, on learning of these difficulties, and also that many of the burghers remained dissatisfied, changed their policy, and in 1851 the governor was informed that the ultimate abandonment of the Sovereignty was a settled point. In fulfilment of their settled policy to keep the British South African dominions within the smallest possible limits, the cabinet decided to recognize the independence of the Boers living beyond the Vaal. This recognition, the necessary preliminary to the abandonment of the Orange River Sovereignty, was made Independence of the Transvaal Recognized.in the Sand River Convention on the 17th of January 1852. The Transvaal thus became an independent state, or rather it formed a number of mutually jealous communities, and it was not until 1864 that they were all united. Despite their distracted condition the Transvaal Boers had no sooner obtained their independence than they began to make claims to authority in Bechuanaland. But the championship of the Bechuanas by Moffat, Livingstone and other missionaries, and their determination that the road to the interior should not be closed by the Boers, had its effect, and the Boers did not succeed in making themselves masters of the country (see Transvaal: History, and Bechuanaland). The British government meantime pursued its policy of abandonment, and in February 1854, by the Bloemfontein Convention, forced independence upon the people of the Sovereignty, which now became the Orange Free State. A clause was inserted Orange Free State.in the Bloemfontein Convention stating that Great Britain had no alliance with any native chiefs or tribes to the north of the Orange, with the exception of the Griqua chief Adam Kok. Numerous protests were made by many of the inhabitants of the Orange River Sovereignty against the abandonment of it by the British government, but the duke of Newcastle, who was then colonial secretary in Lord Aberdeen's administration, replied that the decision was inevitable (see Orange Free State).
The abandonment of the Orange River Sovereignty marked the close of the eventful period in South African history which began eighteen years before with the Great Trek. At the beginning of that time there was but one civilized government in South Africa — Cape Colony; at its close there were five separate states or provinces, three, the Cape, Natal and British Kaffraria, owning allegiance to Great Britain, and two forming Boer republics — the Transvaal and Orange Free State. While vast Results of a Policy of Vacillation.additional territories had been occupied by British or Boers the unity of administration, which had marked the previous stages in the expansion of the white races in South Africa, had been lost. Whether or not a wiser policy on the part of Great Britain would have secured the continued allegiance of all the Boers it is impossible to say; the fact that numbers of Boers remained in Natal under British rule, and that the majority of the Boers who settled between the Orange and the Vaal desired to remain British subjects, points to that conclusion. With justice the Boers complained of the course actually adopted by the British authorities. They might at the outset either have let the trek Boers go, and given them their blessing and liberty, or they might have controlled the trek and made effective their contention that the trekkers were still British subjects. As has been demonstrated the action taken was one of vacillation between these two courses. and was complicated by a native policy which, though Well intentioned and intelligible, needlessly irritated the white colonists (British and Dutch) and did not prevent bloodshed. In the words of Mr Paul Botha, a Boer writer, England first blew hot and then blew cold. But in 1854 a definite standpoint appeared to have been reached — Great Britain would confine her energies to the Cape and Natal, leaving the republics to work out their own destinies undisturbed. It was at this juncture that Sir George Sir George Grey.Grey was sent to the Cape as governor. A gifted and far-seeing man, he had no sooner arrived than he addressed himself with energy and diligence to the great problems awaiting him. His first care was to ameliorate the condition of Cape Colony. He resolved that in dealing with the natives on the eastern frontier an attempt should be made to civilize them and thus do away with the necessity of periodical warfare. Grey's efforts to promote good government in Kaffraria received unexpected help in consequence of the extraordinary delusion among the Ama-Xosa in 1856, which resulted in the death of many thousands of natives (see Cape Colony: History). Land left derelict was occupied by colonial farmers, and over 2000 German immigrants were introduced by Sir George and settled along the frontier (1858–1859). By this time the colonists of British descent predominated in the eastern provinces-a circumstance which had important bearings on the future of the colony.
Sir George Grey found it impossible to maintain a policy of total abstention from the affairs of the republics. The party in the Free State which had objected to independence being forced upon it was still strong and made overtures for union with the Cape; attempts were also made to unite the Free State and the Transvaal. In the conflicts between the Free Staters and the Basutos Grey's intervention was sought. All the evidence before Sir George, and the study he made of the Boer character, convinced him that the barriers separating the various white communities were largely artificial. He sought to remedy the mistake which had been made, and in 1858 he submitted a scheme of federation between the various South African states. In a memorable despatch to Sir E. Bulwer Lytton, then colonial secretary in the second Derby administration, he wrote (November 19, 1858): —
When the policy was adopted of dividing South Africa into many states, bound together by no ties of union, it was thought that the mother country derived no real benefit from the possession of this part of the African continent, except in holding the seaport of Simon's Bay. … It was further thought that the occupation by Great Britain of the country beyond the Orange River had been a bubble and a farce, in which the Cape colonists were all interested; for that it was to them a great gaming table and out of the reach of the police … Although these European countries lying beyond our colonies are treated as separate nations, their inhabitants bear the same family names as the inhabitants of this colony, and maintain with them ties of the closest intimacy and relationship. … I think there can be no doubt that in any great public, or popular, or national question and movement the mere fact of calling these people different nations would not make them so, nor would the fact of a mere fordable stream running between them sever their sympathies or prevent them from acting in unison. … Experience has shown that the views which led to the dismemberment of South Africa were mistaken ones … What therefore I would recommend would be that … measures should be taken which would permit of the several states and legislatures of this country forming among themselves a federal union.
When he penned this despatch Grey was well aware of the distraught condition of the Free State and the agitation for a change in its government. He held that the federation of that state with Cape Colony was preferable to its union or federation with the Transvaal, and it was with considerable satisfaction that he learned that on the 7th of December of the same year (1858) the Volksraad of the Free State had passed a resolution in favour of “a union or alliance with the Cape Colony” and sought to ascertain the views of the Cape legislature on the subject. In bringing the matter before the Cape parliament in March 1859 Grey stated that in his opinion it would confer a lasting benefit upon Great Britain and upon the inhabitants of South Africa if it could succeed in devising a form of federal union. First Confederation Proposal.Unfortunately, Grey's views did not meet with the approval of the British government. Had they been supported it is highly probable that federation would have been effected. But the golden opportunity was lost. When Grey attempted to persevere with his scheme he was recalled. He left Cape Town in August 1859, but on his arrival in England he found that there had been a change of ministry. The new colonial secretary, the duke of Newcastle, reinstated him, but with instructions not again to raise the federation issue. The first project for reunion thus came to naught, but from that time forward it was recognized in South Africa that federation would afford the best solution of most of the difficulties that beset the country. The Transvaal was perhaps the greatest sufferer through Grey's failure, that country continuing for years in a distracted condition. The Free State, under the guidance of Sir John Brand, who became president in 1864, attained a considerable measure of prosperity. Its difficulties with the Basutos were at last composed, and Moshesh and his people were in 1868 definitely taken under British protection. The policy of non-interference proclaimed in 1854 had proved impracticable, and the annexation of Basutoland was an open confession of the fact. In 1871 the country was annexed to Cape Colony, but its pacification proved a task of great difficulty.
Up to the year 1870 the Dutch considerably outnumbered the British inhabitants; indeed, save in Natal, in the eastern province Economic Development.and in Cape Town, the British inhabitants were comparatively few. The industries were almost entirely pastoral, and remained chiefly in the hands of the Dutch. The continual feuds with the Kaffirs, and also the continual desire to trek into new countries, all tended to keep back farming, and the country in the years 1867 to 1870 was in a generally very depressed condition. But in 1870 the era of commercial expansion began. In that year, following smaller finds of diamonds on the banks of the Vaal and Orange rivers, the diamond mines of Du Toits Pan and Bultfontein were opened up. In 1869 gold had been found in the Lydenburg and Zoutpansberg districts in the Transvaal, and diggers had resorted there from different parts of the world; moreover, in the far interior, in the territories of Mashonaland, Thomas Baines had reported discoveries of gold. Among the purely pastoral population ostrich farming became a new industry and added a considerable asset to the wealth of Cape Colony. The revenue derived from the exportof ostrich feathers in 1899 was recorded at half a million. It was, however, the discoveries of diamonds and gold that chiefly determined the development of the country. Alarge population grew up, first at Kimberley, afterwards at Barberton, and finally at Johannesburg — a population modern in its ideas, energetic, educated, cosmopolitan, appreciating all the resources that modern civilization had to offer them, and with a strong partiality for the life of the town or the camp rather than that of the farm and the veld. The majority of the Boers remained very much what they had been in the 17th century. Their life of continual strife with natives, continual trekking to fresh pastures, had not been conducive to education or the enlargement of intellectual outlook. In religion they were Caivinistic, fanatic, and their old traditions of Dutch East India government, together with their relation to the natives, developed a spirit of caste and even tyranny.
It was at this stage of affairs that responsible government was granted to Cape Colony (1872). From that time down to The Carnarvon Confederation Scheme.the annexation of the Transvaal in 1877, to quote once more the homely phrase of Paul Botha, Great Britain “blew hot” in South Africa. A great change in public sentiment towards the colonies generally began to make itself felt in Great Britain in the late sixties and early seventies of the 19th century. The constitution of the Dominion of Canada (1867–1873) was an evidence of that feeling. With the advent to power of the Disraeli ministry in 1874 the nascent Imperial spirit grew in strength. Lord Carnarvon (the 4th earl), when under-secretary for the colonies in 1858–1859, had regarded Grey's federation proposal with disfavour, but later, as secretary of state, he had introduced the bill for the federation of the Canadian provinces. He now returned to the Colonial Office filled with the idea of doing for South Africa what had been done in British North America. Recent events in South Africa had appeared for a brief period to favour a union of its various colonies and states. The intimation of the impending grant of self-government to Cape Colony was regarded by both Boer republics as bringing nearer the prospect of their union with the British colonies. But just at that time differences arose between Great Britain and the republics as to the ownership of the Kimberley diamond fields which estranged the Boers (see Griqualand and Transvaal). In the Transvaal Pretorius was succeeded by T. F. Burgers, a man totally unfitted to govern a country distracted by factions, harassed by wars with natives, and with an almost depleted exchequer. Yet in the condition of the Transvaal Lord Carnarvon found another argument in favour of federation. Union with the neighbouring states would, he thought, cure its ills and promote the general welfare of South Africa. As a preliminary step he accepted an offer from J. A. Froude to visit South Africa unofficially, and by travelling through its different states find out what were the obstacles to confederation and the means by which such obstacles could be removed. Froude landed at Cape Town on the 21st of September 1874, and having visited Natal, the Free State and Pretoria as well as Cape Colony, sailed for England on the 10th of January 1875. In the three and a half months he had spent in the country he had reached the conclusion expressed by the duke of Newcastle nearly twenty years previously, namely, that all England needed there was Table Bay — or the Cape peninsula — as a naval and military station. The South African states, he believed, might be left in internal affairs to work out their own future. These views coincided with those of Lord Carnarvon, who looked to federation as a means of relieving the Imperial government of some of the heavy responsibilities pressing upon it in South Africa, and he asked Froude to return to the Cape to take part in a conference in South Africa on the federation scheme. The offer was accepted, and Froude reached Cape Town again in June 1875. Lord Carnarvon's despatch (May 4, 1875), indicating his views, had preceded the arrival of Froude, and had incensed J. C. Molteno, the Cape premier, by its disregard of the colony's self-governing powers. A motion was carried in the Cape parliament affirming that any movement for federation should originate in South Africa and not in England. Froude on his arrival was much chagrined at the attitude taken by the Cape parliament, and conducted an oratorical campaign throughout the country in favour of federation. His speeches were lacking in judgment and tact, and created an unfavourable impression, The conference was not held, and Froude returned to England in the autumn.
Lord Carnarvon was far from abandoning his plan. The Transvaal was now in a condition bordering on anarchy, and numbers of its inhabitants were supposed to be looking to Great Britain for help. Another party in the Transvaal was seeking alliances with Germany and Portugal, and this danger of foreign interference was a further cause for action. In August 1876 the colonial secretary assembled a conference on South African affairs in London, nominating Froude as representative of Griqualand West. President Brand represented the Free State. Another member of the conference was Sir Theophilus Shepstone, (q.v.) Neither Cape Colony nor the Transvaal was represented, and the conference was abortive, President Brand having no permission from his state to consider federation. That subject was, in fact, not discussed by the delegates. In view of the troubles in the Transvaal, and in furtherance of Carnarvon's federation scheme, Shepstone was, on the 5th of October following, given a dormant commission to annex the republic “if it was desired by the inhabitants and in his judgment necessary.” The secretary of state sought the aid of Sir Bartle Frere as his chief agent in carrying through confederation, the then governor of Cape Colony and high commissioner for South Africa, Sir Henry Barkly, sharing the views of the Cape ministry that the time was inopportune to force such a step upon South Africa. In a letter dated the 13th of October, offering Frere the post Barkly was about to vacate, Lord Carnarvon wrote: —
… The war between the Transvaal republic and the natives has had this further effect, it rapidly ripened all South African policy. … It brings us near to the object and end for which I have now for two years been steadily labouring — the union of the South African colonies and states. I am indeed now considering the details of a bill for their confederation, which I desire to introduce next session, and I propose to press, by all means in my power, my confederation policy in South Africa.
The time required for the work of confederating and of consolidating the confederated states Lord Carnarvon estimated at First Annexation of the Transvaal.not more than two years, and he was sanguine enough to hope that Frere would stay on at the Cape for two or three years “as the first governor-general of the South African dominion.” Frere accepted the offer, but did not leave England until March 1877. Shepstone preceded him, and in January 1877 had gone to Pretoria. His conferences with the leading men in the Transvaal and a consideration of the dangers which threatened it and the grave disorders within its borders satisfied Shepstone that he had no choice except to act upon his commission, and on the 12th of April he issued a proclamation annexing the country to the British Crown. During the interval between Shepstone's arrival in the country and the annexation the Volksraad had rejected the proposals for confederation laid before them in accordance with Lord Carnarvon's permissive bill, and had made no real attempt at reform. The annexation was acquiesced in by a considerable number of the white inhabitants. Shepstone was convinced that it was the only step which could save the country from ruin. The subject is discussed at greater length under Transvaal. Frere, who had reached Cape Town on the 31st of March, learnt on the 16th of April that the annexation had taken place. He was inclined to regard Shepstone's act as premature, and he realized that it stirred very deeply Dutch national feeling throughout South Africa. Though anxious to promote Carnarvon's policy, Frere found that native affairs called for immediate attention. The Basuto and Kaffir tribes were giving trouble, and the 40,000 trained Zulu warriors under Cetywayo threatened the peace both of Natal and the Transvaal. In the same month (Aug. 1877) in which the British parliament passed the act, foreshadowed by the secretary of state, “for the union under one government of such of the South African colonies and states as may agree thereto,” another war with the Kaffirs broke out. This conflict lasted until May 1878, and largely absorbed the energies of Sir Bartle Frere In the meantime a scheme of unification, as opposed to federation, put forward by the Molteno ministry — a scheme which in its essence anticipated the form of government established in 1910 — had met with no support from Frere or the home ministry. In January 1878 Lord Carnarvon resigned, and the driving force of the federation scheme thus disappeared. It was not, however, finally dropped until 1880. In July of that year proposals for a confederation conference were submitted to the Cape parliament. At that time Paul Kruger and Piet Joubert, delegates from the Transvaal Boers, were in Cape Town, and they used their influence to prevent the acceptance of the proposals, which were shelved by the ministry accepting “the previous question” (June 29). Thus ended an attempt which lacked the element essential to success — spontaneity.
Confederation had, for the time being, ceased to be a living issue some time before its formal shelving by the Cape parliament. The Kaffir War of 1878 was followed by war with the Zulus. Frere, believing that the Zulu power was a standing menace to the peace of South Africa, and that delay in dealing with Cetywayo would only increase the danger, sent an ultimatum to the chief in November 1878. The invasion of Zululand began in January 1879, and was speedily followed by the disaster at Isandhlwana and by the defence of Rorke's Drift and of Eshowe. But at the battle of Ulundi in July the Zulu power was crushed, and a little later Cetywayo was taken prisoner (see Zululand: History). The removal of the Zulu danger did not, however, restore harmony between the British and the Boers in the Transvaal. The malcontent Boers became a powerful element in the country. They were largely influenced by an important section of the Dutch community in western Cape Colony, which carried on a campaign against annexation, seeing in it a blow to the ideal they had begun to entertain of a united South Africa of a Dutch republican type. Sir Garnet Wolseley, at this period (June 1879–May 1880) high commissioner of South-East Africa, gave the Transvaal a legislative council, but the members were all nominated. This could not be regarded as a redemption of the promise of a liberal constitution, and it had an injurious, though limited, effect on the Boer community. After the receipt in December 1879 of the reports of Mr Gladstone's speeches during his Midlothian campaign — in which he denounced annexation as obtained by means dishonourable to Great Britain — the Boers expected nothing less than the retrocession of the country.
There was one strong reason against retrocession, concerning which the Boers — if they gave it thought — would naturally be silent. To the British mind in general it was apparently non-existent. It had, however, been seen and its strength recognized by Sir Garnet Wolseley during his brief governorship of the Transvaal. Wolseley, in a despatch dated the 13th of November 1879 said: —
The Transvaal is rich in minerals; gold has already been found in quantities, and there can be little doubt that larger and still more valuable goldfields will sooner or later be discovered. Any such discovery would soon bring a large British population here. The time must eventually arrive when the Boers will be in asmall minority, as the country is very sparsely peopled; and would it not therefore be a very near-sighted policy to recede now from the position we have taken up here, simply because for some years to come the retention of 2000 or 3000 troops may be necessary to re consolidate our power.
As Lord Morley in his Life of Gladstone says, “this pregnant and far-sighted warning seems to have been little considered by English statesmen of either party at this critical time or afterwards, though it proved a vital element in any far-sighted decision.”
The result of the general election of 1880 was to place Mr Gladstone in power. The new administration, notwithstanding Mr Gladstone's public utterances, declared their intention of retaining British sovereignty in the Transvaal, coupling with that decision a pious hope for the speedy accomplishment of confederation so as to allow of free institutions being given to Natal and the Transvaal. The disillusionment occasioned by this decision caused the Boer delegates then at the Cape to help to wreck the federation proposals (see supra). But if unwilling at the time to undo the work of Sir T. Shepstone, the Liberal cabinet were prepared to get rid of the chief British representative in South Africa — partly to please the extreme Radicals among their followers. Accordingly on the 2nd of August 1880 Frere received a telegraphic despatch from Lord Kimberley (the new secretary of state for the colonies) announcing his recall Frere's task was one of extreme Recall of Sir Bartle Frere.delicacy; he chose to face difficulties rather than evade them, and had he been unfettered in his action might have accomplished much more than he was able to do; in its main lines his policy was sound. (See Frere, Sir Henry Bartle.)
Finding that the Gladstone administration would not give up the Transvaal voluntarily, the Boers now determined on rebellion. Hostilities began in December 1880, and eventually a series of engagements ended in the rout (Feb. 27, 1881) of a small British force which had occupied Majuba Hill the previous evening. The killed included the general in command, Sir George Colley. Meanwhile the resolution of Mr Gladstone and his colleagues to keep the Transvaal had been shaken by the Boer declaration of independence. After the first engagements this resolution was further weakened; and when, after a British reverse at Ingogo (Feb. 8), overtures were made by Majuba.Mr Kruger on behalf of the Boers, the cabinet was strongly inclined to come to terms. The news of Majuba did not turn it from its purpose. Opinions will always differ as to the course adopted by the Liberal government. “We could not,” wrote Mr Gladstone, “because we had failed on Sunday last, insist on shedding more blood.” It is at all events abundantly clear that had the Boers not resorted to arms they would not have gained the support of the cabinet.
Sir Evelyn Wood, who had succeeded Colley as general in command and governor of Natal, under instructions from home, concluded a treaty of peace on the 22nd of March. The terms agreed upon were elaborated in a convention signed at Pretoria in August following. By this instrument the Transvaalwas granted self-government subject to British suzerainty and the control of the foreign relations of the state. In 1884 the Gladstone administration made further concessions by the London convention of that year. This last document still, however, reserved for Great Britain certain rights, including the power of veto over treaties concluded by the Transvaal with any power other than the Orange Free State. But the success of the Transvaal Boers both in war and diplomacy had quickened the sense of racial unity among the Dutch throughout the country, and there arose a spirit of antagonism between the Dutch and the British which affected the whole future of South Africa.
Before, however, dealing with the relations between the British and the Boers subsequent to 1881 brief reference may be made to affairs in which other powers were concerned; affairs which were the prelude to the era of expansion associated with the career of Cecil Rhodes. In 1868 the Europeans in Great Namaqualand and Damaraland petitioned for annexation to Germany in South Africa.Great Britain. Eventually (1878) only Walfish Bay and a small strip of adjacent territory were annexed. In 1883 Germany entered the field and during 1884–1885, owing to the procrastinating policy of the Cape and British governments, all the coast between the Orange and the Portuguese frontier, save Walfish Bay, was placed under German protection (see Africa, §5). The eastern boundary of German South-West Africa was fixed in 1890, the frontier running through the Kalahari Desert. Bechuanaland, the region between the German colony and the Transvaal, was secured for Great Britain. It was not on the west coast only that Germany made efforts to secure a footing in South Africa. In September 1884 an attempt was made to secure St Lucia Bay, on the coast of Zululand. Here, however, Great Britain stood firm. St Lucia Bay had been ceded to the British by the Zulu king Panda in 1843, and this cession has always been regarded as valid. Eventually Germany agreed to make no annexation on the east coast of Africa south of Delagoa Bay. With the proclamation of a British protectorate over the coast of Pondoland in January 1885 the coast-line from the mouth of the Orange to Delagoa Bay (save for the small stretch of Amatonga shore-line) became definitely British.
To Delagoa Bay, or rather to the southern part of the bay, Great Britain had laid unsuccessful claim. On the northern Delagoa Bay.bank of the chief estuary of the bay the Portuguese had from the 16th century onward maintained a precarious foothold; it was their most southerly station on the east coast of Africa. In 1823 treaties had been concluded by the British with tribes inhabiting the southern shores of the bay. Neither the Portuguese nor the British claims seemed of much importance until the rise of the South African republic. Anxious for a seaport, the Transvaal Boers in turn laid claim to Delagoa Bay. This brought the dispute between Great Britain and Portugal to a head, the matter being referred in 1872 to the president of the French republic for arbitration. In 1875 an award was given by Marshal MacMahon entirely in favour of the Portuguese (see Delagoa Bay). As a port outside British control Delagoa Bay was a source of strength to the Boers, especially as the railway was under their control. In the war which began in 1899 munitions of war and recruits for the Boers were freely passed through Delagoa Bay.
C. The Struggle for Supremacy between British and Dutch. — Bechuanaland, through which territory runs the route to the Bechuanaland Annexed.far interior — the countries now known as Rhodesia — was acquired, despite the strong desire of the Gladstone administration to avoid further annexations in South Africa. At first the encroachments on Bechuana territory by Boers from the Transvaal were looked upon with comparative indifference. The Boers respected neither the frontier laid down by the Pretoria convention nor that (modified in their favour) drawn in the London convention. But missionary influence was strong; it was reinforced by the growing strength of the imperialistic spirit and by the fears excited by Germany's intrusion on the south-west coast. An expedition was sent out in October 1884 under Sir Charles Warren; the Boers, who had set up the “republics” of Goshen and Stellaland, were obliged to give way, and the country was annexed (see Bechuanaland). It was in connexion with this affair that Cecil Rhodes first came into prominence as a politician. As a member of the Cape parliament he undertook a mission, before the arrival of Warren, to the Goshen and Stellaland Boers, endeavouring, unsuccessfully, to obtain from them a recognition of British sovereignty. The acquisition of Bechuanaland by Great Britain was the essential preliminary to the development of the schemes which Rhodes entertained for the extension of British rule into Central Africa. In his endeavours to realize this aim he had to contend with the new spirit of national consciousness animating the Boers, which found expression in the formation of the Afrikander Bond.
In its external, as in most of its internal policy, the Transvaal was controlled from 1881 onward by Paul Kruger, who The Afrikander Bond.was elected president of the state in 1883. Yet Kruger was scarcely the real leader in the nationalist movement to which the successful revolt of 1880–81 gave strength. The support given by the Cape Colony Dutch to the malcontent Transvaal Boers has already been mentioned. During the 1880–81 revolt many Free State burghers, despite the moderating influence of President Brand, joined the Transvaal commandoes. Now a definite effort was made to build up a united South Africa on anti-British lines. In the latter part of 1881 a Dutch pastor at the Paarl, a town in western Cape Colony named Du Toit, in a paper called De Patriot, suggested the organization of an Afrikander Bond; in the same year Carl Borckenhagen, a German resident in the Free State, advocated such a bond in his paper, the Bloemfontein Express. The Bond was formed, its work being almost confined to Cape Colony. It held its first congress at Graaf Reinet in 1882. In the “programme of principles” upon which its constitution was modelled it was set forth that:
While in itself acknowledging no single form of government as the only suitable form, and whilst acknowledging the form of government existing at present [the Bond] means that the aim of our national development must be a united South Africa under its own flag.
In the following year the Farmers' Protection Association was amalgamated with the Bond, and the joint organization fell under the control of J. H. Hofmeyr, the leader of the Dutch party in Cape Colony. Under Hofmeyr's politic control all declarations inconsistent with allegiance to the British Crown were omitted from the Bond's constitution. It remained, however, a strong nationalist organization, which in practice was inimical not so much to the British connexion as to the British section of the population and to the development of the country on enlightened lines. (For the Afrikander Bond see further Cape Colony: History, and Hofmeyr.)
Not long after the Warren expedition the valuable gold fields which Sir Garnet Wolseley had foreseen would be discovered in the Transvaal were actually found. By 1886, the year in which Johannesburg was founded, the wealth of the Witwatersrand fields was demonstrated. The revenue which these discoveries brought into the Transvaal treasury increased the importance of that state. The new industrial situation created had its effect on all parties in South Africa, and in some measure drew together the British and Dutch sections outside the Transvaal. A customs union between Cape Colony and the Free State was concluded in 1889, to which later on all the other South African states, save the Transvaal, became parties. But Kruger remained implacable, bigoted, avaricious, determined on a policy of isolation. In 1887 he made proposals for an alliance with the Free State. Brand refused to be ensnared in Kruger's policy, and the negotiations led to no agreement. (For details of this episode see Orange Free State: History.) Not many months afterwards (July 1888) the Free State lost by death the wise, moderating guid ance of Sir John Brand. The new president, F. W. Reitz, one of the founders of the Bond, in 1889 committed the Free State to an offensive and defensive alliance with the Transvaal. Kruger thus achieved one of the objects of his policy. Within the Transvaal a great change was coming over the population. There fiocked to the Rand many thousands of British and other Europeans, together with a considerable number of Americans. This influx was looked upon with disfavour by Kruger and his supporters, and, while the new comers were heavily taxed, steps Kruger's Hostility to the Uitlanders.were speedily taken to revise the franchise laws so that the immigrants should have little chance of becoming burghers of the republic. This exclusion policy was even applied to immigrants from the other South African countries. A system of oppressive trade monopolies was also introduced. The situation with which the Boers were called upon to deal was one of great difficulty. They could not keep back the waves of the new civilization, they feared being swamped, and they sought vainly to maintain intact their old organization while reaping the financial benefit resulting from the working of the gold mines. The wider outlook which would have sought to win the Uitlanders (as they were called) to the side of the republic was entirely lacking. The policy actually followed was not even stationary; it was retrogressive.
Meanwhile, and partly through distrust of the Kruger policy, there was growing up in Cape Colony a party of South African Afrikander Imperialists.Imperialists, or, as they have been called, Afrikander Imperialists, who came to a large extent under the influence of Cecil Rhodes. Among these were W. P. Schreiner (afterwards premier of the colony) and J. W. Leonard (sometime attorney-general) and, to some extent, Hofmeyr. From the time of his entrance into politics Rhodes endeavoured to induce the leading men in the country to realize that a development of the Whole country could and should be accomplished by South Africans for South Africans. He fully admitted that the cry which had become so popular since 1881 of “Africa for the Afrikanders” expressed a reasonable aspiration, but he constantly pointed out that its fulfilment could most advantageously be sought, not, as the Kruger party and extremists of the Bond believed, by working for an independent South Africa, but by working for the development of South Africa as a whole on democratic, self-reliant, self-governing lines, under the shelter of the British flag. Hofmeyr was among those whom Kruger's attitude drove into a loose alliance with Rhodes. In 1884, having the power in his hands when the Scanlen ministry fell, Hofmeyr had put into office a ministry dependent upon the Bond, and had talked of a possible Dutch rebellion in Cape Colony if the Boer freebooters in Bechuanaland were ejected; in 1890 Rhodes became premier with Hofmeyr's approval and support. Rhodes remained in office as prime minister until January 1896. During these six years the part he played in the development and public life of South Africa was greater than that of any other man. He used his period of power to put into execution his plans for the extension of British dominion over the country up to the Zambezi.
In 1888 Rhodes had succeeded in inducing Sir Hercules Robinson, the high commissioner, to allow J. S. Moffat, the British South Africa Company.British resident at Bulawayo, to enter into a treaty with Lobengula, the Matabele chief. Under this treaty Lobengula bound himself not to make a treaty with any other foreign power, nor to sell or in any other way dispose of any portion of his country without the sanction of the high commissioner. This step prevented the country from falling into the hands of Germany, Portugal or the Boers. The treaty was followed by the formation of the British South Africa Company, which obtained a royal charter in 1889, and by the occupation of Mashonaland in 1890. Difficulties with the Portuguese followed, but the Salisbury administration firmly upheld British claims, with the result that the British sphere of influence was extended not only to the Zambezi but beyond to the shores of Lake Tanganyika (see Africa: §5). In 1893 a war was fought with the Matabele by Dr L. S. Jameson, then administrator of Mashonaland, and Bulawayo was occupied. The name Rhodesia was conferred upon the country in 1894 (see Rhodesia). Living in Cape Town and at the head of the government, Rhodes used every effort to demonstrate to the Cape Colonists that the work he was doing in the north must eventually be to the advantage of Cape Colonists and their descendants. On the whole, Hofmeyr and his friends were well pleased at having secured the co-operation of the “big Englander” Rhodes, or, as he was at one time called by Mr J. X. Merriman, an old parliamentary hand and treasurer-general during part of Rhodes's premiership, the “young burgher.”
In 1891 the Bond Congress was held at Kimberley, and harmony appeared to reign supreme. During his term of Rhodes and the Bond.office Mr Rhodes addressed himself to bringing together all interests, as far as it was practicable to do so. He showed that his views of the situation were broad and statesmanlike. His handling of the native question in Cape Colony gave general satisfaction. Rhodes was also a firm believer in the federation of the South African states and colonies, and he sought to promote this end by the development of inter-state and inter-colonial railway systems, and the establishment of common customs, tariffs, and inter-colonial free trade under a customs union. The persistent opponent to both these measures was the Transvaal. In matters of domestic legislation, such as taxation and excise, Rhodes fell in to a considerable extent with Dutch prejudices.
While in the rest of South Africa there was a growing feeling of trust between the Dutch and British, accompanied by increasing First Transvaal Reform Movement.trade and the development of agriculture, the condition of the Transvaal was becoming serious. At first the new-comers to the Rand had submitted to the economic and political burdens to which they were subjected, but as they grew in numbers and found their burdens increased they began to agitate for reforms. In 1892 (the year in which the railway from Cape Town reached the Rand), the National Union was founded at Johannesburg by ex-Cape Colonists of the Imperial progressive party. For three years petitions and deputations, public meetings and newspaper articles, the efforts of the enlightened South African party at Johannesburg and Pretoria, were all addressed to the endeavour to induce President Kruger and his government to give some measure of recognition to the steadily increasing Uitlander population. Urgent representations were also made by the British government. President Kruger remained as impenetrable as adamant. Nine-tenths of the state revenue was contributed by the Uitlanders, yet they had not even any municipal power. By a law of 1882 aliens could be naturalized and enfranchised after a residence in the country of five years, but between 1890 and 1894 the franchise laws were so altered as to render it practically impossible for any foreigner to become a burgher. By the law of 1894 the immigrant must have been at least 14 years in the country and be 40 years old before in the most favourable circumstances he could be admitted to the franchise. The Uitlanders once more petitioned, over 34,000 persons signing a memorial to the Raad for the extension of the franchise. The appeal was refused (August 1895). Up to this period a section of the Uitlanders had believed that Kruger and his following would listen to reason; now all realized that such an expectation was vain. Rhodes, who had large interests in the Rand mines, had consistently endeavoured to conciliate the extreme Boer section in the Transvaal and win it over (as had happened in the case of the Cape Dutch) to a policy which should benefit the whole of South Africa. He was even willing to see the Transvaal obtain a seaport (at Kosi Bay, in Amatongaland) if in return it would join the customs union. This opportunity Kruger let slip; and in May 1895, on the representation of Sir H. Loch, the Rosebery administration annexed Amatongaland, thus making the British and Portuguese frontier conterminous. This action, finally blocking the Boer road to the sea, taken by a Liberal government, 'was clear indication that Great Britain was determined to maintain her supremacy in South Africa.
The situation in August 1895 was thus one of extreme tension. There had been a change of ministry in Great Britain and Joseph Chamberlain had become colonial secretary. Sir Hercules Robinson, who was regarded sympathetically by the Dutch population of South Africa, had succeeded Loch as high commissioner. Both high commissioner and the imperial government were hopeful that Kruger might even yet be induced to modify his policy; the Uitlanders now entertained no such hope and they prepared to appeal to arms to obtain redress of their grievances. The first proposals for an armed rising came from Rhodes in June, but it was not until November that the Uitlander leaders came to a definite understanding with the Cape premier as to the course to be pursued. To lay before South Africa the true position of affairs in the Transvaal Charles Leonard issued a manifesto as chairman of the National Union. It concluded with a list of demands (see Transvaal), their gist being “the establishment of this republic as a true republic” with equitable franchise laws, an independent judicature and free trade in South African products.
This manifesto, issued on the 26th of December, called a public meeting for the night of Monday the 6th of January 1896, “not with the intention of holding the meeting, but as a blind to cover the simultaneous rising in Johannesburg and seizing of the arsenal in Pretoria on the night of Saturday the 4th of January” (Fitzpatrick, The Transvaal from Within, ch. iii.). Had the Transvaal government given way, even at the last hour, the reformers would have been satisfied. Of this, however, there was no expectation. The arrangement with Rhodes The Jameson Raid.included the use of an armed force belonging to the Chartered Company, and led by Dr Jameson. Accordingly some troops were brought from Rhodesia and stationed near Mafeking, a few miles from the Transvaal frontier. For some weeks the plot appeared to progress favourably. It might have succeeded but for a vital difference which arose between the Uitlanders in Johannesburg and Rhodes. As Charles Leonard's manifesto stated, the reformers as a body, desired to maintain the autonomy of the Transvaal and the republican form of government; Rhodes wished the revolution to be accomplished under the British flag. “I was not going to risk my position,” he stated subsequently, “to change President Kruger for President J. B. Robinson” (the only prominent Uitlander who stood aloof from the reform movement). This divergence of views manifested itself on Christmas Day 1895, and although, under pressure, Rhodes did not insist on the British flag, it was determined to postpone the rising. Jameson was so informed, nevertheless he precipitated the crisis by invading the Transvaal on the evening of December the 29th. The Transvaal government, meantime, had obtained some knowledge of what was being projected, and the Raid ended in a forced surrender (January 2, 1896) to a superior force of Boers. The Reform Committee, i.e. the Uitlander leaders, after holding Johannesburg for over a week, also surrendered, and by the 9th of January the plot had ended in complete failure. Mr Chamberlain still desired Kruger to grant immediate reforms and propounded a scheme of “Home Rule” for the Rand. The time was inopportune, however, for pressing the Transvaal on the subject, and nothing was done.
The Jameson raid had a profound effect on the history of South Africa. It greatly embittered racial feeling throughout the country; it threw the Free State Boers completely on to the side of the Transvaal; it destroyed the alliance between the Dutch in Cape Colony and the Imperialists led by Rhodes. It did more, it divided British opinion, sympathy for the Boer republics leading in some cases to a disregard for the real grievances of the Uitlanders. It also gave a much desired opportunity for the intrusion of other powers in the affairs of the Transvaal; and it led Kruger to revive the scheme for a united South Africa under a Dutch republican flag. This scheme found many supporters in Cape Colony. A suspicion that the Colonial Office in London was cognizant of Rhodes's plans further excited Dutch national feeling, and the Bond once more became actively anti-British. Rhodes had resigned the premiership of the Cape a few days after the Raid, and during the greater part of 1896 was in Rhodesia, where he was able to bring to an end, in September, a formidable rebellion of the Matabele which had broken out six months previously.
A section of the Dutch population was not however disposed to sacrifice the development of industries and commerce for racial considerations; while sharing the political aspirations of Kruger and Steyn the wiser among them wished for such a measure of reform in the Transvaal as would remove all justification for outside interference. Nevertheless the cleavage at the Cape between the Dutch and British grew. Sir Gordon Sprigg, who had become Premier of Cape Colony in succession to Rhodes, found his position untenable, and in October 1898 he was succeeded by a Bond ministry under Mr W. P. Schreiner. The term “Progressive” was now formally adopted by the British mercantile communities in the large towns and among the sturdy farmers of British descent in the eastern province. On returning to South Africa after the Raid inquiry at Westminster in 1897, Rhodes had intended to withdraw from Cape politics and devote his energies for a time entirely to Rhodesia, but the pressure put upon him by a section of the British colonists was so strong that he determined to throw in his lot with them.
In the Transvaal, meantime, the situation of the Uitlanders grew worse. The monopoly and concessions regime continued unchecked, the naturalization laws were not amended, while the judicature was rendered subservient to the executive (see Transvaal: History). The gold mining industry was fostered only so far as it served to provide revenue for the state, and large sums from that revenue were used in fortifying Pretoria and in the purchase of arms and ammunition. This process of arming the republic had begun before the Raid; after that event it was carried on with great energy and was directed against Great Britain. Kruger also sought (unsuccessfully) to have the London Convention of 1884 annulled, and he entered into a closer union with the Free State. Great Britain watched the development of Kruger's plans with misgiving, but except on points of detail it was felt for some time to be impossible to bring pressure upon the Transvaal. The retirement of Lord Rosemead (Sir Hercules Robinson) from the post of high commissioner was, however, taken advantage of by the British government to appoint an administrator who should at the fitting opportunity insist on the redress of the Uitlanders grievances.
Sir Alfred Milner (see Milner, Viscount), the new high commissioner, took up his duties at the Cape in May 1897. He Milner appointed High Commissioner.realized that one of the most potent factors in the situation was the attitude of the Cape Dutch, and in March 1898 at Graaff Reinet Milner called upon the Dutch citizens of the Cape, “especially those who had gone so far in the expression of their sympathy for the Transvaal as to expose themselves to charges of disloyalty to their own flag” to use all their influence, not in confirming the Transvaal in unjustified suspicions, not in encouraging its government in obstinate resistance to all reform, but in inducing it gradually to assimilate its institutions, and the temper and spirit of its administration, to those of the free communities of South Africa, such as Cape Colony or the Orange Free State. Moreover the Graaff Reinet speech showed that Milner was aware of the dangerous policy being followed by the Bond. The Dutch party at the Cape was shown to be incurring a heavy responsibility, especially as its leaders were aware, in the words of Mr J. X. Merriman, of “the inherent rottenness” of the Kruger régime. That party soon afterwards had it in its power to bring pressure officially upon President Kruger, for it was a few months after the delivery of the speech that Mr Schreiner became premier. To some extent this was done — but in a manner which led the Transvaal Boers to count in any event on the support of the Cape Dutchmen. In the Transvaal, as has been said, affairs were steadily going from bad to worse. An Industrial Commission, appointed (under pressure) by President Kruger in 1897 to inquire into a number of grievances affecting the gold industry, had reported in favour of reforms. The recommendations of the commission, if adopted, would have done something towards relieving the tension, but President Second Transvaal Reform Movement.Kruger and his executive refused to be guided by them. Once more the Uitlanders determined to make a further attempt to obtain redress by constitutional means, and the second organized movement for reform began by the formation in 1897 of a branch of the South African League.
At the end of 1898 the feelings of the Uitlanders were wrought up to fever pitch. The police service, which was violent where it should have been reasonable, and blind where it should have been vigilant, had long been a source of great irritation. On the 18th of December a Boer policeman, in pursuit of an Englishman named Edgar, whom he wished to arrest for an alleged assault on another man, entered his house and shot him dead. The deepest indignation was aroused by this incident, and was still further increased by the trivial way in which the case was dealt with by the court. The killing of Edgar was followed by the breaking up of a public meeting at Johannesburg, and in March the Uitlanders handed to the high commissioner a petition for intervention with 21,684 signatures attached to it (see Transvaal: History).
On the 4th of May 1899 Sir Alfred Milner felt it his duty to The Case for British Intervention.report at some length by cable to Mr Chamberlain. The concluding passages of this message, which summed up the whole South African situation in a masterly manner, were as follows: —
The case for intervention is overwhelming. The only attempted answer is that things will right themselves if left alone. But, in fact, the policy of leaving things alone has been tried for years, and it has led to their going from bad to worse. It is not true that this is owing to the Raid. They were going from bad to worse before the Raid. We were on the verge of war before the Raid, and the Transvaal was on the verge of revolution. The effect of the Raid has been to give the policy of leaving things alone a new lease of life, and with the old consequences.
The spectacle of thousands of British subjects kept permanently in the position of helots, constantly chafing under undoubted grievances, and calling vainly to Her Majesty's government for redress, does steadily undermine the influence and reputation of Great Britain, and the respect for British government within the queen's dominions. A certain section of the press, not in the Transvaal only, preaches openly and constantly the doctrine of a republic embracing all South Africa, and supports it by menacing references to the armaments of the Transvaal, its alliance with the Orange Free State, and the active sympathy which, in case of war, it would receive from a section of Her Majesty's subjects. I regret to say that this doctrine, supported as it is by a ceaseless stream of malignant lies about the intentions of the British government, is producing a great effect upon a large number of our Dutch fellow-colonists. Language is frequently used which seems to imply that the Dutch have some superior right even in this colony to their fellow-citizens of British birth. Thousands of men peaceably disposed and, if left alone, perfectly satisfied with their position as British subjects, are being drawn into disaffection, and there is a corresponding exasperation on the side of the British.
I can see nothing which will put a stop to this mischievous propaganda but some striking proof of the intention of Her Majesty's government not to be ousted from its position in South Africa. And the best proofs alike of its power and its justice would be to obtain for the Uitlanders in the Transvaal a fair share in the government of the country which owes everything to their exertions. It could be made perfectly clear that our action was not directed against the existence of the republic. We should only be demanding the re-establishment of rights which now exist in the Orange Free State, and which existed in the Transvaal itself at the time of, and long after, the withdrawal of British sovereignty. It would be no selfish demand, as other Uitlanders besides those of British birth would benefit by it. It is asking for nothing from others which we do not give ourselves. And it would certainly go to the root of the political unrest in South Africa; and though temporarily it might aggravate, it would ultimately extinguish the race feud, which is the great bane of the country.
In view of the critical situation Milner and Kruger met in conference at Bloemfontein on the 31st of May. Milner practically confined his demands to a five years' franchise, which he hoped would enable the Uitlanders to work out their own salvation. On his side Kruger put forward inadmissible demands (see Transvaal), and the conference broke up on the 5th of June without any result. A new franchise law, on a seven years' naturalization basis, was passed in July by the Transvaal volksraad, but the law was hedged about with many restrictions. Messrs Hofmeyr and Herholdt, the one the leader of the Bond and the other the Cape minister of agriculture, visited Pretoria to reason with Kruger. They found him deaf to all arguments. The fact is that the Boers had made up their minds to a trial of strength with Great Britain for supremacy in South Africa. At the time which from a military standpoint they thought most opportune (October 9) an ultimatum was handed to the British agent at Pretoria, and a war was at once precipitated, which was not to close for over two and a half years.
D. From the Annexation of the Dutch Republics to lhe Union. — An account of the Anglo-Boer War of 1899–1902 will be found under Transvaal. After the surrender of Cronje at Paardeberg (February 1900) to Lord Roberts, Presidents Kruger and Steyn offered to make peace, but on terms which should include the acknowledgment of “the incontestable independence of both republics as sovereign international states”; the Boers also sought, unavailingly, the intervention of foreign powers. Last Efforts to Preserve the Boer Republics.The British government had decided that the continued existence of either republic was inadmissible; on the 28th of May 1900 the annexation of the Free State was formally proclaimed, and on the 1st of September the Transvaal was also annexed to the British Empire. A few days later ex-President Kruger sailed from Lourenço Marques for Europe. The refusal of the German Emperor to receive him extinguished alike his political influence and all hopes that the Boers might still have entertained of help from foreign governments. At that time all the chief towns in both of the late republics were held by the British, and the Boers still in the field were reduced to guerilla warfare. Most of the men on their side who had come to the front in the war, such as General Louis Botha in the Transvaal, had been opponents of the Kruger régime; they now decided to continue the struggle, largely because they trusted that the Cape Dutch, and their sympathizers in Great Britain, would be able to obtain for them a re-grant of independence. The Cape Dutch all through 1901 and the first part of 1902 conducted a strong agitation in favour of the former republics, the border line between constitutional action and treason being in many cases scarcely distinguishable. The Cape Afrikanders also formed what was styled a “conciliation committee” to help the party in Great Britain which still supported the Boer side. Messrs Merriman and Sauer went to England as delegates to plead the cause, but it was noted that Hofmeyr refused to join, and the appeal to the British public was a complete failure. The War had indeed stirred every part of the empire in support of the policy of the government, and from Australia, Canada, New Zealand and India, contingents were sent to the front. No terms could be granted which did not include the explicit recognition of British sovereignty. At last the Boer commandos gave up the struggle and on the 31st of May 1902 their leaders signed articles of peace at Pretoria. Henceforth, save for the German and Portuguese possessions, on the west and east coasts respectively, there was but one flag and one allegiance throughout South Africa. With the elimination of the republics one great obstacle to federation was removed; while the establishment of self-government in the new colonies, promised (after a probationary period of “representative institutions”) in No. VII. of the peace articles, would give them an opportunity to enter into federal union on equal terms.
The task of founding new and better administrative machinery in the new colonies was left to Lord Milner, and was begun even The Work of Reconstruction.before the war had ended. The two new colonies were for the time governed on crown colony lines. But the co-operation of the people was at once sought by nominating non-official members to the legislative councils; and seats on the Transvaal council were offered to Louis Botha, C. J. Smuts and J. H. Delarey. The Boer leaders declined the offer — they preferred the position of untrammelled critics, and the opportunity to work to regain power on constitutional lines when the grant of self-government should be made. Milner had thus an additional difficulty in his reconstruction work. The first necessity was to restart the gold mining industry on the Rand. The Uitlanders, who had fled from Johannesburg just before the war opened, began to return in May 1901, and by the time the war ended most of the refugees were back on the Rand and mining was resumed. A tax of 10% on their annual net produce, imposed in 1902, was the main available source of revenue. The repatriation of some 200,000 Boers followed, and the departments of justice, education and agriculture were remodelled. In all that he did Milner had endeavoured to promote closer union. Thus the railway and constabulary of both the ex-republics were under a single management. In this work the high commissioner had the support of Mr Chamberlain, who paid a visit to South Africa which extended from Christmas 1902 to the end of February 1903. He sanctioned the calling of an inter-colonial conference, which led to a customs convention including all the British possessions in South Africa, and to united action regarding railway rates and native questions.
The great expenditure incurred during the war had led to much deception as to the growth of trade, while the large sums Chinese Labour.spent on repatriation and other temporary work maintained this deception for some time after the war had ceased. But before 1903 had ended it was manifest that this had been a spurious activity, and a period of marked commercial depression, lasting until 1909, ensued. This depression was in considerable measure due to, and was largely aggravated by, the comparative inactivity of the Rand mines, and that inactivity was due in turn to the insufficiency of native labour — Kaffirs being employed to do all the unskilled work on the mines. At the close of 1903 the mine-owners, to meet the deficiency, asked for permission to import Chinese. The consent of the high commissioner and of the home government was obtained, and in June 1904 the first batch of coolies reached the Rand. They came on three-years' indentures, over 50,000 Chinese being eventually brought over. This introduction of Chinese labour met with considerable opposition. The South African objections were economic and racial, based on the results which had followed the introduction of Indian coolies into Natal. In Natal these coolies had been allowed to remain after the completion of their indentures, and had succeeded in practically monopolizing the petty trade of the country. They had also rapidly multiplied, so that by 1904 they were more numerous than the whites in the colony. The introduction of this large alien element, leading from 1895 onwards to the passing of restrictive measures in Natal, was a mistake which South Africans elsewhere had no desire to repeat. But these objections were overcome by regulations which made repatriation compulsory, and which definitely restricted the coolies to unskilled labour in the mines. These regulations also met the objections voiced by Australians and New Zealanders that the country won for Great Britain at such cost had been thrown open to hordes of Asiatics. In Great Britain, however, the restrictive regulations were precisely those which aroused criticism, the objection taken being that the conditions imposed were of a servile character, if they did not actually make the coolies “slaves.” In the attacks made upon the Unionist government this cry was loudly voiced by the Liberal party in England, and in the political campaign which followed, the “Chinese Slavery” issue undoubtedly helped to swell the majority obtained by Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman in January 1906. Milner's own object in assenting to the introduction of the Chinese was — besides aiding to put the gold mining industry on a more stable basis — to obtain revenue for the great task he had on hand, “the restarting of the colonies on a higher plane of civilization than they had ever previously attained”; and in respect of the working of the mines and consequently in providing revenue the introduction of the Chinese proved eminently successful; but in February 1906 the Campbell-Bannerman administration felt it incumbent to announce that no ordinance imposing “servile conditions” would be sanctioned. The point as to whether the original conditions were or were not servile was never legally tested, for eventually on the grant of self-government to the Transvaal the Botha cabinet decided (June 1907) not to renew the indentures nor to permit any new importation of coolies. The economic situation had in the meantime considerably altered, and the Transvaal was able to bring pressure upon Portugal to permit the recruiting of many thousands more Kaffirs from Mozambique province. By February 1910 the last of the coolies had been repatriated.
By the middle of 1904 the high commissioner and Mr Alfred Lyttelton, who had become secretary for the colonies, agreed that the work of reconstruction had so far progressed that steps should be taken to give the Transvaal “representative government.” This decision was made public in July of that year, The Lyttelton Constitution, 1905.and was followed by marked political activity. The Boers in the Transvaal, headed by Louis Botha, formed an association which was called Het Volk (the people), and in the Orange Colony a similar organization, the Oranjie Unie, was formed. On the 31st of March 1905 the text of the new constitution was issued by letters patent. Short of granting full self-government it was of a liberal character. It provided that the legislative council was to consist of not fewer than six or more than nine official members, and, provisionally, of not fewer than thirty or more than thirty-five elected members. Seats were to be allotted on a voters' (not population) basis, and there was to be an automatic redistribution of seats as voters increased or decreased in given localities. These provisions — subsequently adopted in the electoral law of the Union of South Africa — were made to secure equal rights for the British and Dutch sections of the community. The promulgation of the Lyttelton constitution was quickly followed by the retirement of Lord Milner. He left South Africa in April 1905, and was succeeded as high commissioner and governor of the Transvaal and Orange River colonies by Lord Selborne. But before the new constitution could be established a change of ministry in Great Britain put the Liberals in office, with Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman as premier (Dec. 1906).
A sudden change was now made. Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman, with several of his colleagues in the ministry, held that the Self-government.annexation of the republics had not been justified, but there was no question now, as there had been in 1881, of a restoration of independence; that matter the Boers themselves had settled by their acceptance of British sovereignty. The Liberal leader held, however, that the Boers should be given self-government at once. Experience, he declared had proved, unfavourable to the working of representative institutions, and it was safer and better to begin with responsible government. Moreover, the cabinet looked forward, without forcing it in any way, to the federation of South Africa. In the Transvaal the burghers of British origin were about equal in number with those of Dutch origin, and the fairly even balance of parties might be held to be a guarantee against retrogression; in the Orange River Colony it was notorious that the grant of self government meant handing over the control of the country not simply to the Boers, but to that section of them which since the war had exhibited the greatest racial bitterness. In these circumstances the decision of the Liberal cabinet, however generous, was fraught with peril. But the policy of complete trust in the Boers was a bold one, which was justified by success.
The new letters patent instituting self-government in the Transvaal were issued on the 12th of December 1906; the elections were held in February 1907, and gave the Het Volk party a clear majority of seven (in a house numbering 69 members) over all other parties. General Botha became premier, with Mr Smuts as colonial secretary. In the Orange River Colony the first elections under the self-government constitution were held in November 1907, and out of 38 seats in the House of Assembly Oranjie Unie candidates secured 29. A ministry was formed with Mr A. Fischer as premier and Generals Hertzog and de Wet as prominent colleagues. These triumphs of the Dutch section of South Africans were followed in the general election in Cape Colony early in 1908 by a sweeping victory of the Bond, helped by the suffrages of re-enfranchised rebels. Dr Jameson — who had been premier of the colony since the Progressive victory at the election of 1904 — was succeeded as premier by Mr J. X. Merriman, who was regarded as a Bond nominee. Thus, working within constitutional lines, the Dutch Afrikanders had attained in three out of the four self-governing colonies, political supremacy. The situation in 1908 was, however, radically different from that which existed before the war of 1899–1902. Then half the white population of the Transvaal were as “helots”; now the ex-Uitlanders held 26 seats in the Transvaal parliament, and were able to exercise an effective influence over legislation.
Both the war of 1899–1902 and the grant of self-government to the new colonies were necessary preliminaries to the success of any unification scheme, but the causes which now led to the question of closer union being raised were not political but The Movement for Closer Union.economic. Since the development of the diamond and gold mining industries the coast colonies had unduly neglected their own resources and had relied chiefly on the forwarding trade. Hence there was jealousy and competition between the Cape and Natal and a tendency to use the railways (which were state owned), by means of rebates, to counteract the effects of common customs dues. Then, too, an increasingly important factor was the competition of Lourenço Marques for the Rand trade. In a time of acute trade depression this commercial rivalry was disastrous to the welfare of South Africa. In March 1906 the customs convention was provisionally renewed (on a strongly protective basis, and with preference for British goods) but there was a distinct prospect of a tariff war when the convention expired in 1908. Again it was known that the Transvaal and Orange River colonies on their attainment of self-government would each demand full control of their own resources, to the detriment of the unitary services which Lord Milner had established. There were, moreover, dangerous differences on such questions as Asiatic immigration, the status of natives, mining, agriculture, &c. Thus the antagonism between the various states on economic lines was at the end of 1906 greater than any racial divisions. The leading South African statesmen realized that unless an effort to remedy this condition was made without delay affairs would go from bad to worse. In these circumstances Dr Jameson, as premier of Cape Colony, took the first overt step to reopening the question of federation. In a minute dated the 28th of November 1906 the Cape ministry declared its belief that the questions which were causing so much friction should be capable of solution “by some duly constituted South African authority responsible to all parties in the country,” and it appealed to Lord Selborne, as high commissioner, to review the situation in such a manner that the people of South Africa might form a competent judgment on the question. In answer to this appeal, which was backed by the Natal ministry, Lord Selborne drew up a despatch (dated Jan. 7, 1907) in which the whole case for closer union was set forth in a masterly manner. For insight and breadth of view the despatch ranks with that which Sir George Grey drew up in 1858. In the fifty years that had elapsed the case for closer union had become overwhelming and the dangers of isolation much greater. Four or five administrations, the despatch pointed out, were pursuing rival interests, whereas the country had but one interest. Reviewing one by one the questions on which rivalry existed, Lord Selborne showed that the internal self-government which each colony enjoyed accentuated the difficulty of dealing with these questions as a whole. Stability — the thing which South Africa required above everything else — was unattainable so long as there were five separate governments developing different systems in all branches of public life, but no national government with power to harmonize the whole. “The people of South Africa … are not self-governing in respect to South African affairs because they have no South African government with which to govern.” Only by the creation of a central government could South Africa be wisely and successfully governed.
The opportunity for testing the strength of the movement for closer union came with the meeting of an inter-colonial conference in May 1908 to consider the thorny questions of tariff and railway rates. In the meantime the Jameson ministry had given place to the Bond nominee ministry with Mr Merriman as premier (see Cape Colony: History), but the movement initiated by Jameson had received the support of the Bond as well as that of the Botha administration. The delegates at the conference were all representative of the parties in power; that is, with the exception of the Natal delegates, they all represented Dutch ideals in politics. Nevertheless they unanimously resolved “that the best interests and the permanent prosperity of South Africa can only be secured by an early union, under the crown of Great Britain, of the several self-governing colonies,” and they recommended the calling of a national convention entrusted with the task of drawing up a draft constitution. Thus for the first time for two generations both the chief white races of South Africa were found working in cordial cooperation. No appeal was made to the electorate, but the colonial parliaments rightly interpreted public opinion in endorsing the recommendations of the conference. Delegates representative of all parties were appointed, and the national convention to consider the question of union met at Durban in October 1908.
The most prominent members of the convention were Sir Henry de Villiers, chief justice of Cape Colony (president), ex-President The National Convention.Steyn (vice-president), Generals Botha, de Wet and Delarey, Messrs Smuts, Schalk Burger, Merriman and F. R. Moor (premier of Natal), Dr Jameson, Sir George Farrar and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, the last two the leading representatives of the Transvaal Progressives (i.e. the ex-Uitlanders). The greatness of the opportunity was rightly stated by the governor of Natal (Sir Matthew Nathan), who declared that the convention might create a commonwealth which should add to and not draw upon the strength of the empire — a commonwealth which in culture as in power would be among the foremost nations of the world. After sitting at Durban for a month, the convention adjourned to Cape Town and concluded its elaboration of a draft constitution by February 1909. The fundamental points which the delegates had to settle concerned (a) the basis of parliamentary representation, (b) the status of the natives with respect to the franchise, (c) the position of the Dutch language, (d) the form of government.
The adjustment of tariff and railway rates gave little trouble when once it was agreed to consider the country as a unit. Points (a) and (b) both concerned the franchise, but each had its separate issue (a) raising the question of representation as it concerned the white population only. Suspicions had been raised that the attempt would be made to force union on a Dutch Afrikander basis, which might have resulted had the basis of representation adopted been the total European population. To this the Progressive party would not agree, and they gained support from Botha, Smuts and other prominent Dutch delegates for their contention that “equal rights” could only be secured by making the basis of representation the number of voters as distinct from the number of European inhabitants of any given area. As finally settled, the number of European male adults was chosen as the basis of representation. As the Transvaal and Orange colonies already possessed manhood suffrage, and as the property qualifications in the coast colonies were low, this alteration made little difference. Point (b) raised a graver issue still. The Cape delegates found themselves in isolation in advocating the extension of the electoral system which prevailed in their colony, where there was no colour bar to the exercise of the franchise. The merits of the Cape system — to minimize the differences between the white and native races, typified in the declaration of “equal rights to all civilized men” — or that of the opposite system (as warmly advocated by the Natal delegates as by those from the ex-Boer republics), which would keep the native races in permanent inferiority, cannot here be discussed; it may be stated, however, that the admittance of Kaffirs to the franchise in the Cape had not been attended with the evil consequences feared. At the convention a way out of the difficulty — for a time at least — was found in a compromise, namely, that in the state about to be created the franchise in each constituent part should be that which existed before union was effected. Thus in the Cape the Kaffir would have a right to the franchise, but not in the other divisions of the country. Point (c) was decided by placing, for all official purposes, the English and Dutch languages on a footing of perfect equality. As to point (d) the issue was between a federal and a unitary form of government. Federation was supposed to afford protection to the smaller communities — Natal and the Orange River Colony — and in Natal there was much anxiety lest its interests should be overborne. Nevertheless the advocates of unification gained a complete victory and a form of government was agreed to which made the union of South Africa as close as that of the United Kingdom.
Among the other decisions of the convention were: the choice of Pretoria as the seat of administration and of Cape Town as the seat of the legislature, the renaming the Orange River Colony, Orange Free State Province; the provision of three membered constituencies and of proportional representation and the safe-guarding of the smaller communities by giving Natal and the Orange River colonies more members of parliament than they were entitled to on the voters basis.
The draft constitution was made public on the 9th of February 1909, and was adopted by the Transvaal parliament in its entirety. The Orange River parliament also approved with only slight alterations; the Natal parliament made some amendments, but they were of a minor character. The opposition to union among an influential number of old Natalians — intensely zealous for local independence — was however so marked that it was decided that before Natal was committed to union a referendum on the subject should be taken. Apart from this doubtful attitude of Natal, the chief danger to the draft constitution came from the Cape Dutch. The draft act, with its “one vote one value” principle, its three-membered constituencies and its scheme for proportional representation, threatened Dutch supremacy in the rural districts, and aroused the opposition of Hofmeyr, who secured the passage of amendments through the Cape parliament which destroyed the principle of equal rights. Such was the position when the convention reassembled in May at Bloemfontein to consider the amendment of the various legislatures. Through the firmness of the Transvaal delegates, supported by the Progressives, the principle of equal rights was retained; the concession made to the Cape was the abandonment of proportional representation, while one-membered constituencies were substituted for three-membered constituencies. The document embodying the alterations in the draft act was signed on the 11th of May and the convention dissolved. In June the referendum on union was taken in Natal, and resulted in a complete rout of the separatists. There voted, for the draft act 11,121, against it 3701 — majority for union 7420.
South Africans had thus after seventy years of discord agreed upon union. It was a momentous step, the essential preliminary Passing of the Act of Union, 1909.to that fusion of the white races of South Africa upon which the prosperity of the country depends; and a step rendering easier the ultimate attainment of imperial union. A delegation carried the draft act to England, and, recast in the form of an imperial bill, it was submitted to the parliament at Westminster. The imperial government made but one alteration of consequence — that explicitly placing the control and administration of matters “specially or differentially affecting Asiatics” in the sole control of the union parliament. The bill passed through parliament unaltered, the only jarring note in the debates in either house concerning the exclusion of natives from the franchise (save in the Cape province). This decision was deplored by all parties in the British parliament, but it was recognized that to alter a decision deliberately come to by South African statesmen would wreck the union. The measure, known as the South Africa Act 1909 received the Royal Assent on the 20th of September, and subsequently the 31st of May 1910 — the eighth anniversary of the signing of the articles of peace at Pretoria — was fixed as the date for the formal establishment of the Union.
The interval between the passing of the South Africa Act and the establishment of union was employed by the various colonies in putting their houses in order. This task, on the economic side, was rendered easier by the gradual return of commercial prosperity. An agreement between the Transvaal and the Portuguese governments, concluded in April 1909, while the fate of the draft constitution was still in doubt, assigned to Lourenço Marques 50 to 55% of the import trade to the Rand, and (with certain exceptions) provided for free trade in native products between the Mozambique province and the Transvaal. The Portuguese further agreed to facilitate the recruitment of natives in their territory for work in the Rand mines, and in consequence Kaffirs were obtained in sufficient numbers to replace the Chinese coolies as they were repatriated. The agreement was to last ten years, and provision was made for its recognition by the government of the Union. The native protectorates, Basutoland, Swaziland and Bechuanaland had been left by the South Africa Act under direct imperial control. As to Natal and Zululand, there was a disposition to leave to the new government the task of dealing with the natives there but both the Transvaal and Natal adopted an Asiatic exclusion policy which gave rise to much friction. In the Orange River Colony, General Hertzog aroused much opposition by administering the education act in a way which forced the teaching of Dutch in a rather arbitrary fashion. This was a point of importance, inasmuch as, by the Act of Union, elementary education was left (for five years) in the hands of the provinces. The divergence of views was so great that shortly after the union had been established private schools were opened in opposition to those of the provincial administration.
In the autumn of 1909 it became known that Lord Selborne, whose services in bringing about the union were generally recognized, The Union Established.would not remain to represent the Crown in inaugurating the new form of government, and the choice of the British government fell on the home secretary, Mr Herbert Gladstone (who was in March 1910 created Viscount Gladstone of Lanark) as first governor-general of the Union. Lord Gladstone had the responsibility of summoning the first prime minister of the Union — a task rendered more difficult as the decision had to be taken before the first election to the Union parliament was held. There had been a strong agitation for a coalition cabinet, and negotiations took place to this end between General Botha and Dr Jameson. These efforts ended in failure. They had met with the determined opposition of Mr Merriman (the Cape premier), of the Orange Free State Boers, and of the Bond, which had lost the counsel of Hofmeyr. That typical leader of the Cape Afrikanders had died in London, whither he had gone as one of the delegates to lay the draft constitution before the British parliament. Towards the end of May, Lord Gladstone called upon General Botha to form a ministry, which was constituted from the ranks of the existing cabinets and included Natal ministers as well as strong Boer partisans like Mr Fischer and General Hertzog. Mr Merriman declined to serve under General Botha. The formal proclamation of the Union took place on the 31st of May.
The first general election, held on the 15th of September, was, perhaps inevitably, fought to a large extent on racial lines. The Dutch Afrikander candidates stood as “Nationalists,” while their opponents took the name of Unionists. In Natal the British section of the electorate (four-fifths of the whole) preferred to maintain an independent attitude. The elections, which resulted in a Nationalist majority of 13 over all other parties, showed that the Unionists were stronger than had been thought. They secured 37 seats, while 13 were held by Natal Independents. The polls were remarkable for the defeat of three ministers — General Botha (by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick) at Pretoria East, Mr Hull (by Sir George Farrar) on the Rand, and Mr Moor in Natal. General Botha decided to retain office, and seats for him and Mr Hull were found by means of by-elections. Mr Moor was nominated to the senate, as were, among others, Mr W. P. Schreiner and ex-President Reitz (who became president of that body). On the 4th of November the first session of the Union Parliament was opened by the duke of Connaught.
Bibliography. — I. General descriptions, travel and exploration. Besides the works of De la Caille, Le Vaillaint, Thunberg, Barrow, Lichtenstein, Burchell and others quoted in Cape Colony, § Bibliography, see Sir J. E. Alexander, An Expedition of Discovery into the Interior of Africa (2 vols., 1838); R. Moffat, Missionary Labours and Scenes in S. Africa (1842); Sir F. Galton, The Narrative of an Explorer in Tropical South Africa (1853); C. I. Anderson, Lake Ngami … Wanderings in the Wilds of South-Western Africa (1856); David Livingstone, Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa (1857); W. E. Oswell, William Cotton Oswell, Hunter and Explorer (2 vols., 1900); T. Baines, Explorations in South-West Africa (1864); K. Mauch, Reisen im Inneren von Süd-Afrika, 1865–1872 (Gotha, 1874); E. Holub (Eng. trans. E. E. Frewer), Seven Years in South Africa, Travels … between the Diamond-fields and the Zambesi, 1872–1879 (1881); E. Manheimer, Du Cap au Zambèse (Geneva, 1884); G. Fritsch, Südafrika bis zum Zambesi (1885); H. Blink, Aardrijksunde van Zuid-Afrika (2 vols., Amsterdam, 1889); F. C. Selous, Travel and Adventure in South East Africa (1893); E. & O. Reclus, L'Afrique australe (Paris, 1901); A. H. Keane, Africa, vol. ii., South Africa (new ed., 1904); W. Kültz, Deutsch-Südafrika im 25ten Jahre deutscher Schutzherrschaft (Berlin, 1909); A. S. & G. G. Brown, The Guide to South Africa (yearly).
II. Geography (physical), geology, Climate, flora and fauna. — Sir C. P. Lucas and H. E. Egerton, Geography of South and East Africa (Oxford, 1904); W. P. Greswell, Geography of Africa South of the Zambesi (Oxford, 1892); S. Passarge, Südafrika, eine Landes- Volks- und Wirtschaftskunde (Leipzig, 1908); J. C. Brown, The Water Supply of South Africa (Edinburgh, 1877); Sir W. Willcocks, Report on Irrigation in South Africa (1901); Proceedings 1st South African Irrigation Congress (Cape Town, 1909); R. Marloth, Das Kapland, insonderheit das Reich der Kapflora, das Waldgebiet und die Karroo, pflanzengeographisch dargestellt (Jena, 1908); F. H. Hatch & G. S. Corstorphine, The Geology of South Africa (2nd ed., 1909); Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa (Cape Town); W. Flint and J. D. F. Gilchrist (eds.), Science in South Africa (Cape Town, 1905); Reports of the S. A. Assoc. for Advancement of Science (Johannesburg); J. D. F. Gilchrist (ed.), Marine Investigations in S. Africa (3 vols., Cape Town, 1902–1905); Sir David Gill, Report on the Geodetic Survey of South Africa (3 vols., Cape Town, 1896–1905); W. C. Scholtz, The South African Climate … the Country as a Health Resort (1897); W. T. Thiselton-Dyer (ed.), Flora Capensis, vols. i.–vii. (1896–1900); H. Harvey, The Genera of South African Plants, 2nd ed., edited by Sir J. D. Hooker (Cape Town, 1868); G. Henslow, South African Flowering Plants (1903); W. L. Sclater, The Fauna of South Africa (4 vols., 1900–1901); F. Le Valliant, Histoire naturelle des oiseaux d'Afrique (6 vols., Paris, 1805–1808); F. L. Layard and R. Bowdler Sharpe, The Birds of South Africa (1875–1884); R. Trimen, Rhopalocera Africae australis; a Catalogue of South African Butterflies (Cape Town, 1862); R. Trimen and J. H. Bowker, South African Butterflies, a Monograph of the Extra-Tropical Species (3 vols., 1887–1889); G. B. Sowerby, Marine Shells of S. Africa (1892–1897); R. Trimen, Insect Life in South Africa (Cape Town, 1869); E. E. Austen, A Monograph of the Tsetse Flies (1903); J. A. Nicolls and W. Eglinton, The Sportsman in South Africa (1892); The following books are specially noteworthy for their accounts of the larger wild animals: Sir W. C. Harris, The Wild Sports of Southern Africa … Narrative of an Expedition … during 1836 and 1837 from the Cape … to the Tropic of Capricorn (Bombay, 1838; 5th ed., London, 1857); R. Gordon-Cumming, Five Years of a Hunter's Life in the Far Interior of South Africa (2 vols., 1855); F. C. Selous, A Hunter's Wanderings in Africa (1st ed. 1881; 5th ed., 1907), and African Nature Notes and Reminiscences (1908); H. A. Bryden, Nature and Sport in South Africa (1897); P. Selous and H. A. Bryden, Travel and Big Game (1897).
III. Ethnology, archaeology, art and languages (see also works cited under racial headings and Bantu Languages). G. Fritsch, Die Eingeborenen Südafrikas (Breslau, 1872); G. W. Stow, The Native Races of South Africa (1905); W. H. Bleek, A Brief Account of Bushman Folk-lore and other Texts (1875); D. Kidd, The Essential Kafir (1904); Savage Childhood (1906), and Kafir Socialism and the Dawn of Individualism (1908); J. P. Johnson, Stone Implements of S. Africa (1907), Pre-Historic Period in S. Africa (1910); A. P. Hillier, Antiquity of Man in S. Africa (1898); Bushman Paintings, copied by M. Helen Tongue, preface by Henry Balfour (Oxford, 1909), reproductions in colours; D. Randall-Maclver, Medieval Rhodesia (1906); R. N. Hall, Prehistoric Rhodesia (1909); A. H. Keane, The Gold of Ophir (1901); C. Peters, The Eldorado of the Ancients (1902); W. H. Bleek, Comparative Grammar of the South African Languages (1862–1869); J. Torrend, A Comparative Grammar of the South African Bantu Languages (1891); A. C. Madan, An Outline Dictionary intended as an Aid to the Study of the Languages of the Bantu and other Uncivilized Races (1905); C. Meinhof, Die Sprache der Herero, a grammar and vocabulary (Berlin, 1909); G. M. G. Hunt, English-Afrikander: Afrikander-English (1901); W. K. Viljoen, Beiträge zur Geschichte der cap-holländischen Sprache (Strassburg, 1896); D. C. Hesseling, Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der nederlandsche taal in Zuid-Afrika (Leiden, 1899); H. Effers, Practische hollandsche Spraakkunst (Cape Town, 1894), and Elementary Grammar of the Dutch Language (Cape Town, 1898).
IV. History and Politics. (i.) Sources. — The Cape archives are full and complete from 1652 onward. Selections from them have been published by H. C. V. Leibbrandt and G. McCall Theal; the last named has also published records of the Cape from MSS. in the Record Office, London (see Cape Colony: § Bibliography). See Theal's Records of South East Africa, (9 vols., 1897–1904); The Record … Official Papers Relative to the Condition and Treatment of the Native Tribes of South Africa, parts 1 to 5 (1649–1809), edited by Donald Moodie, late Protector of Slaves (Cape Town, 1838), the same writer's The Evidence of the Motives and Objects of the Bushman Wars, 1769–77, &c. (Cape Town, 1841); also Treaties with Native Chiefs … entered into by … British Authorities … between 1803 and 1854 (Cape Blue Book, 1857); Engagements subsisting between (Great Britain) and any States or Native Tribes in S. Africa (British Parliamentary Paper, 1884); A. N. Macfayden, South African Treaties … subsisting on the 1st of Sept. 1898 (Cape Blue Book, 1898) and Hertslet's Map of Africa by Treaty (1909 ed.). Lists of the British Parliamentary papers concerning South Africa will be found in the Colonial Office List (yearly). The Natal, Transvaal and Orange Free State official publications should also be consulted. (ii.) Histories. — G. McCall Theal, History and Ethnography of Africa south of the Zambesi from … 1505 to … 1795 (3 vols., 1907–1910) and History of South Africa since Sept. 1795 (5 vols., 1908); these two series represent the final form of Dr Theal's history (valuable bibliographies), but the main narrative is not carried beyond 1872; Sir C. P. Lucas, The History of South Africa to the Jameson Raid (Oxford, 1899); Frank R. Cana, South Africa from the Great Trek to the Union (1909), a political history covering the period 1836–1909, with bibliography; P. Wlast, Südafrika; Entwicklungsgeschichte und Gegenwartsbilder (Berlin, 1900); De Geskidenis von ons Land (Paarl, 1895); W. Greswell, Our South African Empire (2 vols., 1885). For special studies see: H. P. Retief, Datums van Gebeurtenissen uit de Geschiedenis van Zuid Afrika van 1486 to 1895 (Paarl, 1895); H. Dehérain, Cap de Bonne Espérance au XVIIe siecle (Paris, 1909), and L'Expansion des Boers au XIXe siecle (Paris, 1905); J. Bird, Annals of Natal, 1495–1845 (2 vols., Maritzburg, 1888); C. de Mello, Os Inglezes na Africa austral (Lisbon, 1890); E. B. Watermeyer, Three Lectures on the Cape of Good Hope under the Gdvernment of the Dutch East India Co. (Cape Town, 1857); Selections from the Writings of Watermeyer (Cape Town, 1877); H. Cloeté, Five Lectures on the Emigration of the Dutch Farmers to Natal (Cape Town, 1856), republished in London (1899), as The Great Boer Trek; J. Noble, A Short History of the European Settlements at the Cape (1877); G. E. Cory, The Rise of South Africa … to 1857, deals with eastern Cape Colony (4 vols., 1910 sqq.); J. C. Voight, Fifty Years of the History of the Republic in South Africa [1795–1845] (2 vols., 1899); J. Cappon, Britain's Title in S. Africa (1901); J. Nixon, The Complete Story of the Transvaal (1885); H. Rider Haggard, Cetywayo and his White Neighbours (1882); W. J. Leyds, The First Annexation of the Transvaal (1906); Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, The Transvaal from Within (1899); F. E. Garrett and E. J. Edwards, The Story of an African Crisis [the Jameson Raid] (1897); A. Wilmot, The History of Our Own Times in South Africa [1872–1898] (3 vols., 1897–1899); P. F. Hone, Southern Rhodesia (1909); Rev. J. Philip, Researches in S. Africa, illustrating … the condition of the Native Tribes (2 vols., 1828); South African Native Affairs Commission, 1903–1905, Reports and minutes of evidence (5 vols., Cape Town, 1904–1905); Sir Godfrey Lagden, The Basutos (1909); “The Times” History of the War [of 1899–1902] in South Africa (7 vols., 1900–1909); British Official History of the War in South Africa (4 vols., 1906–1910). (iii.) Lives. — Valuable historical information will be found in the Lives of W. E. Gladstone, the 2nd Earl Granville, Sir Harry Smith, Sir George Grey, Sir Bartle Frere, Sir G. Pomeroy-Colley, Cecil Rhodes, Paul Kruger and Lord Milner. See also P. A. Molteno, Life and Times of Sir J. C. Molteno (2 vols. 1900); A. Wilmot, The Life and Times of Sir Richard Southey (1904); Sir J. Robinson, A Life Time in South Africa (1900); W. D. Mackenzie, John Mackenzie (1902); Coillard of the Zambesi (1907). (iv.) Miscellaneous. — E. A. Pratt, Leading Points in South African History 1486 to March 30th 1900 (1900); J. A. Froude, Two Lectures on South Africa (new ed., 1900); J. Bryce, Impressions of South Africa (2nd ed., 1899); A. R. Colquhoun, The Afrikander Land (1906); A. P. Hillier, Raid and Reform (1898) and South African Studies (1900); Lionel Phillips, Transvaal Problems (1905); Paul Botha, From Boer to Boer and Englishman (Cape Town, 1900); Sir Bartle Frere, The Union of British South Africa (1881); P. A. Molteno, A Federal South Africa (1896); The Government of South Africa (2 vols., Cape Town, 1908); The Framework of Union (Cape Town, 1908); R. H. Brand, The Union of South Africa (Oxford, 1909).
V. Economics and Commerce. — Statistical Year Books or Registers; Census Reports; Reports of the Statistical Bureau (since 1905); Annual Trade Returns and other official publications, especialy those on native affairs, mining, agriculture and railways; Argus Annual and South African Directory (Cape Town); L. V. Praagh (ed.), The Transvaal and its Mines (1907); S. J. Truscott, The Witwatersrand Goldfields (2nd ed., 1902); A. Wilmot, Book of South African Industries (Cape Town, 1892); F. Blersch, Handbook of Agriculture (Cape Town, 1906); S. Ransome, The Engineer in South Africa (1903); Gardner F. Williams, The Diamond Mines of South Africa (revised ed., New York, 1905); A. R. E. Burton, Cape Colony for the Settler (1903); (account of urban and rural industries — their probable future development), “Indicus,” Labour and other Questions in South Africa (1904); (designed to bring to light “the disabilities under which the coloured races … suffer,” &c.). W. Bleloch, The New South Africa (1902).
VI. Church, Law, &c. — Bishop A. H. Baynes, Handbooks of English Church Expansion: South Africa (1908); Sir G. W. Cox's Life of Bishop Colenso (1888); Church of the Province of South Africa; Constitution and Canons (Cape Town, 1899 ed.); J. Stewart, Lovedale (1884) and Dawn in the Dark Continent (1903); the Reports on the synods of the Dutch Reformed Church, those of the London Missionary Society and of other missionary bodies. J. W. Wessels, History of the Roman-Dutch Law, (Grahamstown 1908); G. T. Morice, English and Roman-Dutch Law (Grahamstown, 1903); W. H. S. Bell and M. Nathan, The Legal Hand Book of Practical Laws … in British South Africa (Grahamstown, 1905); C. H. van Zyl, The Judicial Practice of … South Africa generally (Cape Town, 1893); A. F. S. Maasdorp, The Institutes of Cape Law (Cape Town, 1903); E. H. Crouch, A Treasury of South African Poetry and Verse (2nd ed., 1909).
VII. Bibliographies. — H. C. Schunke Hollway, “Bibliography of South Africa … with special reference to geography. From the time of Vasco da Gama to … 1888,” Trans. S.A. Phil. Soc., vol. v. pt. 2 (Cape Town, 1898); Catalogue of the Books relative to Philology in the Library of Sir George Grey, vol. i. pt. i. The Dialects of South Africa (Cape Town, 1858); Books, Pamphlets and Articles on British South Africa (Birmingham Free Library, 1901), Mendelssohn's South African Bibliography (2 vols. 1910). See also Africa: Bibliography.
- The total amount rebated in 1908 was £430,017.
- Including North-West Rhodesia.
- For the six months January to June 1910 the figures were: imports £14,770,000; exports £24,442,000.
- For the sections here incorporated on South African law and language we are indebted to the late J. W. Leonard, K.C. (d. 1909), twice attorney-general of Cape Colony.
- For a detailed examination of the constitution and a comparison of it with the federal constitutions of Canada and Australia see “South African Union,” by A. Berriedale Keith, in the Journ. Soc. Comp. Legislation for October 1909.
- The date usually assigned (1486), on the authority of De Barros, has been snown to be incorrect (see Diaz).
- It was not until the time of Ryk Tulbagh (governor of the colony, 1751–1771) that the Chamber of Seventeen permitted foreign ships to provision at Table Bay. Tulbagh was the most popular of the governors under the East India Company. During his governorship no new taxes were levied on the burghers. He was succeeded by van Plettenberg.
- It appears that the first persons to treat the Bushmen other than as animals to be destroyed were two missionaries, Messrs J. J. Kicherer and Edwards, who in the early years of the 19th century devoted themselves to ameliorating the lot of these aborigines.
- The slaves, after passing four years in a species of apprenticeship, were finally freed on the 1st of December 1838.
- At this time (c. 1815–1840) numbers of persons brought discredit on the missionary cause by their illiteracy, narrow-minded prejudices and in some cases lax sexual morality. These persons “assumed to themselves the important office of teachers in the missionary schools within the colony.” See H. Cloete's The Great Boer Trek, lecture II.
- See F. R. Cana, South Africa from the Great Trek to the Union (London, 1909), pp. 295–297 for the full text of Retief's manifesto.
- See H. Cloete, The History of the Great Boer Trek (London, 1899), p. 44.
- Part of the territory thus reannexed was added to Cape Colony while the region between the Keiskamma and Kei was created a separate territory under the name of British Kaffraria.
- Despatch of Earl Grey, dated October 21st, 1851, printed in Correspondence Relative to the State of the Kaffir Tribes (C. Feb. 1853).
- Sir E. Bulwer Lytton wrote (Feb. 11, 1859): “H.M. Government are not prepared to depart from the settled policy of their predecessors by advising the resumption of British sovereignty in any shape over the Orange Free State.”
- At Sir Henry Barkly's request Lord Carnarvon's predecessor, Lord Kimberley, had in November 1871 given him (Sir Henry) authority to summon a meeting of representatives of the states and colonies to consider the “conditions of union,” but the annexation of the diamond fields had occurred meantime and Sir Henry thought the occasion inopportune for such a conference.
- For Froude's views and actions, see especially the blue book C. 1390 (1876), containing his report to Lord Carnarvon.
- Serious troubles with the Basutos which began in 1879 reacted on the situation in the Transvaal and Natal. These troubles were finally ended in 1884, when the country was given up by the Cape and became a crown colony (see Basutoland).
- Had Shepstone's promise been redeemed at an early date, it might well have extinguished the agitation for independence.
- It is remarkable that the Liberal government, despite this aspiration, and despite stronger language used by Mr Gladstone, did nothing to give the Boers any real self-government. Sir Bartle Frere pressed the new administration, as he had the Conservative government, on this point without effect.
- Frere sailed for England on the 15th of September. His successor, Sir Hercules Robinson, reached the Cape at the end of January 1881.
- Morley's Life of Gladstone, bk. viii. ch. 3, “Majuba.”
- For the international difficulties connected with the building of the railway from Delagoa Bay to Pretoria see Lourenço Marques.
- Mr Merriman (b. 1841) was a son of N. J. Merriman (1810–1882), bishop of Graham's Town. He was a member of various Cape ministries from 1875 onwards.
- For Rhodes's scheme of commercial federation see further Cape Colony: History.
- In his evidence before the House of Commons Select Committee which inquired into the Raid, Rhodes did not object to the continued existence of the republic “for local matters,” but desired a federal South Africa under the British flag; see Blue Book (165) 1897 p. 21; also Sir Lewis Michell's Life of Rhodes, vol. ii. ch. xxx.
- Jameson and the other raiders were handed over to the British government for punishment. Four of the Reform leaders were condemned to death on the 27th of April, but the sentence was commuted to a fine of £25,000 each. For details of the Reform movement and Jameson Raid see Transvaal: History.
- Rhodes informed the House of Commons Select Committee that the belief that the Boers intended to introduce the influence of another foreign power in the already complicated system of South Africa “greatly influenced” him in promoting the revolt. Germany at the time of the Raid was prepared to intervene, and on the 3rd of January 1896 the German Emperor, by telegram, congratulated Kruger that “without appealing to the help of friendly powers” the Boers had overcome Jameson.
- To aid him Milner had the services of some of the best men in the British service, e.g. Sir Godfrey Lagden, Sir Arthur Lawley, Sir J. Rose-Innes, Sir Richard Solomon. He also secured the help of a considerable number of young Oxford men who became known as “the Milner Kindergarten.”
- This action was on the lines of the commercial federation scheme of Cecil Rhodes, who had died in March 1902.
- In a speech in the House of Commons, February 19, 1906.
- A number of members of the Transvaal administration during the Crown Colony period had worked steadily, in private, to promote closer union. Prominent among these men was Mr Lionel Curtis, at that time (1906) assistant colonial secretary.
- Lord Selborne wrote in anticipation of the establishment, a few months subsequently, of self-government in the new colonies.
- For the text of the despatch and memorandums going into details see the Blue Book (Cd. 3564) July, 1907.
- Sir Henry de Villiers (b. 1842), chief justice of Cape Colony since 1874, was created a peer of the United Kingdom in 1910 under the title of Baron de Villiers of Wynburg. He became in the same year chief justice of South Africa.
- Unless otherwise stated the place of publication is London.