Page:EB1911 - Volume 27.djvu/214

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First Annexation]
199
Transvaal

dealt with Transvaal affairs) whatever the political party in power. Unfortunately, the timid way in which it was done made as in efface able an impression on Kruger even as the surrender after Majuba. Article 4 stated:

“The South African Republic will conclude no treaty or engagement with any state or nation, other than the Orange Free State, nor with any native tribe to the eastward or westward of the Republic, until the same has been approved by her Majesty the Queen.”

The other article to which the greatest interest was subsequently attached was art. 14:

“All persons, other than natives, conforming themselves to the laws of the South African Republic (a) will have full liberty, with their families, to enter, travel, or reside in any part of the South African Republic; (b) they will be entitled to hire or possess houses, manufactories, warehouses, shops and premises; (c) they may carry on their commerce either in person or by any agents whom they may think fit to employ; (d) they will not be subject, in respect of their persons or property, or in respect of their commerce or industry, to any taxes, whether general or local, other than those which are or may be imposed upon citizens of the said Republic.”

Notwithstanding the precise fixing of the boundaries of the republic by the London Convention, President Kruger endeavoured to maintain the Boer hold on Goshen and Stellaland, Territorial Expansion Efforts.but the British government on this point proved firm, and an expedition set out in 1884 under Sir Charles Warren, broke up the freebooters’ two states, and occupied the country without a shot being fired (see Bechuanaland). The expedition cost Great Britain a million and a half, but the attempt at farther extension westwards was foiled, and a little later treaties with Lobenguela and the grant to Cecil Rhodes and his co-directors of a charter for the British South Africa Company put a check on designs the Boers held to expand northward (see Rhodesia). On the eastern border a similar policy of expansion was followed by the Boers, and in this instance with more success. Following up the downfall of the Zulu power after the British conquest in 1879, several parties of Boers began intriguing with the petty chiefs, and in May 1884, in the presence of 10,000 Zulus, they proclaimed Dinizulu, the son of Cetywayo, to be king of Zululand (see Zululand). As a “reward” for their services to the Zulus, the Boers then took over from them a tract of country in which they established a “New Republic.” In 1886 the “New Republic” with limits considerably narrowed, was recognised by Great Britain, and the territory became incorporated with the Transvaal in 1888. Their eastern boundary, in the teeth of the spirit of the conventions, and with but scant observance of the letter, was by this means considerably extended. A similar policy eventually brought Swaziland almost entirely under their dominion (see Swaziland). At the same time President Kruger revived the project of obtaining a seaport for the state, one of the objects of Boer ambitions since 1860 (vide supra). Kruger endeavoured to acquire Kosi Bay, to the north of Zululand and only 50 m. east of the Swazi frontier. Meanwhile, events occurring within the state augured ill for the future of the country. In 1884 a concession to a number of Hollander and German capitalists of all rights to make railways led to the formation of the Netherlands Railway Company. This company, which was not actually floated till 1887, was destined to exercise a disastrous influence upon the fortunes of the state. Economic Developments: Gold Industry.Gold digging had hitherto enjoyed in the Transvaal but a precarious existence. In 1883 the discovery of Moodie’s Reef near the Kaap Valley led to a considerable influx of diggers and prospectors from the colonies and Europe, and by 1884 the Sheba Mine had been opened up, and Barberton, with a population of 5000 inhabitants, sprung into existence. In 1886 the Rand goldfields, which had just been discovered, were proclaimed and Johannesburg was founded. From that time the gold industry made steady progress until the Rand gold mines proved the richest and most productive goldfield in the world. As the industry prospered, so did the European population increase. The revenue of the state went up by leaps and bounds. At the end of 1886 Johannesburg consisted of a few stores and some few thousand inhabitants. In October 1896 the sanitary board census estimated the population as 107,078, of whom 50,907 were Europeans. The wealth which was pouring into the Boer state coffers exceeded the wildest dreams of President Kruger and his followers. Land went up in value, and farms, many of them at comparatively remote distances from the goldfields, were sold at enormously enhanced prices. In fact, so attractive did this sale of land become to the Boers that they eventually parted with a third of the whole land area of the country to Uitlander purchasers. Yet in spite of the wealth which the industry of the Uitlanders was creating, a policy of rigid political exclusion and restriction was adopted towards them.

An attempt was made in 1888, after the conference held between Cape Colony, the Orange Free State and Natal, to induce the Transvaal to enter a customs union. Relations with the rest of South Africa.Kruger would have none of it, although by so doing he could have obtained permission for a settlement at and railway to Kosi Bay. A convention to this effect was signed in August 1890, the Transvaal being allowed three years in which to take advantage of its provisions. Kruger’s design at this time was to bring the whole of the external trade of the state, which was growing yearly as the gold industry developed, through Delagoa Bay and over the Netherlands railway. His hostility towards Great Britain and even Cape Colony led him to adopt a commercial policy both narrow and prejudicial to the interests of the gold industry. In the appointment of F. W. Reitz as president of the Orange Free State (January 1889) on the death of Sir John Brand, Kruger recognized a new opportunity of endeavouring to cajole the Free State. Brand had arranged, in the teeth of the strongest protests from Kruger, that the Cape railway should extend to Bloemfontein and subsequently to the Vaal river. Kruger now endeavoured to control the railway policy of the Free State, and induced that republic to agree to a treaty whereby each state bound itself to help the other whenever the independence of either should be threatened or assailed, unless the cause of quarrel was, in the eyes of the state called in to assist, an unjust one (see Orange Free State).

In 1890 a feeling of considerable irritation had grown up among the Uitlanders at the various monopolies, but particularly at the dynamite monopoly, which pressed solely and with peculiar severity upon gold miners. Oligarchical Restrictions.Requests for consideration in the matter of the franchise, and also for a more liberal commercial policy in the matter of railways, dynamite and customs dues, began to be made. In response Kruger enacted that the period of qualification for the full franchise should now be raised to ten years instead of five. He at the same time instituted what was called a second chamber, the franchise qualifications for which were easier, but which was not endowed with any real power. During this year Kruger visited Johannesburg, and what was known as “the flag incident” occurred. He had by this time rendered himself somewhat unpopular, and in the evening the Transvaal flag, which flew over the landdrost’s house, was pulled down. This incensed Kruger so much that for many years he continued to quote it as a reason why no consideration could be granted to the Uitlanders.

By 1892 the Uitlanders began to feel that if they were to obtain any redress for their grievances combined constitutional action was called for, and the first reform movement began. Uitlander Grievances.The Transvaal National Union was formed. This consisted at the outset chiefly of mercantile and professional men and artisans. The mining men, especially the heads of the larger houses, did not care at this juncture to run the risk of political agitation. The Hon. J. Tudhope, an ex-minister in the Cape government, was elected chairman of the union. The objects of this body were avowed from the outset. They desired equal rights for all citizens, the abolition of monopolies and abuses, together with the maintenance of the state’s independence. In the furthering of this policy Tudhope was supported by Charles Leonard and his brother