The New International Encyclopædia/Burgers, Thomas François

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BURGERS, bōōr'gẽrs, Thomas François (1834-81). A President of the former Transvaal Republic. He was born in Cape Colony, of an old Dutch family, was educated at the University of Utrecht, Holland, and became a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church at Hanover, Cape Colony. He was an eloquent preacher, but his rationalistic views brought upon him a trial for heresy, in which, however, he was acquitted. In 1872 he was elected President of the Transvaal Republic by the Liberals, succeeding Pretorius, and continued in office until the annexation of the republic by the British in 1877. His Presidential policy was characterized by brilliant but impracticable schemes, aiming chiefly at territorial expansion.