The Boer War Essay Research Paper Boer

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The Boer War Essay, Research Paper Boer War The people of South Africa were always dreaming of a unified country. They wanted all its states to unite as one peaceful country, but they wanted this to come from within the confines of their own people and not by means of other countries taking over. The only way to keep the outsiders out of their states was to unify the country. If this goal could be accomplished, then their country would become one great nation united by their own South African flag instead of any other flag. This seemed to be the motive of South African authorities at the time the Britain armies were conquering and colonizing other lands. However, there was one obstacle that seemed to be in their way of unification. The British government was at that time a

barrier and a stumbling block to the Boers; a stumbling block that was not so easy to get rid of. The British army and navy were among the best and well-trained soldiers during the 19th century. Because the South African army was not as advanced as the British soldiers, they were very much threatened by the government of Britain. In 1886, the discovery of gold at Witwatersrand in the Transvaal began the doom of the Boer pioneers. Gold and diamonds attracted many foreigners like a magnet. Around this time, British adventurers sought to make a good living in South Africa because of these newfound treasures and market opportunities. Among these adventurers, were Alfred Beit, a well-known businessman from Germany, and a millionaire from England namely Lionel Phillips. These two

prominent men were important figures during this period because of their ability to provide financial support if needed by the British government to back up any of its troops. Beit and Phillips together controlled the H. Eckstein & Co., which at that time was the largest South African mining business. Few years after the discovery of the gold, the Boers sensed that there was something wrong with some of the adventurers. Mark Weber, in his article, put it in his own words: …adventurers tried to seize control of the Boer republics by staging the ?unofficial? Jameson raid into the Transvaal. Rhodes organized the venture, which Beit financed to the tune of 200,000 pounds. Although the raid failed, it convinced the Boers that the British were determined to take away their

hard-won independence. (2) As a result, the Transvaal authorities arrested Phillips because of his contribution to the raid and found him guilty. If it weren?t for British protestors begging for his pardon, he would have been put to death. Despite the raid, the British High Commissioner for South Africa, Sir Alfred Milner, secretly planned a destructive war against the Boers. Michael Foot, author of From the Boer War to the Cold War, said that Milner had a dream of his own new South Africa, but his dream became a nightmare when negotiations started. He said, ?Milner was a great administrator, but no statesman and no diplomatist. He hated inefficiency and delay; most of all, he hated compromise? (37). Of course, this attitude was probably also consistent with the president of

South Africa. Weber commented on this when he said that Milner wanted a war that would bring the richness of the Boers completely to the British Empire (2). It seemed pretty clear that Milner?s motive for this conflict was to control these newly discovered gold mines. The British Commissioner did not want to make his plan known to the public for fear of more protests. He quietly tried to negotiate with the president of South Africa at the time, President Paul Kruger. Alfred Milner knew that the majority of the outlanders were British living as foreigners in South Africa. He then devised a plan in which the British new comers could get citizenship in a shorter period of time. He knew that it would help him out politically, but more importantly, he knew there was money to be made