The Zulu Wars Essay Research Paper The

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The Zulu Wars Essay, Research Paper The Zulu Wars The people known today as Zulu are formed together about 165 years ago. Many independent clans combining, all of whom had lived in the eastern coastal parts of South Africa for centuries, formed them. The name “Zulu” itself was originally the name of one man whose descendants made up the Zulu clan. In 1816 this small clan gained a new ruler by the name of Shaka (Chaka). An expert militarist, he led the small Zulu clan in a conquest of his neighbors. The Zulu?s soon became a very powerful empire ruling over a vast amount of land and peoples. The first white settlers came to Southern Africa in 1488 when the famous Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias around the southernmost tip of the continent of Africa. Starting at 1600,

the English, the Dutch, and the French set up chartered companies to conduct trades in the East Indies. Of the three, only the Dutch formally set up a base in the region. The base became important as a halfway point to provide fresh food to ships traveling from Europe to the East. Over the years Dutch and German Settlers, and some French Protestant refugees, continued to arrive. From 1658 on, enslaved Africans were regularly imported. Society developed between free whites, which had civil rights, and enslaved Africans, who had very few rights. All of this did not go unnoticed by the many African groups, the Zulu?s included, and who occupied southern Africa. In 1795, the British controlled the Cape of Good Hope. By then the white settlers, mostly Dutch, began to find an attachment

to their newly settled/conquered land. They called themselves Afrikaner or Boer, meaning framer, and they had their own language (Afrikaans) derived from 17th Century Dutch. The colony’s frontiers had also extended, leading to much conflict with native African Khoisan and Bantu peoples. Five thousand settlers were brought out from Britain in 1820 and were given farms along the eastern frontier. Most, however, became townsmen, and traders. A few settled farther to the north in the land of the Zulu?s, which is now Durban. Although their main army had not been defeated, the Zulu?s realized that their weapons and war tactics were no match for gunmen on horses. In 1840, his brother Mpande had overthrown Dingane. His son Cetshwayo succeeded Mpande in 1872. The British wished to

control the Boer republics and decided to make the Zulu nation submit to British rule. They annexed the Transvaal in 1877, supporting false Boer land claims against the Zulu?s. This unfair treatment so angered Cetshwayo; he began to enlarge his army. A British commander arrived, demanding that the Zulu army be dismissed and that a British diplomat reside there to enforce British rule. Cetshwayo would not meet these demands and in January 1879, the British invaded the Zulu nation. Despite their use of spears against the British guns, the Zulu?s put up one of the greatest fights of resistance on the continent, stopping almost wiping out what was considered the greatest European army of the day. So fierce a resistance did the Zulu?s put up that even their enemies were forced to

acknowledge their skills. Benjamin Disraeli said, “A remarkable people the Zulu. They defeat our generals, convert our bishops, and put an end to a great European dynasty.” Unfortunately in July, the Zulu?s were defeated at Ulundi. Cetshwayo was exiled and his kingdom was divided into thirteen chiefdoms ruled by chiefs trusted by the British. The Zulu?s however did not accept them and rebellious wars continued. Cetshwayo even visited London and met Queen Victoria in 1822. Insisting to be treated as an equal monarch, he attracted large crowds wherever he went. Disdainful of the spectacle he told the Europeans who gawked at him, “I do not care to be made a show of. If English people have never seen a black man before I am sorry. I am not a wild beast; I did not come here to