South African Apartheid
South Africa
Mahatma Gandhi

The Two Boer Wars

The Two Boer Wars

1st Boer War (1877-84): The Dutch settlers revolted violently when the British declared Transvaal as its colony in 1877. Surprisingly, the British were not prepared for such rebellion and they were compelled to declare Transvaal as a free state under the Peace Treaty of 1884.

After the 1st Boer War there existed, two Boer republics of Transvaal and Orange Free State while Cape Colony and Natal were under British.

2nd Boer War (1899-1902): The British were determined to bring Orange Free State and Transvaal under their control. By 1899, the Dutch feared that soon the British would invade them. Thus Transvaal and Orange Free State launched preemptive strikes against the Cape Colony and Natal. The war continued for three years and it also included guerrilla warfare, but the Boers were no match to the arms and strength of the British army and by 1902, the British won.

The Boers accepted the British sovereignty over themselves and in return the British gave grant for rehabilitation of displaced Boers and promised limited autonomy in some time.

Creation of Union of South Africa: In 1910, the Union of South Africa was established by bringing together areas of Natal, Transvaal, Cape Colony and the Orange Free State.

The resultant South African Union was a mix of blacks, colored i.e. mixed race, European settlers and Asians who came to South Africa as indentured laborers. Blacks were also known by the name of Bantus.


Demographic profile of South Africa (1910)

Blacks (or Bantus)


European Settlers


Mixed Race or Colored People born through conjugal relations between Blacks and Whites.


Asians (who were brought here as indentured laborers)


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