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Boers in combat (1881).

The Boer Wars (known in Afrikaans as Vryheidsoorloeë [lit. "freedom wars"]) were two wars fought between Britain and the two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic).

Contents

The First Boer War

The First Anglo-Boer War (1880–1881), also known as the "Transvaal War," was a relatively brief conflict in which Boer settlers successfully rebelled against British rule in the Transvaal, and re-established their independence, lost in 1877.

Second Anglo-Boer War

The Second War (1899-1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war - involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions - which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-government). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa. The Boer War lasted three years and was very bloody. The British fought directly against the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The bloodshed that was seen during the war was alarming. Two of the factors that contributed to this were: First, many of the British soldiers were physically unprepared for the environment and poorly trained for the tactical conditions they faced. As a result, British losses were high as a result of both disease and combat. Second, the policies of "scorched earth" and civilian internment (adopted by the British in response to the Boer guerrilla campaign) ravaged the civilian populations in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

Controversy and significance

During the Second Boer War, Britain pursued the policy of rounding up and isolating the Boer civilian population into concentration camps. The wives and children of Boer guerrillas were sent to these camps with poor hygiene and little food, although this was remedied to some extent as time went on. The death and suffering of the civilians, according to many scholars, is what broke the guerrillas' will. The "pacification" theory has been repeated many times in warfare since.[citation needed]

The Second Boer War was a major turning point in British history, due to world reaction over the anti-insurgency tactics the British army used in the region. This led to a change in approach to foreign policy from Britain who now set about looking for more allies. To this end, the 1902 treaty with Japan in particular was a sign that Britain feared attack on its Far Eastern empire and saw this alliance as an opportunity to strengthen its stance in the Far East. This war led to a change from "splendid isolation" policy to a policy that involved looking for allies and improving world relations. Later treaties with France ("Entente cordiale") and Russia, caused partially by the controversy surrounding the Boer War, were major factors in dictating how the battle lines were drawn during World War One.[citation needed]

The Boer War also had another significance. The Army Medical Corps discovered that 40% of men called up for duty were physically unfit to fight. This was the first time in which the government was forced to take notice of how unfit the British Army was. This led to individual investigations by Booth and Rowntree into the poverty in Britain, and ultimately gave the Liberals ideas on which to base their Welfare reforms, beginning in 1906.[citation needed]

See also

Biographical articles

Other articles

Bibliography

Books

  • Beck, Roger B. (2000). The History of South Africa. Westport, CT: Greenwood. ISBN 031330730X.
  • Davenport, T. R. H., and Christopher Saunders (2000). South Africa: A Modern History, 5th ed. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0312233760.
  • Doyle, A. Conan (1902). The Great Boer War. Toronto: George N. Morang & Company.
  • Jackson, Tabitha (1999). The Boer War. Basingstoke, U.K.: Channel 4 Books/Macmillan. ISBN 075221702X.
  • Judd, Denis, and Keith Surridge (2003). The Boer War. Basingstoke, U.K.: Palgrave Macmillan. ASIN B000OLSIXQ

. ISBN 0719561698 (paperback).

. ISBN 1432612239 (2005 reissue).

  • Riall, Nicholas (2000) "Boer War: The Letters, Diaries and Photographs of Malcolm Riall from the War in South Africa.", ISBN 1-85753-266-X.
  • van Hartesveldt, Fred R. (2000). The Boer War. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0313306273.
  • Woods, Frederick (1972). Young Winston's Wars; The Original Despatches of Winston S. Churchill War Correspondent, 1897-1900. New York: The Viking Press, Inc. ISBN 9780670795154 (Published in 1973). Library of Congress catalog card number: 72-90478.

Journal articles

Relevant Historical Fictional Films

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breaker_Morant_(film)


The Boer Wars (known in Afrikaans as Vryheidsoorloeë [lit. "freedom wars"]) were two wars fought between the United Kingdom and the two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic).

Contents

The First Boer War

The First Anglo-Boer War (1880–1881), also known as the "Transvaal War," was a relatively brief conflict in which Boer (Descendants of Dutch settlers. Translates as 'Farmer') successfully rebelled against British rule in the Transvaal, and re-established their independence, lost in 1877, when the Boers fought the British in order to regain the independence they had given up to obtain British help against the Zulus.

Second Anglo-Boer War

The Second War (1899–1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war—involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions—which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-government). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa. The British fought directly against the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The bloodshed that was seen during the war was alarming. There were two main factors that contributed to this. First, many of the British soldiers were physically unprepared for the environment and poorly trained for the tactical conditions they faced. As a result, British losses were high due to both disease and combat. Second, the policies of "scorched earth" and civilian internment (adopted by the British in response to the Boer guerrilla campaign) ravaged the civilian populations in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

Controversy and significance

During the Second Boer War, the UK pursued the policy of rounding up and isolating the Boer civilian population into concentration camps. The wives and children of Boer guerrillas were sent to these camps with poor hygiene and little food, although this was remedied to some extent as time went on. The death and suffering of the civilians, according to many scholars, is what broke the guerrillas' will. The "pacification" theory has been repeated many times in warfare since.[citation needed]

The Second Boer War was a major turning point in British history, due to world reaction over the anti-insurgency tactics the British army used in the region. This led to a change in approach to foreign policy from the UK who now set about looking for more allies. To this end, the 1902 treaty with Japan in particular was a sign that the UK feared attack on its Far Eastern empire and saw this alliance as an opportunity to strengthen its stance in the Far East. This war led to a change from "splendid isolation" policy to a policy that involved looking for allies and improving world relations. Later treaties with France ("Entente cordiale") and Russia, caused partially by the controversy surrounding the Boer War, were major factors in dictating how the battle lines were drawn during World War One.[citation needed]

The Boer War also had another significance. The Army Medical Corps discovered that 40% of men called up for duty were physically unfit to fight. This was the first time in which the government was forced to take notice of how unfit the British Army was and this severe lack of physically-trained armed forces strengthened the call for the Liberal Reforms of the first decade of the twentieth century. Thus this was one of the prime reasons for the subsequent introduction of compulsory games and at least one hot meal in British schools.

References

Further reading

Journal articles

Relevant Historical Fictional Films








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