Capitalism Midwifed The Boer War.

by Daniel Russ on July 14, 2012

Boer Soldiers

Boers

 

By the end of the 19th century, European powers some ascendant and some on the wane, all made a mad dash to occupy or otherwise replevin some significant holding in Africa. By the end of the 19th century there was hardly any space left to plant another European flag. Portugal had already controlled the area known today as Angola. France controlled huge tracks of Equatorial Africa and Madagascar. Germany controlled modern day Namibia and Belgium controlled central Africa.

 

If you ever get the chance, read Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness or read Adam Hochschild’s biography about the rapine development of the Congo by Leopold II of Belgium in King Leopold’s Ghosts. King Leopold in fact was the original Halliburton/Enron/US Government type broker for power in central Africa. No one it seemed had laid claim to the lucrative rubber trees and so Leopold turned them into a model for cruel working conditions. It is estimated that the policies of Leopold’s company were entirely responsible for the deaths of millions of Congo natives; and eventually Leopold lost control of his holding and his throne. Perhaps one of the reasons why Africa is what it is today is because the Europeans robbed it of its resources and its identity at crucial crossroads in its development. Even today much of Africa is still dependent on foreign intervention and aid; much of this has been modeled on the predatory relationships companies and African countries have engaged in.

 

Still, Africa is immense and there was still available land for those who were in need of open space to follow their own religious lifestyles.

In the mid 18th century, the Dutch had landed thousands of citizens into South Africa in search of land and opportunity. Most all of them lived in the coastal towns under direct British rule, and the life was sedentary at best. The Boers were poor and relied heavily on the British Crown Sterling to maintain any sort of lifestyle. But in the 1860s, there was a mass exodus of Boers, called Trek Boers who left into the South Africa.  The Trek Boers left to extract themselves from British governance, and to avoid the border conflicts between Britain and Nguni people.

 

William Gladstone the new Prime Minister of England had negotiated a peace treaty between the Boers and the British colonial rulers and left most of them alone and in their own purview.

 

But then, something odd happened in Transvaal. In a place called Witwatersand, someone struck gold. Not too long after that, extensive diamond mines were found. Before you knew it, this tiny afterthought of a British port became a new American West. Johannesburg sprang up like a new San Francisco, there to do one thing, extract rare minerals from the ground and sell them on the international market.

 

That was too bad. While they weren’t rich, the Orange Free State and Travsvaal had lived in peace with the tribes of the midlands, mostly Zulu. The Calvinists who made their own country in the middle of South Africa really wanted out from under the thumb of British and Spanish and German corporate executive who engineered deals that made a few rich while it deprived indigenous populations of their very own wealth. There were fossil fuels also in Africa that could take advantage of the tremendous British rail system that skeined through Africa feeding into ports. In fact Britain had a matrix of coal and gas depots all over their empire and South Africa was no exception. The switch from sail to steam propelled ships drove a race for coal to stoke the engine of the United Kingdom’s great asset: its massive Navy.

 

Once Travsvaal and portions of the Orange Free State began bearing diamonds and coal and gold, the British moved in quickly and took control of trade. Frere, the British regional governor was looking for a casus belli and found one in of all things, Zulu raids on British and Boer encampments. The false flag worked. The invasion suited Paul Kruger, an Afrikaan resistance leader, and an outspoken anti-British zealot. He took up arms and won a series of quick but indecisive battles with the British.

 

Backed by the full military might of the crown Frere and the Boers were defeated. But be it known that Britain masqueraded as a good international citizen, promising the fruits of Western technology and medicine to the ignorant masses of native Africa territories. Instead they became slave traders, prison managers, and tyrants, even torturers.

 

Paul Kruger, Anmti British Boer

Paul Kruger

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Louis September 18, 2017 at 2:24 am

Paul Kruger was the rightfull Head of State of Transvaal, which was, at that thime, a sovereign country, even though it was “under british protection”. So calling him a resistance leader is like calling Churchill a resistance leader against Hitler.
And the Boers where not the indiginous people there. In fact they all but enslaved them. And, after the Boer War, they were very resentfull against the British. So much so that they grabbed power (via elections) in the 1950’s, and then instituted this segregation policy called Apartheid (which is a Afrikaans word), while most of the white resistance against that policy came from the english speaking part.
Also, they did not really live in peace with the Zulus. They more or less defeated them at the Bloodriver battle, and then decided that to get rid of them was too much trouble.

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