How Are the Boer Wars Summarized in History?


Quick Answer

The Boer Wars are summarized in history as South African wars of independence. There were two Boer Wars, the first from 1880 to 1881 and the second from 1899 to 1902. The Boer Wars were fought between the British and the two Boer republics. The first Boer War is also known as the Transvaal Rebellion, while the second is sometimes called the South African War.

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Full Answer

The first Boer War began as a result of the Boer republic Transvaal rebelling against British annexation in 1877. Over a 10-year period starting in 1835, people of largely Dutch descent moved from British-colonized Cape Town to the interior of Africa and started two republics: the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, named after the Orange and Vaal Rivers. The people were farmers, or boers.

When the British made it known that an attempt at annexation would be made, the Boers turned their stance from passive aggression to armed aggression, surprising the British forces. Despite causing the British to suffer heavy losses, the Boers lost the Boer Wars. The second war was started when the British refused an ultimatum from the Transvaal to solve all continuing issues between the republic and its governing nation through arbitration.

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