“the Creation of the Union of South Africa Was Only Achievable Through Racial Compromises.”

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“The Creation of the Union of South Africa was only achievable through racial compromises.”

South Africa has gone from being a place where indigenous African culture and tribal rivalry ruled the fields to a place that is today very much a replica of a European society. Throughout the evolution of this nation, one of the most distinct events along its timeline was the creation of the Union of South Africa. The Union was created after much debate between both the British and the Boers and it seemed clear to all that both these forces had clear agendas which they wanted fulfilled. A blue print on a united South Africa was agreed on after much compromise between the British, Boers and also the Indigenous Africans.

In May 1902 the British and the Boers signed the Treaty of Vereeniging which signaled the end of all hostilities in the Anglo-Boer war and a new phase for South Africa. “The peace agreement which concluded the Second Anglo-Boer war was, as Milner said, an unusual agreement, one that extracted no indemnity from the defeated.” During the war the British adopted a policy which was known as the “Scorched Earth policy”. This policy meant that brigades of infantry and light horseman were sent out to obliterate all Boer farms, which meant the destruction of all livestock, crops and also all manufacturing facilities and machinery. The point of this policy was to try and cut off all supplies and supplying capabilities to the Boers, who were “invisible” to the British as they were undertaking highly effective Guerilla warfare tactics. The logic behind this policy was if their supplies were cut they would eventually starve to death or surrender to the British. About 26,000 Boer women and children died as a consequence of being forced into concentration camps where many were killed by disease, starvation, malnutrition or injuries sustained from physical abuse. “The British got exactly what they wanted out of the war, they now owned some of the richest Gold mines...
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