Eastern Cape 1878

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Map Code: Ax00797

The Boer South African Republic (SAR) came into existence in the 1830s, and was recognized by the British in 1852. At the same time, the British forced independence on Orange Free State (most settlers there preferred to remain a colony). Zoutpansberg and Lydenburg briefly seceded from the SAR, before reincorporation through the Transvaal Civil War (1860–64). In the meantime, the British Cape Colony annexed, piecemeal, the territories of Natal (1844), Griqualand (1861), Kaffiria (1865) and Basutoland (1871). British interest in the lands occupied by the Boers escalated greatly with the discovery first of gold, then diamonds (1868–72). They annexed the South African Republic in 1877, and, at the time, the Boer leader, Paul Kruger, did not resist, calculating they needed British military support to counter the threat from the Zulus on their eastern borders. In 1878, the British invaded Zululand, and, after initial defeat, crushed their resistance.

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