Natal and Zululand 1879

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Map Code: Ax00798

Britain agreed a border with Portuguese East Africa in 1875, and then accomplished the annexation, apparently painlessly, of Boer Transvaal in 1877. Now, the bullish British High Commissioner, Henry Bartle Frere, felt ready to move on the last major independent native kingdom: Zululand. Fomenting a dispute, British forces invaded in January 1879, only to be defeated, humiliatingly, at Islandlwana. However, a rapidly mounted second expedition routed the Zulu at Ulundi; their king, Ceteshwayo, was deposed, and his kingdom divided into 13 statelets. The largest of these, acting as a buffer to the British colony of Natal, was awarded to an English ‘chief’, John Dunn. In the same year, the British allied with the Amaswazi to subdue the tribes on Transvaal’s northern borders. As a reward, the Amaswazi under their King, Mbandzeni, had their independence recognized. However, this recognition would later be revoked.

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