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THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899-1902 TOPIC 1: CECIL RHODES AND THE JAMESON RAID Possible Exam Question Why did the Jameson Raid take place, and did it make war in South Africa inevitable?
Could perhaps be a question on the extent of Chamberlain's role in the Jameson Raid?
What was the Jameson Raid?
The Jameson Raid was an ineffective attempt to overthrow President Paul Kruger of the Transvaal Republic in December
1895. It was an ill-fated attempt to support an uprising that would topple the Transvaal Government to ensure that foreign immigrations were given full political rights. Why did the Jameson Raid occur?
1. Tens of thousands of Uitlanders had settled in the Transvaal following the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in 1886. The influx threatened the political independence of the recently formed republic. The government refused to grant the Uitlanders the franchise, and kept upping the period required to qualify for citizenship
2. The Transvaal government was considered to be excessively conservative over economic and industrial policy, and the various non-Afrikaner magnates in the region desired a greater political voice
3. There was a significant level of distrust between the Cape Colony government and that of the Transvaal republic over Kruger's attempt to claim control of Bechuanaland in contravention of the 1884 London Convention. The region was subsequently declared a British protectorate. What occurred during and after the plot?
Notes from 'The Boer War 1899-1902' - Gregory Fremont-Barnes
? Rhodes plotted with prominent Uitlanders to seize power by force, on the pretext that Uitlanders were discontented on political and economic grounds.
? The Reform Committee was to foment an uprising in Johannesburg, while Dr Leander Starr Jameson (18531917), a protege and friend of Rhodes, was to ride to the Uitlanders' assistance from Bechuanaland with several hundred mounted paramilitary volunteers and topple the Transvaal Government.
? The conspiracy had the covert backing of Joseph Chamberlain.
? Jameson's ill-conceived raid in fact came to an ignominious end at Doornkop on 2 January 1896. A strong Boer force led by General Piet Cronje (1836-1911)
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confronted Jameson, en route to Johannesburg, and forced him to surrender himself and his 500 followers after pathetic resistance. The anticipated rising never materialized. However, the incident served to increase Boer suspicions of British skullduggery. Nor were these suspicions entirely misplaced. Chamberlain had had knowledge of Jameson's plan for a coup, and had provided land to Jameson's company in Bechuanaland - the staging ground from which the raid began. Rhodes was obliged to resign as Prime Minister of the Cape Colony Jameson, the obvious scapegoat for what amounted to a wider conspiracy stretching from London to Cape Town, was imprisoned in Britain for 15 months. Chamberlain denied any involvement in the fiasco and managed to retain his post. But the damage had been done: Kruger and his government knew very well that, had Jameson succeeded, the feat would have been hailed as a triumph in London and measures would have been taken to annex the Transvaal - a reprise of 1877. The raid also aggravated already tense relations between Britain and Germany. Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) saw fit to congratulate the Kruger Government in a telegram, thinly disguising his joy at Britain's humiliation. The communication fueled the jingoists in Britain and bolstered the Boers' (as it turned out, mistaken) belief that in any future conflict with Britain the republics could rely on foreign assistance. The path towards open confrontation grew clearer. The future Prime Minister of SA, Jan Smuts (1870-1950) wrote: "The Jameson Raid was the real declaration of war in the Anglo-Boer conflict...[The] aggressors consolidated their alliance...the defenders on the other hand silently and grimly prepared for the inevitable."
What were the consequences of the Raid?
- For London, the results of 1896 fiasco were predictably dismal
- Rhodes was disgraced, Britain was condemned internationally for its implication in a murky conspiracy to snatch an independent Christian state, and there was heightened bickering amongst British Liberal Imperialists and Radical Liberals over imperial claims upon political morality
THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899-1902-Jameson's intervention strengthened Kruger's diplomatic, psychological and moral position. Justifying suspicion of British intentions, it enabled the Transvaal to solidify further its republican alliance with the Orange Free State, boosted Kruger's previously shaky electoral popularity, and spurred the growth of anti-British, republican and nationalist passions within Boer populations elsewhere in the region. More widely, the Boer leader enhanced his international standing. Because Chamberlain DOES NOT resign - makes war even more likely as shows that he was intent on destroying the Transvaal. Supports the Marxist interpretation of events in South Africa - role of mining capitalists in pushing the course of events on and in concealing the active role of the British officials in the whole event. Makes it look like the mining capitalists are much more powerful than they were Most important consequence - massive defeat for the colonial factor and the idea that agents within South Africa are effective. o Rhodes destroyed o Mining capitalists are seriously compromised o Chamberlain has come out relatively unscathed and arguably Jameson Raid sets up imperial factor to come back in again o Rhodes has failed and so now it is Chamberlain's turn - IMPERIAL INTERVENTION IS NOW NECESSARY - there is not going to be another Rhodes - it has to be done from London.
What was the significance of the Jameson Raid?
- Catalyst for the war - makes it almost inevitable
- Inquiry exacerbated tensions and discredited important British colonists
- MASSIVE FAILURE - almost without modern parallel
- Betrayal of trust between the British and the Boers - Transvaal government thought they had independence and sovereignty
- Case that shows us that cabinet ministers secretly are willing to subvert the normal rules of international diplomacy and that they are willing to lie - the whole government is willing to support a Cabinet minister who ultimately lies.
- Who does drive imperial power?
o Is it determined by what happens on the ground?
o Do the people working in the colonies actually have much more say than the government in London?
- Marxist interpretations of South African history
THE SOUTH AFRICAN WAR 1899-1902 o Case that Marxists would say is where people that are in charge are the mining capitalists i.e. Cecil Rhodes o Supposedly proves that it is the mining capitalists that are calling the shots and are running the show in South Africa o Hobson argument - lacks evidence COLONIAL SOLUTION ? Key exponent of this is CECIL RHODES
? One of the most successful mining capitalists in South Africa
? He also has big political visions for the entire British Empire
? "The extension of British rule throughout the world..."
? Founded the Rhodes Trust - tried to establish the Rhodes scholarship.
? Bring political elite from the entire Anglo-Saxon world and together rule the world - aim of the Rhodes trust and the Rhodes scholarships.
? Rhodes manages to secure the support of the Afrikaner Bond (Cape Dutch organization who are coming together forming a political party to support the interests of the Cape Dutch)
? Rhodes convinces them to work with him
? Succeeds in 1890 to persuade the Afrikaner Bond to back him to become the President of the Cape. In his article, why does Robert Blake draw out a distinction between the 'Rhodes Plan' and the 'Jameson Raid'?
The Rhodes Plan was the initial plan and the Jameson Raid was when Jameson went ahead despite the people in Johannesburg not rising up. What actually happens is NOT what Rhodes had planned. He was not planning the Jameson Raid. W. T. Stead says that you cannot blame Rhodes for what happened - Rhodes was never planning a coup from outside. Why did the Jameson Raid take place, and did it make war in South Africa inevitable?
- Jameson Raid (Dec 1985) ? Ill-fated attempt to support an uprising that would topple the Transvaal Government
- Rhodes plotted with prominent Uitlanders to seize power by force, on the pretext that Uitlanders were discontented on political & economic grounds
- Dr Leander Starr Jameson, a protege and friend of Rhodes, assisted Rhodes and aimed to ride the Uitlanders' assistance from Bechuanaland with several hundred mounted paramilitary volunteers
- The conspiracy undoubtedly had the covert backing of the imperialist colonial secretary Joseph Chamberlain
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Essay will ____________ o Explain why the Jameson Raid took place o Argue that the effects and aftermath of the Raid, due to the discovery of Chamberlain's passive role as well as the confirmation that it was the sovereignty of the Transvaal that was at stake, ultimately rendered war inevitable o The aftermath of the raid, in terms of the exposure of the key political actors as well as the realization that Britain would stop at no lengths to regain its control over the Transvaal, led to war. Bill Nasson argues that the raid "remains a watershed moment" Jan Christian Smuts, the brilliant young Boer leader who would one day be Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa, later reflected: "The Jameson Raid was the real declaration of war in the Great Anglo-Boer conflict..."
Why did the Jameson Raid take place?
- Origins ? failure of the Uitlanders in the Transvaal to be amicably absorbed following their arrival after the discovery of the Witwatersrand goldfields in 1886 o Kruger refused to grant Uitlanders franchise, and kept upping the period required to qualify for citizenship o They began agitating for full political rights.
- When attempts to resolve these by peaceful means failed, many Uitlanders began considering the more drastic remedy of violent revolution. o Had support of Cecil John Rhodes, a multi-millionaire and prime minister of the Cape Colony
- As imperial attitudes hardened at home, the key men of the 1980s hustled forward and attempted to utilize the issue of the Uitlander grievances to assert their dominance over the Transvaal
- A pathologically plotting Cecil Rhodes thus hatched a conspiracy in 1895 to tip the Transvaal into British hands. o Rhodes was one of the most successful mining capitalists in South Africa and had big political visions for the future of the entire British Empire. o He refers to "the extension of British rule throughout the world." o Rhode's rash plan was to cook up an Uitlander rebellion as a pretext for an invading British colonial police column led by a trusted lieutenant, Dr Leander Starr Jameson, to stage a supporting invasion to safeguard imperiled nationals. o Once the Rand had been seized, a solicitous imperial power would intervene to bring peace and
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