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What Were The Causes And Effects Of The South African War

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The South African war was fought between the Boers and the British, from October 12 1899 to May 31 1902. At the time South Africa was a British colony and the Boer’s hostility towards them grew as the British started to push the Boers towards a less fertile area of land. At first it was minor fighting and conflict but soon thereafter it evolved into a full-scale war. The Boers were tremendously outnumbered and the British had a clear advantage with numbers and power, however, the British were seen to be overconfident and underestimating the Boers. The Boer’s failure to surrender to the British lead to the British introducing the death camps, playing on the morale of the Boers, and in turn the hardships of their people lead to the Boer’s surrender. After the horrific war it gave opportunity to the Boers to unite, which they did and the birth of Afrikaans nationalism.

The Boers were well prepared and struck the British hard, winning a few important battles during early stages of the war. The British brought in large numbers of soldiers and fought back, by 1900 the country had been annexed and the war considered over, however the Boers refused to surrender and started using guerrilla warfare (Source B). The Boers fought on for two years in this way, until surrendering when too many of their
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Wives and children of those fighting in the war, as well as those too old to fight were forced into the concentration camps. Conditions were unbearable, women and children were malnourished and multiple diseases broke out in the camps, thousands died (Sources F and G). Death of friends and family played on the Boers feelings, many of the Boers felt surrender was necessary to bring an end to the deaths. The Boers were fighting with guerrilla tactics for two years and refused to surrender, the introduction of the concentration camps was the only way the British had to defeat them and eventually resulting in the Boer’s
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