The Fall of Kruger's Republic

The Fall of Kruger's Republic

The Fall of Kruger's Republic

The Fall of Kruger's Republic

Excerpt

This book tries to explain how the discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand led to war between Britain and the Boer republics. The opening in 1949 of the British archives to the end of the nineteenth century--the republican archives were open long before--and the access to Joseph Chamberlain's papers kindly given to me by the trustees (through the good offices of Miss Ethel Drus) have made possible another attempt to reach some definitive conclusions with regard to the coming of war. These conclusions emerge clearly (I hope) from the fresh synthesis which it has been my aim to make with the help both of this new material and of the publications of recent years.

The chapter entitled 'Joseph Chamberlain and the Raid' and part of 'The Aftermath' had been written when Dr. Jean van der Poel began sending me her typescript, which was later published with the title of The Jameson Raid. I read Dr. R. H. Wilde work Joseph Chamberlain and the South African Republic, 1895-1899 when I had already completed the relevant chapters of my book. Where I altered my manuscript after reading these two works, I have indicated my indebtedness to them.

I have thought it necessary to criticize professor Eric A. Walker work, particularly his chapter entitled 'The Struggle for Supremacy, 1896-1902', in The Cambridge History of the British Empire, volume VIII. Such criticism does not imply any lack of appreciation of his achievements as a writer of South African history. He has placed all succeeding South African historians in his debt.

There are a number of other obligations I should like to acknowledge. The commonwealth relations office made available to me, in the office of the high commissioner of the United Kingdom in Pretoria, certain papers printed for the use of the colonial office. Sir Keith Hancock obtained access for me to General Smuts's private papers, and he as well as professor Kenneth Robinson, the director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, read my work in typescript. Mr. Rodney Davenport of the University of Cape Town asked to be allowed to read the typescript and gave me a number of extracts from the Hofmeyr papers in the South African public library in Cape Town. I thank these scholars for their valuable comments on the manuscript.

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