The Second Boer War

The conflict is commonly referred to as the Boer War, since the First Boer War (December 1880 to March 1881) was a much smaller conflict. Boer (meaning “farmer”) is the common term for Afrikaans-speaking white South Africans descended from the Dutch East India Company’s original settlers at the Cape of Good Hope.

The origins of the war were complex and stemmed from more than a century of conflict between the Boers and Britain. Of particular immediate importance, however, was the question as to who would control and benefit most from the very lucrative Witwatersrand gold mines.

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