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    malc johnston

    The First Anglo-boer war 1880-81 pt2

    The first Anglo-Boer War was the only war lost by the British Empire during the 19 th Century. In each of the four battles of this First War of Independence for the Transvaal, the Boers decisively defeated the British Army: at Bronkhorstspruit 20 December 1880, Laing’s Nek 28 January 1881, Ingogo (Skuinshoofte), 8 February 1881 and Majuba 27 February 1881.

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    However, when the British began to tax the Boers, resistance developed. Paul Kruger, who as a young boy of 11 years old had taken part in the Battle of Vegkop against the Matebele, was the dynamic force behind the struggle for the independence of the Transvaal. Numerous protest meetings and diplomatic attempts by the Boers were ignored by the British. When an ex-president of the Transvaal, M.W. Pretorius, approached the British High Commissioner, Sir Garnet Wolseley, in Pretoria, he was immediately jailed.

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    The spark that began the first Anglo-Boer War was over taxation. A farmer, Pieter Bezuidenhout, was summoned to pay £14 tax. When he refused to pay, the magistrate ordered the seizure and sale of his wagon by public auction. On 11 November 1880 a party of 100 Boers stopped the auction and forcibly returned the wagon to its owner.

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