CAUSES OF THE 2nd ANGLO – BOER WAR 1899 – 1902

CAUSES OF THE 2nd ANGLO – BOER WAR 1899 – 1902

The second Anglo – Boer war was the second major and last war between the British and the Boers.

It also referred to as a “Gentleman’s war”/ “Whiteman’s war” because Africans never took part in it

Both the British and the Boers regarded it as a white man’s affair and never allowed Africans to fight.


  • The long term misunderstanding between the British and the Boers
  • The Jameson raid of 1895 increases the hostilities between the British and the Boers hence the war.
  • Increased Boer nationalism and need for independence which was strengthened by their victory in the Jameson raid and at Majuba hills in 1895 and 1882 respectively.

  • The British wanted to ravage their humiliating defeat in the First Anglo – Boer war and in the Jameson raid of 1895.They wanted revenge and avert the shame.
  • The Transvaal Boers hoped to get support from other Boers in the British colonies of Natal and Orange Free State.
  • The poor British military record in the area encouraged the Boers into war. For example they had been defeated at Isandhlwana by the Zulu and at Majuba by the Boers in 1882.
  • The expected Germany support by the Boers of Transvaal. This was the result of the congratulatory message from Kaiser William II after the Jameson raid.
  • The re-election of Paul Kruger as the president of Transvaal in 1898. This made him to wage war against the British to get more glory and support from the Boers.
  • The tariffs on railways between Transvaal and the cape also caused war. The tariffs introduced by Boers were rejected by the British hence the war.
  • The discovery of minerals after 1860s ledto the war. Each struggled to control the region and the disagreement over the control caused the war.

  • Paul Kruger’s continued denial of the rights of the Utilanders also caused the war. For example political representation to which Kruger objected.
  • The violation of the Pretoria convention by the Boers also caused the war. For example they discriminated British goods and denied the Utilanders their rights.
  • The involvement of Transvaal in many projects with out consulting the British. For example Paul Kruger constructed the railway line from Johannesburg to Maputo to sabotage the use of the British railway from Cape Town to Durban.
  • The movement of other Europeans towards South Africa threaten the British interest hence the war .The Germans Portuguese, and Belgians threaten to take over the mineral belt. The British fought the Boers to have effective control of the belt.
  • The appointment of Sir Alfred Milner as an imperial high commissioner to South Africa greatly led to the war. He encouraged Utilanders in Transvaal to revolt.
  • Alfred Milner was a war monger for example during talks with Paul Kruger in Bloemfontein in Orange Free State in 1899; he refused to accept Kruger’s proposals to reduce the residential qualifications to 7 years.

  • The murder of aUtilanders in Transvaal and the failure of Kruger to punish the murderers.
  • Dying the Utilanders a right to speak English in Transvaal also caused the war.
  • Dying the children of Utilanders a right to study from British schools but rather forced to study in Dutch school in Transvaal.
  • The need to determine the master of the politics of South Africa made the two to fight.
  • The encirclement of Transvaal by the British was another cause of the war.
  • Paul Kruger strong ultimatum / demanded on 9 0ct 1899 to the British to remove their soldiers on the borders of Transvaal and when they kept a deaf ear , war was declared after two days.


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