Why was Natal annexed by the British in 1843?

Why was Natal annexed by the British in 1843?
  • In 1842 British forces under captain smith attacked and natal and in 1843 made it part of the British cape colony.
  • The British wanted to take the port of Natal for commercial reasons.




  • The British wanted to protect their missionaries working in the Natal.
  • The British wanted to protect their farmers living in Natal.
  • The instability in the region in the region could threaten the British imperial interests.
  • The British were determined to restore peace and stability on the eastern boarder of the cape.
  • Annexation was the only way of bringing backthe Boers under the British control.
  • The British claimed that Natal had been given to them earlier.
  • The rumours of mineral discovery in the in the interior of South Africa.
  • The British feared that the control of port Durban by the Boers would out compete Cape Town as the commercial center.




  • The Boer government in natal was too weak to provide a strong and reasonable government.
  • The Boers in Natal hard forced Africans who lived between Rivers Tugela and Umzimuhuru to move towards the cape colony and this threaten to cause instability.
  • Majority of the European traders had been calling at port Durban in natal and establishing trade contacts with the Boers.
  • The British could not allow the existence of a strong rival European state in the interior of South Africa and on the coast of Indian Ocean since it could interfere with prosperous trade.
  • The British feared that natal could emerge as a rival state to the cape colony.
  • The British were determined to protect the entire coastline of South African and the sea route to India and monopolizes the coastline trade.
  • The Boers were disunited in a number of distractive groups.
  • The British never wanted the Boers to be independent because the former regarded the latter as their subjects.
  • British imperialism and desire to control the whole of South Africa made them to annex Natal.




  • They wanted to control the growth of Boer pride and nationalism in South Africa
  • The British desire to unite all white republics in South Africa.
  • The Boers state had become bankrupt. The Boer widow whose husband had been killed in the fighting with the Bantu were now living on gifts. The British had to move in to solve the situation.

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