The Great Round World and What Is Going On In It, Vol. 1, No. 20, March 25, 1897 by Various


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Page 2

All the Kings and Queens of England until the time of George IV. were
crowned in Westminster Hall, and in this same building Charles I. was
condemned to death, and Oliver Cromwell was declared Protector of England,
and here the first Parliaments sat.

Westminster Hall after a while became part of the King's palace of
Westminster, where the famous Henry VIII. lived. This palace was destroyed
by fire except the grand old Hall, which was left standing alone until
the new Houses of Parliament were built on the ground where the palace had
once stood, and the Hall became a part of the Houses of Parliament.

This grand old building with its wonderful arched roof has seen many great
assemblies in its 800 years of life, but this inquiry into the affairs of
the Transvaal is by no means the least interesting of them.

If you take your map, you will see that the southern part of Africa is
divided into several states and colonies.

Cape Colony, the most southerly of all, belongs to England. Then comes the
Orange Free State, and then the South African Republic, or the Transvaal,
as it is called. You will notice that the English possessions creep up the
coast in front of the Transvaal, and also form its western or land
boundary.

The Transvaal is a Republic originally settled by the Dutch. Its
inhabitants are called Boers, and they are a race of sturdy farmers. It is
from their employment that they get their name of Boer. In the Dutch
language boer means a peasant, a farmer, or a tiller of the soil. It is
the same word as the German _Bauer_, a peasant.


Uncle) Paul, as his people call him.

England, as you will see by your map, owns vast tracts of land in South
Africa, and according to her regular practice she is trying to enlarge her
possessions still further. Wherever England establishes a colony, she
reaches out on either side of her, and takes, if possible, a little piece
of land here, and another little scrap there, until by and by she has
laid hold of the greater part of the land around her.

She has been following her usual custom in South Africa.

But the Boers are not fond of the English, and they have been trying with
all their power to keep these neighbors of theirs as far away from them as
possible. As the English have advanced, the Boers have retreated, even
giving up the diamond mines of Kimberly in the process of moving.

One day, however, rich gold-fields were discovered on the Witwaters Rand.
A Rand is the high land on either side of a river valley.

This settled matters for the Boers. From the moment gold-fields were
discovered, Englishmen poured into the Transvaal.

The Boers, who, as we have said, are a quiet farming people, were not
pleased with this invasion of foreigners. They christened them Uitlanders,
which means outsiders, and they are decidedly not in love with them.

The capital of the Transvaal is a town called Pretoria. It is the seat of
the government, and is a simple, unpretentious town, situated in the
centre of the little Republic.

When the Uitlanders poured over the borders into the gold-fields, they
desired to have a town somewhat nearer to the Rand and the gold-fields
than Pretoria was, so they founded Johannesburg.

This town flourished amazingly, and soon far outstripped Pretoria in size
and importance, just as the Uitlanders had outstripped the Boers in point
of numbers and wealth.

The native population of the Transvaal is very scattered. They are a
nation of farmers, and at the present time there are only about 15,000
Boer men in the whole territory, while of the English-speaking Uitlanders
there are more than five times that number.

No sooner did Johannesburg grow to be a powerful city, than the
Uitlanders, her citizens, demanded that they should have a voice in the
government of the country.

They complained that they were hardly used by the Boers, and made to pay
heavy taxes.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Sun 22nd Sep 2019, 16:59