Zulu War (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: British supremacy in southern Africa. Result: British victory; partition of Zululand among thirteen British-approved chiefs.
The Zulu War was the result of long-standing conflicts between native Africans, Dutch farmers (Boers), and English settlers in southern Africa. European settlement in the region began in 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a supply base on the present site of Cape Town, almost 1,000 miles southwest of Zululand. By the 1790’s, some 60,000 European settlers had expanded Dutch territory more than 500 miles eastward.
After France defeated the Netherlands in Europe (1795) during the French Revolutionary Wars, Great Britain occupied the Cape Colony, with the Dutch formally transferring the territory in 1814. As large numbers of British settlers arrived in the 1820’s, many Boers migrated into the interior, establishing independent republics. The most important of these, the Transvaal (sometimes called the South African Republic), lay north of Zululand, the most powerful native kingdom in southern Africa. Boer expansion led to frequent border clashes with the Zulu.
Zululand seemed far removed from British interests in eastern south Africa, but with the discovery of diamonds at several locations after 1867, the British grew anxious to integrate economic and administrative control of the entire region, leading to a policy of...
(The entire section is 614 words.)
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