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given to aU adult white male British subjects. There is no
property qualification, but six months' residence in the
province is essential. There is a biennial registration of voters,
and every five years the electoral areas are to be redivided, with
the object of giving to each constituency an approximately
equal number of voters. The qualifications for membership of
the assembly are the same as those for voters.

At the head of the provincial government is an administrator
(who holds office for five years) appointed by the Union ministry.
This official is assisted by an executive committee of four members
elected by the provincial council. The provincial council con-
sists of 25 members (each representing a separate constituency)
elected by the parliamentary voters and has a statutory
existence of three years. Its powers are strictly local and
delegated. The control of elementary education was guaranteed
to the council for a period of five years following the establish-
ment of the Union.

Justice. — The law of the province is the Roman-Dutch law, in so
far as it has been introduced into and is applicable to South Africa,
and as amended by local acts. Bloemfontein is the seat of the
Supreme Court of the Union of South Africa and also of a provincial
division of the same court. For judicial purposes the province is
divided into twenty-four divisions, in each of which is a resident
magistrate, who has limited civil and criminal jurisdiction. There
are also special justices of the peace, having criminal jurisdiction in
minor cases. The provincial court has jurisdiction in all civil and
criminal matters, and is a court of appeal from all inferior courts.
From it appeals can be made to the Appellate Division of the Supreme
Court. Criminal cases are tried before one judge and a jury of nine,
who must give a unanimous opinion. Circuit courts are also held
by judges of the provincial court.

Finance. — The bulk of the revenue, e.g. that derived from customs
and railways, is now paid to the Union government, but the pro-
vincial council has power to levy taxes and (with the consent of the
Union ministry') to raise loans for strictly provincial purposes.
In 1S70— 1871, when the province was an independent state and
possessed neither railways nor diamond mines, the revenue was
£78,000 and the expenditure £71,000; in 1884-1885 the revenue
had risen to £228,000 and the expenditure to £229,000; in 1898,
the last full year of the republican administration, the fig^ures



154



ORANGE FREE STATE



were: revenue, including railway profits, £799,000; expenditure,
including outlay on new railways, £956,000. Omitting the figures
during the war period, the figures for the year ending June 1903
were; revenue, £956,000; expenditure, £839,000. The depression
in trade which followed caused a reduction in revenue, the average
for the years 1904-1909 being: revenue, £820,000; expenditure,
£819,000. These figures are exclusive of railway receipts and ex-
penditure (see Transvaal: Finance).

Religion. — The vast majority (over 95 %) of the white inhabitants
are Protestants, and over 70 % belong to the Dutch Reformed
Church, while another 3 % are adherents of the ver>' similar organi-
zation, the Gereformeerde Kerk. Anglicans are the next numerous
body, forming I2'53% of the white population. The Wesleyans
number nearly 4% of the inhabitants. The Roman Catholics
number2-30%of the whites, the head of their church in the province
being a vicar apostolic. At the head of the Anglican community,
which is in full communion with the Church of England, is the
bishop of Bloemfontein, whose diocese, founded in 1863, includes
not only the Orange Free State, but Basutoland, Griqualand West
and British Bechuanaland. All the churches named have missions
to the natives, and in 1904, 104,389 aboriginals and 10,909 persons
of mixed race were returned as Protestants, and 1093 aboriginals
and 117 of mixed race as Roman Catholics. The total number of
persons in the country professing Christianity was 251,904 or 65%.
The Dutch Reformed Church had the largest number (21,272) of
converts among the natives, the Wesleyans coming next. The
African Methodist Episcopal (Ethiopian) Church had 41 10 members,
of whom only two were whites. The Jewish comm.unity numbered
1616. Nearly 33 °/„ of the population, 127,637 persons, were re-
turned officially at the census of 1904 as of " no religion," under
which head are classed the natives who retain their primitive forms
of belief, for which see Kaffirs, Bechuanas, &c.

Education. — At the census of 1904, 32-57 "„ of the total population
could read and write; of the whites over fifteen years old 82-63 "i
could read and write. Of the aboriginals, 8-15 "i could read and
write; of the mixed and other races, 12-28%. In the urban
areas the proportion of persons, of all races, able to read and
write was 50-67%; in the rural areas the proportion was
26-43%. By sexes, 35% of males and 29-63 % of females could
read and write.

Elementary education is administered by the provincial council,
assisted by a permanent director of education. From 1900 to 1905
the schools were managed, teachers selected and appointed and all ex-
penses borne by the government. They were of an undenominational
character and English was the medium of instruction. The teaching
of Dutch was optional. In 1904 the Dutch Reformed Church started
Christian National {i.e. Denominational) Schools, but in March 1905
an agreement was come to whereby these schools were amalgamated
with the government schools, and in June 1905 a fuither agreement
was arrived at between the government and the leading religious
denominations. By this arrangement " religious instruction of a
purely historical character " was given in all government schools
for two hours every week, and might be given m Dutch. Further,
ministers of the various denominations might give, on the special
request of the parents, instruction to the children of their own
congregations for one hour on one day in each week. The attendance
at government schools reached in 1908 a total of nearly 20,000, as
against 8000 in 1898, the highest attendance recorded under re-
publican government. On the attainment of self-government the
colonial legislature passed an act (1908) which in respect to primary
and secondary education made attendance compulsory on all white
children, the fee system being maintained. English and Dutch
were, nominally, placed on an equal footing as media of instruction.
Ever>- school was under the supervision of a committee elected by
the parents of the children. Schools were grouped in districts, and
for each district there was a controlling board of nine members, of
whom five were elected by the committees of the separate schools
and four appointed by the government. Religious instruction
could only be given by members of the school staff. Dogmatic
teaching was prohibited during school hours, except in rural schools
when parents_ required such teaching to be given. The application
of the provision as to the media of instruction gave rise to much
friction, the English-speaking community complaining that in-
struction in Dutch was forced upon their children (see further,
§ History). Primary- education for natives is provided in private
schools, many of which receive government grants. In 1908 over
10,000 natives were in attendance at schools.

Provision is made for secondary education in all the leading
town_ schools, which prepare pupils for matriculation. At Bloem-
fontein is a high school for girls, the Grey College school for bovs,
and a normal school for the training of teachers. The Grey Uni-
versity College is a state institution providing university education
for the whole province. It is affiliated to the university of the Cape
of Good Hope.

History.

The country north of the Orange river was first visited by
Europeans towards the close of the iSth century. At that time



it was somewhat thinly peopled. The majority of the in-
habitants appear to have been members of the Bechuana
division of the Bantus, but in the valleys of the Establish-
Orange and Vaal were Korannas and other Hottentots, meat of
and in the Drakensberg and on the western border lived ^ Boer
numbers of Bushmen. Early in the 19th century "P"*'*^*
Griquas established themselves north of the Orange. Between
1 8 1 7 and 1 83 1 the country was devastated by the chief Mosilikatze
and his Zulus, and large areas were depopulated. Up to this
time the few white men who had crossed the Orange had been
chiefly hunters or missionaries. In 1824 Dutch farmers from
Cape Colony seeking pasture for their flocks settled in the country.
They were followed in 1836 by the first parties of the Great Trek.
These emigrants left Cape Colony from various motives, but
all were animated by the desire to escape from British sovereignty.
(See South Africa, History; and Cape Colony, History.)
The leader of the first large party of emigrants was A. H. Potgieter,
who concluded an agreement with Makwana, the chief of the
Bataung tribe of Bechuanas, ceding to the farmers the country
between the Vet and Vaal rivers. The emigrants soon came
into collision with Mosilikatze, raiding parties of Zulus attack-
ing Boer hunters who had crossed the Vaal without seeking
permission from that chieftain. Reprisals followed, and in
November 1837 Mosilikatze was decisively defeated by the Boers
and thereupon fled northward. In the meantime another
party of emigrants had settled at Thaba'nchu, where the
Wesleyans had a mission station for the Barolong. The emigrants
were treated with great kindness by Moroko, the chief of that
tribe, and with the Barolong the Boers maintained uniformly
friendly relations. In December 1836 the emigrants beyond
the Orange drew up in general assembly an elementary republican
form of government. After the defeat of Mosilikatze the town
of Winburg (so named by the Boers in commemoration of their
victory) was founded, a volksraad elected, and Piet Relief,
one of the ablest of the voortrckkers, chosen " governor and
commandant-general." The emigrants already numbered some
500 men, besides women and children and many coloured servants.
Dissensions speedily arose among the emigrants, whose numbers
were constantly added to, and Retief, Potgieter and other
leaders crossed the Drakensberg and entered Natal. Those that
remained were divided into several parties intensely jealous
of one another.

Meantime a new power had arisen along the upper Orange
and in the valley of the Caledon. Moshesh, a Bechuana chief of
high descent , had welded together a number of scattered
and broken clans which had sought refuge in that
mountainous region, and had formed of them the
Basuto nation. In 1833 he had welcomed as workers
among his people a band of French Protestant mission-
aries, and as the Boer immigrants began to settle
in his neighbourhood he decided to seek support
from the British at the Cape. At that time the British govern-
ment was not prepared to exercise effective control over the
emigrants. Acting upon the ad\-ice of Dr John Phihp, the
superintendent of the London Missionary Society's stations
in South Africa, a treaty was concluded in 1843 with Moshesh,
placing him under British protection. A similar treaty was
made with the Griqua chief, Adam Kok III. (See Basutoland
and Griqualand.) By these treaties, which recognized native
sovereignty over large areas on which Boer farmers were settled,
it was sought to keep a check on the emigrants and to protect
both the natives and Cape Colony. Their effect was to precipitate
collisions between all three parties. The year in which the
treaty with INIoshesh was made several large parties of Boers
recrossed the Drakensberg into the country north of the Orange,
refusing to remain in Natal when it became a British colony.
During their stay there they had inflicted a severe defeat on the
Zulus under Dingaan (December 183S), an event which, following
on the flight of MosiUkatze, greatly strengthened the position
of Moshesh, whose power became a menace to that of the emigrant
farmers. Trouble first arose, however, between the Boers and
the Griquas in the Philippohs district. Many of the white



Early

relations

with

British,

Basutos

and

Griquas,



ORANGE FREE STATE



155



farmers in this district, unlike their fellov^s dwelling farther
north, were willing to accept British rule, and this fact induced
Mr Justice Menzies, one of the judges of Cape Colony then on
circuit at Colesberg, to cross the Orange and proclaim (October
1842) the country British territory, a proclamation disallowed
by the governor, Sir George Napier, who, nevertheless, maintained
that the emigrant farmers were still British subjects. It was
after this episode that the treaties with Adam Kok and Moshesh
were negotiated. The treaties gave great offence to the Boers,
who refused to acknowledge the sovereignty of the native chiefs.
The majority of the white farmers in Kok's territory sent a
deputation to the British commissioner in Natal, Henry Cloete,
asking for equal treatment with the Griquas, and expressing the
desire to come on such terms, under British protection. Shortly
afterwards hostilities between the farmers and the Griquas
broke out. British troops were moved up to support the Griquas,
and after a skirmish at Zwartkopjes (May 2, 1845) a new arrange-
ment was made between Kok and Sir Peregrine Maitland, then
governor of Cape Colony, virtually placing the administration
of his territory in the hands of a British resident, a post filled
in 1846 by Captain H. D. Warden. The place chosen by Captain
(afterwards Major) Warden as the seat of his court was known
as Bloemfontein, and it subsequently became the capital of the
whole country.

The volksraad at Winburg during this period continued to
claim jurisdiction over the Boers living between the Orange
Anaexa- ^""^ ^^^ VslilI and was in federation with the volksraad
tloa by at Potchefstroom, which made a similar claim upon the
Oreai Boers living north of the Vaal. In 1846 Major Warden

'"'"'■ occupied Winburg for a short time, and the relations
between the Boers and the British were in a continual state of
tension. Many of the farmers deserted Winburg for the Transvaal.
Sir Harry Smith became governor of the Cape at the end of 1847.
He recognized the failure of the attempt to govern on the lines
of the treaties with the Griquas and Basutos, and on the 3rd
of February 1848 he issued a proclamation declaring British
sovereignty over the country between the Orange and the
Vaal eastward to the Drakensberg. The justness of Sir Harr}'
Smith's measures and his popularity among the Boers gained
for his policy considerable support, but the republican party,
at whose head was Andries Pretorius (q.v.), did not submit
without a struggle. They were, however, defeated by Sir Harry
Smith in an engagement at Boomplaats (August 29, 1848).
Thereupon Pretorius, with those most bitterly opposed to British
rule, retreated across the Vaal. In March 1840 Major Warden
was succeeded at Bloemfontein as civU commissioner by Mr
C. U. Stuart, but he remained British resident until July 1852.
A nominated legislative council was created, a high court estab-
lished and other steps taken for the orderly government of the
country, which wasotlficially styled the Orange River Sovereignty.
In October 1849 Moshesh was induced to sign a new arrangement
considerably curtailing the boundaries of the Basuto reserve.
The frontier towards the Sovereignty was thereafter known as the
Warden hne. A little later the reserves of other chieftains were
precisely defined. The British Resident had, however, no force
sufficient to maintain his authority, and Moshesh and all the
neighbouring clans became involved in hostilities with one
another and with the whites. In 1851 Moshesh joined the
republican party in the Sovereignty in an invitation to Pretorius
to recross the Vaal. The intervention of Pretorius resulted
in the Sand River Convention of 1832, which acknowledged
the independence of the Transvaal but left the status of the
Sovereignty untouched. The British government (the first
Russell administration), which had reluctantly agreed to the
annexation of the country, had, however, already repented its
decision and had resolved to abandon the Sovereignty. Lord
Grey (the 3rd earl), secretary of state for the colonies, in a
despatch to Sir Harry Smith dated the 2rst of October 1851,
declared, "The ultimate abandonment of the Orange Sovereignty
should be a settled point in our policy." A meeting of representa-
tives of all European inhabitants of the Sovereignty, elected
on manhood suffrage, held at Bloemfontein in June 1852, never-



theless declared in favour of the retention of British rule. At
the close of that year a settlement was at length concluded
with Moshesh, which left, perhaps, thatchicfina stronger posit ion
than he had hitherto been. (See Basutoland: History.) There
had been ministerial changes in England and the ministry then
in power — that of Lord Aberdeen — adhered to the determina-
tion to withdraw from the Sovereignty. Sir George Russell
Clerk was sent out in 1853 as special commissioner "for the
settling and adjusting of the affairs" of the Sovereignty, and in
August of that year he summoned a meeting of delegates to
determine upon a form of self-government. .'\t that lime there
were some 15,000 whiles in the country, many of them recent
emigrants from Cape Colony. There were among them numbers
of farmers and tradesmen of British blood. The majority of
the whites still wished for the continuance of British rule provided
that it was effective and the country guarded against its enemies.
The representations of their delegates, who drew up a proposed
constitution retaining British control, were unavailing. Sir
George Clerk announced that, as the elected delegates were
unwilling to take steps to form an independent govern- , ^ j_
ment, he would enter into negotiations with other eace
persons. "And then, " writes Dr Theal, "was seen torcedoa
the strange spectacle of an English commissioner "'"Boers.
addressing men who wished to be free of British control
as the friendly and well-disposed inhabitants, while for
those who desired to remain British subjects and who claimed
that protection to which they beheved themselves entitled
he had no sympathizing word." While the elected delegates
sent two members to England to try and induce the government
to alter their decision Sir George Clerk speedily came to terms
with a committee formed by the republican party and presided
over by Mr J. H. Hoffman. Even before this committee met
a royal proclamation had been signed (January 30, 1854)
"abandoning and renouncing all dominion" in the Sovereignty.
A convention recognizing the independence of the country
was signed at Bloemfontein on the 23rd of February by Sir
George Clerk and the republican committee, and on the nth
of March the Boer government assumed office and the republican
flag was hoisted. Five days later the representatives of the
elected delegates had an interview in London with the colonial
secretary, the duke of Newcastle, who informed them that it
was now too late to discuss the question of the retention of
British rule. The colonial secretary added that it was impossible
for England to supply troops to constantly advancing outposts,
"especially as Cape Town and the port of Table Bay were all
she really required in South Africa." In withdrawing from the
Sovereignty the British government declared that it had "no
alhance with any native chief or tribes to the northward of the
Orange River with the exception of the Griqua chief Captain
Adam Kok." Kok was not formidable in a military sense,
nor could he prevent individual Griquas from alienating their
lands. Eventually, in 1861, he sold his sovereign rights to the
Free State for £4000 and removed with his followers to the
district now known as Griqualand East. (F. R. C.)

On the abandonment of British rule representatives of the
people were elected and met at Bloemfontein on the 28th of
March 1854, and between that date and the i8th
of April were engaged in framing a constitution. The caa"nile.
country was declared a republic and named the Orange
Free State. All persons of European blood possessing a six
months' residential qualification were to be granted full burgher
rights. The sole legislative authority was vested in a single
popularly elected chamber styled the volksraad. E.xecutivc
authority was entrusted to a president elected by the burghers
from a list submitted by the volksraad. The president was to
be assisted by an executive council, was to hold office for five
years and was eligible for re-election. The constitution was
subsequently modified but remained of a liberal character. A
residence of five years in the country was required before aliens
could become naturalized. The first president was Mr Hoffman,
but he was accused of being too complaisant towards Moshesh and
resigned, being succeeded in 1855 by ]Mr J. N. Boshof, one of



156



ORANGE FREE STATE



the voortrekkers, who had previously taken an active part
in the affairs of Natal.

Distracted among themselves, with the formidable Basuto
power on their southern and eastern flank, the troubles of the
A Trans- infant state were speedily added to by the action of
vaalraU the Transvaal Boers. Marthinus Pretorius, who had
Into the succeeded to his father's position as commandant-
Free State, gg^g^^^j ^f Potchefstroom, wished to bring about a
confederation between the two Boer states. Peaceful overtures
from Pretorius were declined, and some of his partisans in the
Free State were accused of treason (February 1857). Thereupon
Pretorius, aided by Paul Kruger, conducted a raid into the Free
State territory. On learning of the invasion President Boshof
proclaimed martial law throughout the country. The majority
of the burghers rallied to his support, and on the 2Sth of May
the two opposing forces faced one another on the banks of the
Rhenoster. President Boshof not only got together some
eight hundred men within the Free State, but he received offers
of support from Commandant Schoeman, the Transvaal leader
in the Zoutpansberg district and from Commandant Joubert of
Lydenburg. Pretorius and Kruger, realizing that they would have
to sustain attack from both north and south, abandoned their
enterprise. Their force, too, only amounted to some three
hundred. Kruger came to Boshof's camp with a flag of truce,
the " army " of Pretorius returned north and on the 2nd of June
a treaty of peace was signed, each state acknowledging the
absolute independence of the other. The conduct of Pretorius
was stigmatized as " blameworthy. " Several of the malcontents
in the Free State who had joined Pretorius permanently settled
in the Transvaal, and other Free Staters who had been guilty
of high treason were arrested and punished. This experience
did not, however, heal the party strife within the Free State.
In consequence of the dissensions among the burghers President
Boshof tendered his resignation in February 1858, but was for
a time induced to remain in office. The difficulties of the state
were at that time (1858) so great that the voLksraad in December
of that year passed a resolution in favour of confederation with
the Cape Colony. This proposition received the strong support
of Sir George Grey, then governor of Cape Colony, but his view
did not commend itself to the British government, and was not
adopted (see South Africa: History). In the same year the
disputes between the Basutos and the Boers culminated in open
war. Both parties laid claims to land beyond the Warden line,
and each party had taken possession of what it could, the
Basutos being also expert cattle-lifters. In the war the advantage
rested with the Basutos; thereupon the Free State appealed to
Sir George Grey, who induced Moshesh to come to terms. On
the 15th of October 1858 a treaty was signed defining anew the
boundary. The peace was nominal only, while the burghers
were also involved in disputes with other tribes. Mr. Boshof
again tendered his resignation (February 1859) and retired to
Natal. Many of the burghers would have at this time welcomed
union with the Transvaal, but learning from Sir George Grey
that such a union would nullify the conventions of 1852 and 1854
and necessitate the reconsideration of Great Britain's policy
towards the native tribes north of the Orange and Vaal rivers,
the project dropped. Commandant Pretorius was, however,



Online LibraryHugh ChisholmThe Encyclopædia britannica; a dictionary of arts, sciences, literature and general information (Volume v. 20) → online text (page 58 of 353)