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    Chapter 2

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    Chapter 3
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    THE CAUSE OF QUARREL

    There might almost seem to be some subtle connection between the
    barrenness and worthlessness of a surface and the value of the
    minerals which lie beneath it. The craggy mountains of Western
    America, the arid plains of West Australia, the ice-bound gorges of
    the Klondyke, and the bare slopes of the Witwatersrand veldt -- these
    are the lids which cover the great treasure chests of the world.

    Gold had been known to exist in the Transvaal before, but it was only
    in 1886 that it was realised that the deposits which lie some thirty
    miles south of the capital are of a very extraordinary and valuable
    nature. The proportion of gold in the quartz is not particularly high,
    nor are the veins of a remarkable thickness, but the peculiarity of
    the Rand mines lies in the fact that throughout this 'banket'
    formation the metal is so uniformly distributed that the enterprise
    can claim a certainty which is not usually associated with the
    industry. It is quarrying rather than mining. Add to this that the
    reefs which were originally worked as outcrops have now been traced to
    enormous depths, and present the same features as those at the
    surface. A conservative estimate of the value of the gold has placed
    it at seven hundred millions of pounds.

    Such a discovery produced the inevitable effect. A great number of
    adventurers flocked into the country, some desirable and some very
    much the reverse. There were circumstances, however, which kept away
    the rowdy and desperado element who usually make for a newly opened
    goldfield. It was not a class of mining which encouraged the
    individual adventurer. There were none of those nuggets which gleamed
    through the mud of the dollies at Ballarat, or recompensed the
    forty-niners in California for all their travels and their toils. It
    was a field for elaborate machinery, which could only be provided by
    capital. Managers, engineers, miners, technical experts, and the
    tradesmen and middlemen who live upon them, these were the Uitlanders,
    drawn from all the races under the sun, but with the Anglo-Celtic
    vastly predominant. The best engineers were American, the best miners
    were Cornish, the best managers were English, the money to run the
    mines was largely subscribed in England. As time went on, however, the
    German and French interests became more extensive, until their joint
    holdings are now probably as heavy as those of the British. Soon the
    population of the mining centres became greater than that of the whole
    Boer community, and consisted mainly of men in the prime of life-men,
    too, of exceptional intelligence and energy.

    The situation was an extraordinary one. I have already attempted to
    bring the problem home to an American by suggesting that the Dutch of
    New York had trekked west and founded an anti-American and highly
    unprogressive State. To carry out the analogy we will now suppose
    that that State was California, that the gold of that State attracted
    a large inrush of American citizens, who came to outnumber the
    original inhabitants, that these citizens were heavily taxed and badly
    used, and that they deafened Washington with their outcry about their
    injuries. That would be a fair parallel to the relations between the
    Transvaal, the Uitlanders, and the British Government.

    That these Uitlanders had very real and pressing grievances no one
    could possibly deny. To recount them all would be a formidable task,
    for their whole lives were darkened by injustice. There was not a
    wrong which had driven the Boer from Gape Colony which he did not now
    practise himself upon others -- and a wrong may be excusable in 1885
    which is monstrous in 1895. The primitive virtue which had
    characterised the farmers broke down in the face of temptation. The
    country Boers were little affected, some of them not at all, but the
    Pretoria Government became a most corrupt oligarchy, venal and
    incompetent to the last degree. Officials and imported Hollanders
    handled the stream of gold which came in from the mines, while the
    unfortunate Uitlander who paid nine-tenths of the taxation was fleeced
    at every turn, and met with laughter and taunts when he endeavoured to
    win the franchise by which he might peaceably set right the wrongs
    from which he suffered. He was not an unreasonable person. On the
    contrary, he was patient to the verge of meekness, as capital is
    likely to be when it is surrounded by rifles. But his situation was
    intolerable, and after successive attempts at peaceful agitation, and
    numerous humble petitions to the Volksraad, lie began at last to
    realise that he would never obtain redress unless he could find some
    way of winning it for himself.

    Without attempting to enumerate all the wrongs which embittered the
    Uitlanders, the more serious of them may be summed up in this way.

    1. That they were heavily taxed and provided about seven-eighths of
    the revenue of the country. The revenue of the South African
    Republic-which had been 154,000l. in 1886, when the gold fields were
    opened-had grown in 1899 to four million pounds, and the country
    through the industry of the newcomers had changed from one of the
    poorest to the richest in the whole world (per head of population).

    2. That in spite of this prosperity which they had brought, they, the
    majority of the inhabitants of the country, were left without a vote,
    and could by no means influence the disposal of the great sums which
    they were providing. Such a case of taxation without representation
    has never been known.

    3. That they had no voice in the choice or payment of officials. Men
    of the worst private character might be placed with complete authority
    over valuable interests. Upon one occasion the Minister of Mines
    attempted himself to jump a mine, having officially learned some flaw
    in its title. The total official salaries had risen in 1899 to a sum
    sufficient to pay 40l. per head to the entire male Boer population.

    4. That they had no control over education. Mr. John Robinson, the
    Director General of the Johannesburg Educational Council, has reckoned
    the sum spent on Uitlander schools as 6501. out of 63,0001. allotted
    for education, making one shilling and tenpence per head per annum on
    Uitlander children, and eight pounds six shillings per head on Boer
    children-the Uitlander, as always, paying seven-eighths of the
    original sum.

    5. No power of municipal government. Watercarts instead of pipes,
    filthy buckets instead of drains, a corrupt and violent police, a high
    death~rate in what should be a health resort -- all this in a city
    which they had built themselves.

    6. Despotic government in the matter of the press and of the right of
    public meeting.

    7. Disability from service upon a jury.

    8. Continual harassing of the mining interest by vexatious
    legislation. Under this head came many grievances, some special to
    the mines and some affecting all Uitlanders. The dynamite monopoly,
    by which the miners had to pay 600,0001. extra per annum in order to
    get a worse quality of dynamite; the liquor laws, by which one-third
    of the Kaffirs were allowed to be habitually drunk; the incompetence
    and extortions of the State-owned railway; the granting of concessions
    for numerous articles of ordinary consumption to individuals, by which
    high prices were maintained; the surrounding of Johannesburg by tolls
    from which the town had no profit -- these were among the economical
    grievances, some large, some petty, which ramified through every
    transaction of life.

    And outside and beyond all these definite wrongs imagine to a free
    born progressive man, an American or a Briton, the constant irritation
    of being absolutely ruled by a body of twenty-five men, twenty-one of
    whom had in the case of the Selati Railway Company been publicly and
    circumstantially accused of bribery, with full details of the bribes
    received, while to their corruption they added such crass ignorance
    that they argue in the published reports of the Volksraad debates that
    using dynamite bombs to bring down rain was firing at God, that it is
    impious to destroy locusts, that the word 'participate' should not be
    used because it is not in the Bible, and that postal pillar boxes are
    extravagant and effeminate. Such OBITER DICTA may be amusing at a
    distance, but they are less entertaining when they come from an
    autocrat who has complete power over the conditions of your life.

    >From the fact that they were a community extremely preoccupied by
    their own business, it followed that the Uitlanders were not ardent
    politicians, and that they desired to have a share in the government
    of the State for the purpose of making the conditions of their own
    industry and of their own daily lives more endurable. How far there
    was need of such an interference may be judged by any fair-minded man
    who reads the list of their complaints. A superficial view may
    recognise the Boers as the champions of liberty, but a deeper insight
    must see that they (as represented by their elected rulers) have in
    truth stood for all that history has shown to be odious in the form of
    exclusiveness and oppression. Their conception of liberty has been a
    selfish one, and they have consistently inflicted upon others far
    heavier wrongs than those against which they had themselves rebelled.

    As the mines increased in importance and the miners in numbers, it was
    found that these political disabilities affected some of that
    cosmopolitan crowd far more than others, in proportion to the amount
    of freedom to which their home institutions had made them
    accustomed. The continental Uitlanders were more patient of that which
    was unendurable to the American and the Briton. The Americans,
    however, were in so great a minority that it was upon the British that
    the brunt of the struggle for freedom fell. Apart from the fact that
    the British were more numerous than all the other Uitlanders combined,
    there were special reasons why they should feel their humiliating
    position more than the members of any other race. In the first place,
    many of the British were British South Africans, who knew that in the
    neighbouring countries which gave them birth the most liberal possible
    institutions had been given to the kinsmen of these very Boers who
    were refusing them the management of their own drains and water
    supply. And again, every Briton knew that Great Britain claimed to be
    the paramount power in South Africa, and so he felt as if his own
    land, to which he might have looked for protection, was conniving at
    and acquiescing in his ill treatment. As citizens of the paramount
    power, it was peculiarly galling that they should be held in political
    subjection. The British, therefore, were the most persistent and
    energetic of the agitators.

    But it is a poor cause which cannot bear to fairly state and honestly
    consider the case of its opponents. The Boers had made, as has been
    briefly shown, great efforts to establish a country of their own.
    They had travelled far, worked hard, and fought bravely. After all
    their efforts they were fated to see an influx of strangers into their
    country, some of them men of questionable character, who outnumbered
    the original inhabitants. If the franchise were granted to these,
    there could be no doubt that though at first the Boers might control a
    majority of the votes, it was only a question of time before the
    newcomers would dominate the Raad and elect their own President, who
    might adopt a policy abhorrent to the original owners of the
    land. Were the Boers to lose by the ballot-box the victory which they
    had won by their rifles? Was it fair to expect it? These newcomers
    came for gold. They got their gold. Their companies paid a hundred
    per cent. Was not that enough to satisfy them? If they did not like
    the country why did they not leave it? No one compelled them to stay
    there. But if they stayed, let them be thankful that they were
    tolerated at all, and not presume to interfere with the laws of those
    by whose courtesy they were allowed to enter the country.

    That is a fair statement of the Boer position, and at first sight an
    impartial man might say that there was a good deal to say for it; but
    a closer examination would show that, though it might be tenable in
    theory, it is unjust and impossible in practice.

    In the present crowded state of the world a policy of Thibet may be
    carried out in some obscure corner, but it cannot be done in a great
    tract. of country which lies right across the main line of industrial
    progress. The position is too absolutely artificial. A handful of
    people by the right of conquest take possession of an enormous country
    over which they are dotted at such intervals that it is their boast
    that one farmhouse cannot see the smoke of another, and yet, though
    their numbers are so disproportionate to the area which they cover,
    they refuse to admit any other people upon equal terms, but claim to
    be a privileged class who shall dominate the newcomers completely.
    They are outnumbered in their own land by immigrants who are far more
    highly educated and progressive, and yet they hold them down in a way
    which exists nowhere else upon earth. What is their right? The right
    of conquest. Then the same right may be justly invoked to reverse so
    intolerable a situation. This they would themselves acknowledge.
    'Come on and fight ! Come on!' cried a member of the Volksraad when
    the franchise petition of the Uitlanders was presented. 'Protest!
    Protest! What is the good of protesting?' said Kruger to
    Mr. W. Y. Campbell; 'you have not got the guns, I have.' There was
    always the final court of appeal. Judge Creusot and Judge Mauser were
    always behind the President.

    Again, the argument of the Boers would be more valid had they received
    no benefit from these immigrants. If they had ignored them they might
    fairly have stated that they did not desire their presence. But even
    while they protested they grew rich at the Uitlander's expense. They
    could not have it both ways. It would be consistent to discourage him
    and not profit by him, or to make him comfortable and build the State
    upon his money; but to ill-treat him and at the same time to grow
    strong by his taxation must surely be an injustice.

    And again, the whole argument is based upon the narrow racial
    supposition that every naturalised citizen not of Boer extraction must
    necessarily be unpatriotic. This is not borne out by the examples of
    history. The newcomer soon becomes 'as proud of his country and as
    jealous of her liberty as the old. Had President Kruger given the
    franchise generously to the Uitlander, his pyramid would have been
    firm upon its base and not balanced upon its apex. It is true that
    the corrupt oligarchy would have vanished, and the spirit of a broader
    more tolerant freedom influenced the counsels of the State. But the
    republic would have become stronger and more permanent, with a
    population who, if they differed in details, were united in
    essentials. Whether such a solution would have been to the advantage
    of British interests in South Africa is quite another question. In
    more ways than one President Kruger has been a good friend to the
    empire.

    So much upon the general question of the reason why the Uitlander
    should agitate and why the Boer was obdurate. The details of the long
    struggle between the seekers for the franchise and the refusers of it
    may be quickly sketched, but they cannot be entirely ignored by any
    one who desires to understand the inception of that great contest
    which was the outcome of the dispute.

    At the time of the Convention of Pretoria (1881) the rights of
    burghership might be obtained by one year's residence. In 1882 it was
    raised to five years, the reasonable limit which obtains both in Great
    Britain and in the United States. Had it remained so, it is safe to
    say that there would never have been either an Uitlander question or a
    great Boer war. Grievances would have been righted from the inside
    without external interference.

    In 1890 the inrush of outsiders alarmed the Boers, and the franchise
    was raised so as to be only attainable by those who had lived fourteen
    years in the country. The Uitlanders, who were increasing rapidly in
    numbers and were suffering from the formidable list of grievances
    already enumerated, perceived that their wrongs were so numerous that
    it was hopeless to have them set right seriatim, and that only by
    obtaining the leverage of the franchise could they hope to move the
    heavy burden which weighed them down. In 1893 a petition of 13,000
    Uitlanders, couched in most respectful terms, was submitted to the
    Raad, but met with contemptuous neglect. Undeterred, however, by this
    failure, the National Reform Union, an association which organised the
    agitation, came back to the attack in 1894. They drew up a petition
    which was signed by 35,000 adult male Uitlanders, a greater number
    than the total Boer male population of the country. A small liberal
    body in the Raad supported this memorial and endeavoured in vain to
    obtain some justice for the newcomers. Mr. Jeppe was the mouthpiece of
    this select band. 'They own half the soil, they pay at least three
    quarters of the taxes,' said he. 'They are men who in capital, energy,
    and education are at least our equals.

    What will become of us or our children on that day when we may find
    ourselves in a minority of one in twenty without a single friend among
    the other nineteen, among those who will then tell us that they wished
    to be brothers, but that we by our own act have made them strangers to
    the republic?' Such reasonable and liberal sentiments were combated by
    members who asserted that the signatures could not belong to
    law-abiding citizens, since they were actually agitating against the
    law of the franchise, and others whose intolerance was expressed by
    the defiance of the member already quoted, who challenged the
    Uitlanders to come out and fight. The champions of exclusiveness and
    racial hatred won the day. The memorial was rejected by sixteen votes
    to eight, and the franchise law was, on the initiative of the
    President, actually made more stringent than ever, being framed in
    such a way that during the fourteen years of probation the applicant
    should give up his previous nationality, so that for that period he
    would really belong to no country at all. No hopes were held out that
    any possible attitude upon the part of the Uitlanders would soften the
    determination of the President and his burghers. One who remonstrated
    was led outside the State buildings by the President, who pointed up
    at the national flag. 'You see that flag?' said he. 'If I grant the
    franchise, I may as well pull it down.' His animosity against the
    immigrants was bitter. 'Burghers, friends, thieves, murderers,
    newcomers, and others,' is the conciliatory opening of one of his
    public addresses. Though Johannesburg is only thirty-two miles from
    Pretoria, and though the State of which he was the head depended for
    its revenue upon the gold fields, he paid it only three visits in nine
    years.

    This settled animosity was deplorable, but not unnatural. A man imbued
    with the idea of a chosen people, and unread in any book save the one
    which cultivates this very idea, could not be expected to have learned
    the historical lessons of the advantages which a State reaps from a
    liberal policy. To him it was as if the Ammonites and Moabites had
    demanded admission into the twelve tribes. He mistook an agitation
    against the exclusive policy of the State for one against the
    existence of the State itself. A wide franchise would have made his
    republic firm-based and permanent. It was a small minority of the
    Uitlanders who had any desire to come into the British system. They
    were a cosmopolitan crowd, only united by the bond of a common
    injustice. But when every other method had failed, and their petition
    for the rights of freemen had been flung back at them, it was natural
    that their eyes should turn to that flag which waved to the north, the
    west, and the south of them -- the flag which means purity of government
    with equal rights and equal duties for all men. Constitutional
    agitation was laid aside, arms were smuggled in, and everything
    prepared for an organised rising.

    The events which followed at the beginning of 1896 have been so
    thrashed out that there is, perhaps, nothing left to tell -- except
    the truth. So far as the Uitlanders themselves are concerned, their
    action was most natural and justifiable, and they have no reason to
    exculpate themselves for rising against such oppression as no men of
    our race have ever been submitted to. Had they trusted only to
    themselves and the justice of their cause, their moral and even their
    material position would have been infinitely stronger. But
    unfortunately there were forces behind them which were more
    questionable, the nature and extent of which have never yet, in spite
    of two commissions of investigation, been properly revealed. That
    there should have been any attempt at misleading inquiry, or
    suppressing documents in order to shelter individuals, is deplorable,
    for the impression left -- I believe an entirely false one -- must be
    that the British Government connived at an expedition which was as
    immoral as it was disastrous.

    It had been arranged that the town was to rise upon a certain night,
    that Pretoria should be attacked, the fort seized, and the rifles and
    ammunition used to arm the Uitlanders. It was a feasible device,
    though it must seem to us, who have had such an experience of the
    military virtues of the burghers, a very desperate one. But it is
    conceivable that the rebels might have held Johannesburg until the
    universal sympathy which their cause excited throughout South Africa
    would have caused Great Britain to intervene. Unfortunately they had
    complicated matters by asking for outside help. Mr. Cecil Rhodes was
    Premier of the Cape, a man of immense energy, and one who had rendered
    great services to the empire. The motives of his action are obscure
    -- certainly, we may say that they were not sordid, for he has always
    been a man whose thoughts were large and whose habits were simple. But
    whatever they may have been -- whether an ill-regulated desire to
    consolidate South Africa under British rule, or a burning sympathy
    with the Uitlanders in their fight against injustice -- it is certain
    that he allowed his lieutenant, Dr. Jameson, to assemble the mounted
    police of the Chartered Company, of which Rhodes was founder and
    director, for the purpose of co-operating with the rebels at
    Johannesburg. Moreover, when the revolt at Johannesburg was
    postponed, on account of a disagreement as to which flag they were to
    rise under, it appears that Jameson (with or without the orders of
    Rhodes) forced the hand of the conspirators by invading the country
    with a force absurdly inadequate to the work which he had taken in
    hand. Five hundred policemen and three field guns made up the forlorn
    hope who started from near Mafeking and crossed the Transvaal border
    upon December 29th, 1895. On January 2nd they were surrounded by the
    Boers amid the broken country near Dornkop, and after losing many of
    their number killed and wounded, without food and with spent horses,
    they were compelled to lay down their arms. Six burghers lost their
    lives in the skirmish.

    The Uitlanders have been severely criticised for not having sent out a
    force to help Jameson in his difficulties, but it is impossible to see
    how they could have acted in any other manner. They had done all they
    could to prevent Jameson coming to their relief, and now it was rather
    unreasonable to suppose that they should relieve their reliever.
    Indeed, they had an entirely exaggerated idea of the strength of the
    force which he was bringing, and received the news of his capture with
    incredulity. When it became confirmed they rose, but in a halfhearted
    fashion which was not due to want of courage, but to the difficulties
    of their position. On the one hand, the British Government disowned
    Jameson entirely, and did all it could to discourage the rising; on
    the other, the President had the raiders in his keeping at Pretoria,
    and let it be understood that their fate depended upon the behaviour
    of the Uitlanders. They were led to believe that Jameson would be
    shot unless they laid down their arms, though, as a matter of fact,
    Jameson and his people had surrendered upon a promise of quarter. So
    skillfully did Kruger use his hostages that he succeeded, with the help
    of the British Commissioner, in getting the thousands of excited
    Johannesburgers to lay down their arms without bloodshed. Completely
    out-manoeuvred by the astute old President, the leaders of the reform
    movement used all their influence in the direction of peace, thinking
    that a general amnesty would follow; but the moment that they and
    their people were helpless the detectives and armed burghers occupied
    the town, and sixty of their number were hurried to Pretoria Gaol.

    To the raiders themselves the President behaved with great generosity.
    Perhaps he could not find it in his heart to be harsh to the men who
    had managed to put him in the right and won for him the sympathy of
    the world. His own illiberal and oppressive treatment of the newcomers
    was forgotten in the face of this illegal inroad of filibusters. The
    true issues were so obscured by this intrusion that it has taken years
    to clear them, and perhaps they will never be wholly cleared. It was
    forgotten that it was the bad government of the country which was the
    real cause of the unfortunate raid. From then onwards the government
    might grow worse and worse, but it was always possible to point to the
    raid as justifying everything. Were the Uitlanders to have the
    franchise? How could they expect it after the raid? Would Britain
    object to the enormous importation of arms and obvious preparations
    for war? They were only precautions against a second raid. For years
    the raid stood in the way, not only of all progress, but of all
    remonstrance. Through an action over which they had no control, and
    which they had done their best to prevent, the British Government was
    left with a bad case and a weakened moral authority.

    The raiders were sent home, where the rank and file were very properly
    released, and the chief officers were condemned to terms of
    imprisonment which certainly did not err upon the side of
    severity. Cecil Rhodes was left unpunished, he retained his place in
    the Privy Council, and his Chartered Company continued to have a
    corporate existence. This was illogical and inconclusive. As Kruger
    said, 'It is not the dog which should be beaten, but the man who set
    him on to me.' Public opinion -- in spite of, or on account of, a
    crowd of witnesses -- was ill informed upon the exact bearings of the
    question, and it was obvious that as Dutch sentiment at the Cape
    appeared already to be thoroughly hostile to us, it would be dangerous
    to alienate the British Africanders also by making a martyr of their
    favourite leader. But whatever arguments may be founded upon
    expediency, it is clear that the Boers bitterly resented, and with
    justice, the immunity of Rhodes.

    In the meantime, both President Kruger and his burghers had shown a
    greater severity to the political prisoners from Johannesburg than to
    the armed followers of Jameson. The nationality of these prisoners is
    interesting and suggestive. There were twenty-three Englishmen,
    sixteen South Africans, nine Scotchmen, six Americans, two Welshmen,
    one Irishman, one Australian, one Hollander, one Bavarian, one
    Canadian, one Swiss, and one Turk. The prisoners were arrested in
    January, but the trial did not take place until the end of April. All
    were found guilty of high treason. Mr. Lionel Phillips, Colonel Rhodes
    (brother of Mr. Cecil Rhodes), George Farrar, and Mr. Hammond, the
    American engineer, were condemned to death, a sentence which was
    afterwards commuted to the payment of an enormous fine. The other
    prisoners were condemned to two years' imprisonment, with a fine of
    2,OOOL. each. The imprisonment was of the most arduous and trying
    sort, and was embittered by the harshness of the gaoler, Du
    Plessis. One of the unfortunate men cut his throat, and several fell
    seriously ill, the diet and the sanitary conditions being equally
    unhealthy. At last at the end of May all the prisoners but six were
    released. Four of the six soon followed, two stalwarts, Sampson and
    Davies, refusing to sign any petition and remaining in prison until
    they were set free in 1897. Altogether the Transvaal Government
    received in fines from the reform prisoners the enormous sum of
    212,000L. A certain comic relief was immediately afterwards given to
    so grave an episode by the presentation of a bill to Great Britain for
    1,677,938L. 3s. 3d.-- the greater part of which was under the heading
    of moral and intellectual damage.

    The raid was past and the reform movement was past, but the causes
    which produced them both remained. It is hardly conceivable that a
    statesman who loved his country would have refrained from making
    some effort to remove a state of things which had already caused such
    grave dangers, and which must obviously become more serious with every
    year that passed. But Paul Kruger had hardened his heart, and was not
    to be moved. The grievances of the Uitlanders became heavier than
    ever. The one power in the land to which they had been able to appeal
    for some sort of redress amid their grievances was the law courts. Now
    it was decreed that the courts should be dependent on the
    Volksraad. The Chief Justice protested against such a degradation of
    his high office, and he was dismissed in consequence without a
    pension. The judge who had condemned the reformers was chosen to fill
    the vacancy, and the protection of a fixed law was withdrawn from the
    Uitlanders.

    A commission appointed by the State was sent to examine into the
    condition of the mining industry and the grievances from which the
    newcomers suffered. The chairman was Mr. Schalk Burger, one of the
    most liberal of the Boers, and the proceedings were thorough and
    impartial. The result was a report which amply vindicated the
    reformers, and suggested remedies which would have gone a long way
    towards satisfying the Uitlanders. With such enlightened legislation
    their motives for seeking the franchise would have been less
    pressing. But the President and his Raad would have none of the
    recommendations of the commission. The rugged old autocrat declared
    that Schalk Burger was a traitor to his country for having signed such
    a document, and a new reactionary committee was chosen to report upon
    the report. Words and papers were the only outcome of the affair. No
    amelioration came to the newcomers. But at least they had again put
    their case publicly upon record, and it had been endorsed by the most
    respected of the burghers. Gradually in the press of the
    English-speaking countries the raid was ceasing to obscure the
    issue. More and more clearly it was coming out that no permanent
    settlement was possible where the majority of the population was
    oppressed by the minority. They had tried peaceful means and failed.
    They had tried warlike means and failed. What was there left for them
    to do? Their own country, the paramount power of South Africa, had
    never helped them. Perhaps if it were directly appealed to it might do
    so. It could not, if only for the sake of its own imperial prestige,
    leave its children for ever in a state of subjection. The Uitlanders
    determined upon a petition to the Queen, and in doing so they brought
    their grievances out of the limits of a local controversy into the
    broader field of international politics. Great Britain must either
    protect them or acknowledge that their protection was beyond her
    power. A direct petition to the Queen praying for protection was
    signed in April 1899 by twenty-one thousand Uitlanders. From that time
    events moved inevitably towards the one end. Sometimes the surface was
    troubled and sometimes smooth, but the stream always ran swiftly and
    the roar of the fall sounded ever louder in the ears.
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