National Geographic : 1896 Nov
THE REVOLT OF THE U1TLANDERS authorities by the government of the Transvaal and their subse quent trial in London need not be dwelt upon. The leader was condemned to fifteen months in prison, without special privileges, but he was shortly afterward granted the status of a first-class misdemeanant as an act of clemency. So far as I could learn, the sentences passed on the raiders were regarded in the Trans vaal as adequate but not excessive. The share of Mr Cecil Rhodes and of the Chartered Company in responsibility for the raid is still to be investigated. Quiet once more reigns in the Transvaal. The Uitlanders are again pressing for reforms, but there is no thought of revolt. The Burghers are now alive to the need of reforms, and as they seem anything but vindictive, I believe they will gradually concede what a sense of justice demands. The Reformers, though very able men in their own professions, have been mere puppets in the hands of men whose designs were much larger and more dubious than the correction of the Uitland ers' grievances. The honest soreness of the foreigners over their wrongs was taken advantage of to excite them to a rebellion not justified by the provocation. The Transvaal government showed little business ability in giving or tolerating even a shadow of excuse for rebellion, but in the active contest which followed it displayed an astuteness for which the ability of its enemies was no match. The union of South Africa under British hegemony, for which Mr Rhodes has labored so persistently, seems further off than ever. The Transvaal burghers are substantially Dutch ; so are the citizens of the Free State; so, too, are four-fifths of the Cape Colonists. The bond of sympathy between the Boers throughout South Africa has been drawn much closer during the past few months. The Africander League in Cape Colony, which aims at "Africa for the Africanders ", i. e., practically for the Boers, is much stronger than it was, and the whole race now sees in the Transvaal, which is arming to the teeth, an intel lectual ability to cope with the larger questions of politics which has not hitherto been available. It seems today as if the posi tion of the South African Republic in this region were very much like that of Prussia in the divided Germany of forty-one years ago. The whole country is in a state of tension, and a blunder ing policy on the part of the Paramount Power might have un usually serious consequences. Thus South Africa will probably command a larger measure of interest and attention from the world henceforth than hitherto.