The Boer War of 1899 was a dirty little conflict that involved all the Boer Republics and the British Empire. It started a result of cultural resentment between the Boers (Dutch settlers) and immigrating British. It began as an uprising of British immigrants against the Boer government. The British Empire, seeing their subjects mistreated, decided to get involved. At first the war was fought with the honor typically associated with the British, but, in the end, it turned nasty.
Problems began with the discovery of gold in the Transvaal. Thousands of British miners flooded into the Boer culture, almost overnight. This disruption caused the Boers to resent the new immigrants. They decided to make the British second-class citizens, paying high taxes and not getting the right to vote. The British miners were understandably unhappy with this situation. Following the example set by the French and Americans, they revolted. If it had stopped there, the Boer War would have been nothing but an obscure trivia question, but it didn't; the British Empire chose to get involved. British troops began building up on the Transvaal borders. A threat was made, a threat was ignored, and a war began.
At first, the war went well for the Boers. These Dutch farmers handily beat the famous British army in several encounters, yet their success would not last. The better-trained British army captured the capital of the Orange Free State, Johannesburg and Pretoria. The British had claimed yet another victory for the crown. The Boers though, refused to admit defeat.
Upon their devastating defeats at the hands of the British, the...