21 min

Episode 141 - Peace‪!‬ The Anglo-Boer War

    • Education

Episode 141 is where the British and the Boers finally sign a peace treaty, but there’s quite a bit to cover as we go about watching the days between 19th and 31st May 1902.
Remember how the representatives from both sides, Botha, Smuts, Hertzog, De Wet, Burger and De la Rey for the Boers, Milner and Kitchener for the British, had decided to try and write a treaty together rather than separately through a commission.
Nowadays commissions seem to drag on for years – while the original concept of a commission was premised on the threat of a lack of quick action.
There is no doubt that we have lost the ability in the modern world to think rapidly. Commissions in the 21st Century are proficient at wasting time pandering to expensive lawyers representing a thicket of politicians rather than a direct pursuit of an objective legal conclusion.
Back in Lord Kitchener’s office in Pretoria in the week between 21st and 28th May 1902 the Boers were now aware that there was no way the British would ever agree to any sort of independence, and the British were aware that the Boers wanted to find an honourable way out of this war.
Judge Hertzog put it in a nutshell when he said
“I think that I am expressing the opinion of the whole Commission when I say that we wish for peace… we on both sides are really desirous of coming to a settlement…”
This group of men then selected a sub-committee composed of Judge Hertzog and General Smuts along with Lord Kitchener and lawyer Sir Richard Solomon that drew up a schedule that included rules for those who refused to sign an oath to become citizens under the rule of his Majesty King Edward the Seventh.
Before discussing that document Smuts asked
“If we were to sign this document would not the outcome be that we leaders made ourselves responsible for the laying down of arms by our burghers?”
To which the imperial hawk Lord Milner replied
“Yes. And should your men not lay down their arms it would be a great misfortune.”
And so they continued, debating each point but inevitably building trust and mutual respect. Nothing improves a relationship more than a desire to find an outcome rather than stating a position.
The first draft had already been telegraphed to the British government on 21st May. Privately Lord Milner followed it up with a confidential note to Chamberlain saying he would have no regrets if the British Cabinet rejected or radically amended the proposals

Episode 141 is where the British and the Boers finally sign a peace treaty, but there’s quite a bit to cover as we go about watching the days between 19th and 31st May 1902.
Remember how the representatives from both sides, Botha, Smuts, Hertzog, De Wet, Burger and De la Rey for the Boers, Milner and Kitchener for the British, had decided to try and write a treaty together rather than separately through a commission.
Nowadays commissions seem to drag on for years – while the original concept of a commission was premised on the threat of a lack of quick action.
There is no doubt that we have lost the ability in the modern world to think rapidly. Commissions in the 21st Century are proficient at wasting time pandering to expensive lawyers representing a thicket of politicians rather than a direct pursuit of an objective legal conclusion.
Back in Lord Kitchener’s office in Pretoria in the week between 21st and 28th May 1902 the Boers were now aware that there was no way the British would ever agree to any sort of independence, and the British were aware that the Boers wanted to find an honourable way out of this war.
Judge Hertzog put it in a nutshell when he said
“I think that I am expressing the opinion of the whole Commission when I say that we wish for peace… we on both sides are really desirous of coming to a settlement…”
This group of men then selected a sub-committee composed of Judge Hertzog and General Smuts along with Lord Kitchener and lawyer Sir Richard Solomon that drew up a schedule that included rules for those who refused to sign an oath to become citizens under the rule of his Majesty King Edward the Seventh.
Before discussing that document Smuts asked
“If we were to sign this document would not the outcome be that we leaders made ourselves responsible for the laying down of arms by our burghers?”
To which the imperial hawk Lord Milner replied
“Yes. And should your men not lay down their arms it would be a great misfortune.”
And so they continued, debating each point but inevitably building trust and mutual respect. Nothing improves a relationship more than a desire to find an outcome rather than stating a position.
The first draft had already been telegraphed to the British government on 21st May. Privately Lord Milner followed it up with a confidential note to Chamberlain saying he would have no regrets if the British Cabinet rejected or radically amended the proposals

21 min

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