Transvaal, formerly South African Republic (1350), a country of SE. Africa, stretching northwards from the Vaal River, and bounded N. by Matabeleland, E. by Portuguese E. Africa and Swaziland, S. by Natal and the Orange River Colony, and W. by Bechuanaland and Bechuanaland Protectorate; comprises elevated plateaux, but is mountainous in the E.; about the size of Italy; has a good soil and climate favourable for agriculture and stock-raising, to which latter the inert Dutch farmer chiefly devotes himself; its chief wealth, however, lies in its extremely rich deposits of gold, especially those of the “Rand,” of which it exports now more than any country in the world; its advance since the gold discoveries has been great, but the trade is almost entirely in the hands of the British immigrants; Johannesburg (q.v.) is the largest town, and Pretoria (15) the seat of Government. In 1856 the region was settled by Dutch farmers, who had “trekked” from Natal (recently annexed by Britain) to escape British Rule, as in 1835, for a similar reason, they had come from the Cape to Natal. Fierce encounters took place with the native Basutos, but in the end the “Boers” made good their possession. In 1877 the Republic, then in a disorganised and impoverished condition, and threatened with extinction by the natives, came under the care of the British, by whom the natives were reduced and the finances restored. In 1880 a rising of the Boers to regain complete independence resulted in the Conventions of 1881 and 1884, by which the independence of the Republic was recognised, but subject to the right of Britain to control the foreign relations. Within recent years agitations were carried on by the growing “Uitlander” population to obtain a share in the government to which they contributed in taxes the greater part of the revenue, and a succession of attempts were made by the British Government to get the Boers to concede the franchise to the “Uitlanders” and remedy other grievances; but the negotiations connected therewith were suddenly arrested by an ultimatum of date 9th October 1899, presented to the British Government by the Transvaal, and allowing them only 48 hours to accept it. It was an ultimatum they were bound to ignore, and accordingly, the time having expired on the 11th, war was declared by the Boers. It proved a costly and sanguinary one to both sides in the conflict; but the resistance of the Boers was ultimately overcome, and hostilities ceased in May 1902. Previously to this, the Colony had been annexed by Great Britain (1900). It is at present (1905) administered by a Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, and an Executive Council; but it is proposed that, in the near future, representative institutions should be granted.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Transubstantiation * Transylvania
Toynbee Hall
Trade, Board of
Trafalgar, Cape
Trajan, Marcus Ulpius
Trajan's Column
Trasimene Lake
Trelawney, Edward John
Trelawney, Sir Jonathan
Trench, Richard Chevenix