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The Cape Wars by ZekSora The Cape Wars by ZekSora
Something I had lying around that I had honestly completely forgotten about. :P This one's from the same universe as my Peru map, a little project that I'm calling The Century.

The Cape Colony in 1800 was a ticking time bomb waiting to explode. The combination of disgruntled former Dutch colonists, known as Boers, in the east of the colony, even more disgruntled (formerly) British American colonists who had moved to the Cape thanks to the extremely controversial (and equally extremely ignored) Royal Proclamation of 1763 limiting settlement, in the east of the colony, and a iron-fisted British colonial governor who was religiously opposed to any notion of self-rule made it difficult to see how something was not going to go wrong.

Which is why some find it odd that Parliament was so shocked when something did. The British-American colonists finally had enough of the governor's dictatorial rule and revolted, declaring the "Cape Republic." Or the "Kingdom of the Cape." Or the "Confederation of the Cape." Nobody was quite sure what it was called, and what little government the revolutionary state had didn't help matters by acknowledging the authority of the King one day and declaring full independence from Britain the next. 

Knowing a little about the "government" in the Cape, it should come as no surprise that the campaigns (campaign, really) undertaken by the Cape rebels were utter failures. One province, Swellendam, had remained loyal to the royal governor, and thus the rebels launched an attack on it. The campaign failed miserably, with poorly led, poorly organized, and poorly armed rebel soldiers essentially fleeing at the first sign of trouble. Even the small loyalist militias were able to keep them from making significant advances.

Not only did the rebels not manage to gain a single province, they actually managed to lose two, and not even to the British. The Boers were suspicious of all British in the colonies, not just the loyalists, and a few xenophobic pronouncements from some of the more idiotic public figures in Cape Town were enough to convince them that sticking with the Republic/Kingdom/Confederation was not a wise idea. The Boer-dominated provinces of Graaf Reinet and Uitenhage split off from the rebellion, arming themselves and basically screaming for everybody else to leave them alone. The rebels were, of course, completely unable to effect any resistance to these actions aside from a few raids here and there.

Royal Navy reinforcements arrived in 1804, and it took the Army only about a year to roll up the entire rebellion. The final treaty was signed at Tulbagh, where an agreement was reached in which both sides essentially agreed to forget the whole embarrassing thing ever happened. However, one remnant still remained: the Boers.

Some argue that the failure of the first British campaign against the Boers showed the ferocity and tenacity of the Boer militias, but the wider consensus is simply that the entirety of Cape Wars was an utter embarrassment for everyone at every other point, so why should it be any different for the British fighting the Boers? The second campaign against the Boers gained much more success, however, and by 1809 the entirety of the Cape Colony was under British rule once more. 

The legacy of the Cape Wars would be twofold: first, as a major factor pushing for the Great Convention of 1829-30, and second, as something for history nerds to point at, then point at everyone involved, then point back again, then laugh.
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Submitted on
May 1, 2016
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