Pretoria, Convention of
(1881)
   Signed on August 3, 1881, the Convention of Pretoria laid down the principal terms of the peace agreement that concluded the First Boer War of 1880–1881 between Britain and the Afrikaner insurgents of the recently annexed Transvaal. A final major British defeat at Majuba Hill helped the Transvaal cause and ensured recognition of the independent Afrikaner republic. The price was accepting the British Crown’s suzerainty, that is, handing over control of foreign relations and policy toward the indigenous African population. It was also speci-fied that the republic may not expand westward. Because this agreement was considered unsatisfactory, a delegation led by Transvaal president Paul Kruger renegotiated the terms, the resulting document being the London Convention of 1884.
   Despite important concessions, including the granting of treaty making powers with the Orange River Free State, as well as western territorial gains by the now renamed Afrikaner state, the South African Republic, the crucial objective of full sovereignty was not formally ceded, even though the phrase “the suzerainty of Her Majesty” was now deleted from the text. Ultimately the mounting tensions resulting from continued British interference led to the Second Boer War of 1899–1902.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
   FURTHER READING:
    Falwell, Byron. The Great Anglo-Boer War. New York: Harper & Row, 1976;
    Pakenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Avon Books, 1979;
    Smith, Iain R. The Origins of the South African War, 1899–1902. New York: Longman, 1996.
   GÁBOR BERCZELI

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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