oa Historia - Waarom het die Bittereinders gedurende die Anglo-Boereoorlog van 1899-1902 op kommando gebly?

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0018-229X



Why did the ""Bittereinders"" remain on commando during the Anglo-Boer War of1899-1902? Various reasons can be put forward for the decision of the ""Bittereinders"" to remain on commando ""until the bitter end"" and not to forsake the Republican war effort as did the ""Handsuppers"". In this article eight factors are singled out: patriotism and a desire for independence; religious beliefs; resistance to the British scorched-earth policy; the role played by the Boer leaders in encouraging their men; favourable but false rumours; fear of captivity; the hold that group feeling had on the burghers; and the phenomenon that their existence on commando had become such a way of life to some of the burghers, that they were not prepared to renounce it. It can be accepted that reasons such as these did not weigh equally with all ""Bittereinders"" and that a combination of factors influenced a burgher to remain on commando. In May 1902 the Boer delegates at Vereeniging were, however, of the opinion that circumstances were such that peace was desirable, even though this meant sacrificing the independence of the Boer Republics.

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