The Jameson Raid

The Jameson Raid (December 29, 1895 – January 2, 1896) was a raid on Paul Kruger’s Transvaal Republic carried out by Leander Starr Jameson and his Rhodesian and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895-96. It was intended to trigger an uprising by the primarily British expatriate workers (known as Uitlanders, translated into English it means “Foreigners”) in the Transvaal but failed to do so. The raid was ineffective and no uprising took place, but it did much to bring about the Second Boer War and the Second Matabele War.

Growing impatient, Jameson launched the Jameson Raid in October 1895, and managed to push within twenty miles of Johannesburg before superior Boer forces compelled him and his men to surrender.

The affair brought Anglo-Boer relations to a dangerous low and the ill feeling was further heated by the “Kruger telegram” from the German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II. It congratulated Paul Kruger on defeating the raid, and also appeared to recognise the Boer republic and offer support. The emperor was already perceived as anti-British, and a naval arms race had started between Germany and Britain. Consequently, the telegram alarmed and angered the British.

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