- Botha, Louis
- (1862–1919)A Boer general and statesman, Louis Botha was a political moderate who was elected to the parliament ( Volksraad ) of the Transvaal. He opposed war with Great Britain yet joined the Transvaal army when war came and ultimately became commander-in-chief of the Boer forces in the Second Boer War (1899–1902). He was initially second in command and later in charge of the Boer forces at Ladysmith, was largely responsible for Boer successes at Colenso, Spion Kop, and Val Kranz, and then led an 18-month guerrilla campaign when the war turned in Britain’s favor. When the Boer cause was lost, Botha proved as able a negotiator as a soldier. He attended the peace conference and signed the Treaty of Vereeniging. After becoming premier of the Transvaal in 1907, he represented the new British possession at Imperial Conferences and promoted reconciliation between Boers and the British in the Cape Colony. A loyal British subject, he became the first premier of the South African Union in 1910, put down a pro-German Boer rebellion in 1914, and then led Empire troops to victory in German Southwest Africa in 1915.See also <
>; < >.FURTHER READING:Packenham, Thomas. The Boer War. New York: Random House, 1979;Spencer, Harold. General Botha: The Career and the Man. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1916.CARL CAVANAGH HODGE
Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.