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Blood, Iron, and Gold: How the Railways Transformed the World by Christian Wolmar
banking crisis, Beeching cuts, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, invention of the wheel, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Kickstarter, Mahatma Gandhi, railway mania, refrigerator car, side project, South China Sea, transcontinental railway, tulip mania, urban sprawl
.), The Great Trains, Crown Publishers, New York, 1973, p. 149. 16 The colour of Britain’s colonies on maps of the day. 17 George Tabor, The Cape to Cairo Railway and River Routes, Genta Publications, 2003, p. 3. 18 Quoted in ibid., p. 11. 19 Ibid., p. 83. 20 These friendly looking herbivore hippos are, in fact, the biggest killer in Africa today as they are incredibly fierce if they feel threatened. 21 Quoted in George Tabor, The Cape to Cairo Railway and River Routes, p. 87. 22 Ibid., p. 85. 23 Ibid., p. 85. 24 Now Mutane. 25 George Tabor, The Cape to Cairo Railway and River Routes, p. 95. 26 Now Zimbabwe. 27 Technically, the second Boer War as there had been a brief one in 1880–81 when the Boers successfully resisted a British attempt to take over the Transvaal. The second war lasted to 1902 and ultimately resulted in the creation of the Union of South Africa. 28 George Tabor, The Cape to Cairo Railway and River Routes, p. 150. 29 From his journal, quoted in George Tabor, The Cape to Cairo Railway and River Routes, p. 175. 30 Now in the Democratic Republic of Congo. 31 Now Ilebo. 32 Now Shaba. 33 Then Portuguese East Africa. 34 Although it was not until a battle further south in November 1899 at Umm Diwaykarat that the Mahdi’s forces were finally defeated. 35 About which he wrote a book, The River War: An Historical Account of the Reconquest of the Sudan, Longmans, Green & Co., 1899. 36 George Tabor, The Cape to Cairo Railway and River Routes, p. 237. 37 M.F.
With rapid progress at both ends, by 1900 there seemed a strong possibility that the Cape to Cairo railway would be completed. That year, Rhodes had cheekily sent a telegram to Kitchener, saying ‘if you don’t look sharp, I will reach Uganda before you’. Kitchener replied, with equal chutzpah, ‘hurry up’. But there was a long way to go and the Boer War, the lack of will on the part of the British government, the blockage by the Germans in Tanganyika and the sheer ambition of the project meant it would never be completed. As was the British way, with the exception of the Sudan line driven through by Kitchener and small sections in the Cape Colony and East Africa, the vast majority of the completed sections of the Cape to Cairo had been built by the private sector. The Cape to Cairo may never have been finished, but its partial construction left behind a notable legacy, helping to establish a permanent British presence in much of central and southern Africa and effectively creating the two new colonies of northern and southern Rhodesia which, understandably, were named after the railway’s principal protagonist.
These lines, too, attracted settlers, particularly from South Africa where many Boer farmers were eager to flee British control. The Germans briefly considered the idea of an extension to meet the Cape to Cairo and run a line through to the Congo Free State, but realized there was no economic justification since the rich minerals from Katanga would never be transported in an easterly direction. Or at least not until sixty years later, when the Chinese took an interest, building the Tazara Railway to enable Zambia to export its copper without going through South Africa or Rhodesia. Sections of the line are actually on the route the Cape to Cairo might have taken had the Kaiser not blocked its path, and as a result the dream of a Cape to Cairo railway is not entirely dead. As recently as 2004, the Sudanese government commissioned a study by German consultants for a rail link to Kenya connecting eventually with the Tazara line, which would almost complete Rhodes’s vision.
Crossing the Heart of Africa: An Odyssey of Love and Adventure by Julian Smith
Perhaps he figured he had been through worse. “In the course of a chequered career I have seen many unwholesome spots,” he wrote in From the Cape to Cairo, “but for a God-forsaken, dry-sucked, fly-blown wilderness, commend me to the Upper Nile; a desolation of desolations, an infernal region, a howling waste of weed, mosquitoes, flies, and fever, backed by a groaning waste of thorn and stones—waterless and waterlogged. I have passed through it, and have now no fear for the hereafter.” Ewart Scott Grogan died quietly on August 16, 1967, in Cape Town, aged ninety-two. His grave faces Table Mountain, the starting point of his great African adventure so many years before. Grogan’s Cape-to-Cairo trek was the last great journey of the Golden Age of Exploration in Africa. Like the death of Queen Victoria on January 22, 1901, it marked the end of both a century and an era.
Her family had dismissed him as a ne’er-do-well who would be unable to keep their daughter in the manner to which they thought she should be accustomed. Grogan banked on the fame (if not the fortune) that a dramatic adventure would bring him to persuade them to reconsider. That was it: three sentences, nothing more. But I had to know more. I tracked down the few biographies of Grogan and his firsthand account of the journey, From the Cape to Cairo. The more I read, the more the adventure and romance of his story captivated me. The proud tradition of men doing crazy things for love goes back at least to the Trojan War, triggered when Paris eloped with Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world (and someone else’s wife). A seventeenth-century Mughal emperor built the Taj Mahal as a memorial to his favorite wife, who had died in childbirth.
Mosquito nets over the bunks sagged with cockroaches the size of mice. The captain spent more time in his bunk than piloting the ship, Grogan wrote. “His only anxiety was lest he should oversleep himself and miss a meal.” They had left Kituta on April 2, 1899, six days after the Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi sent the first wireless message across the English Channel. One of the official goals of the journey, scouting a route for a Cape-to-Cairo telegraph line, was on the verge of becoming obsolete. Grogan seemed to be going back in time, but the outside world was surging forward. The Good News shoelaced from shore to shore as it steamed north up the lake. At a French mission station on the eastern side, the passengers were paddled ashore in forty-foot dugout canoes, and the Catholic fathers filled the canoes to bursting with fresh fruit, beef stew, and Algerian wine.
The scramble for Africa, 1876-1912 by Thomas Pakenham
active measures, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, centre right, clean water, colonial rule, Etonian, European colonialism, God and Mammon, imperial preference, Khartoum Gordon, land reform, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, spinning jenny, trade route, transatlantic slave trade
This corridor was the missing link in Cecil Rhodes’s ‘All-Red’ Cape-to-Cairo route. In return, the Congo State would be allowed to push on to the Nile, with a swoop down to Lake Albert, then a leap to Lado, 200 miles up the west bank of the Nile in Equatoria, now controlled by the Mahdists. On 18 May, bemused by Leopold’s flattery, Mackinnon submitted this strange draft to Salisbury. Three days later Salisbury wrote to the King to say the Foreign Office had ‘no objections’10 to the arrangements which His Majesty had concluded with Mackinnon’s company. When Leopold arrived in London for a flying visit a few days later Salisbury repeated this assurance. But Salisbury was dissembling. This was the critical moment of the poker game with Germany. He needed to calm Mackinnon and the Cape-to-Cairo enthusiasts, who might wreck the game if they started to shout about the missing corridor which Salisbury had decided was expendable.
France and Britain divided the jungles of Togo and Cameroon between them. Belgium was thrown a picturesque bone: Ruanda-Urundi, hidden away beside the Mountains of the Moon. None of the Powers grew fat on the ex-German colonies. Apart from little Togo, the colonies had all needed large hand-outs from Berlin. Of course the changes seemed to make sense on the map. Cape-to-Cairo, the ‘all-red’ route across Africa, was now a reality. But the great trans-African railway, the stuff of Rhodes’s Cape-to-Cairo dream, did not materialize. Africa was too poor for anything but a potholed motor track across its spine. Prestige apart, the chief benefit for Britain lay in improved security for her Empire. Bismarck had mischievously stuck his four German colonies like thorns into the side of four isolated British territories: the Gold Coast (later Ghana), Nigeria, South Africa and British East Africa (Kenya).
And I think I may say Lord Salisbury knew of my doing so and did not disapprove.’ ‘Well: all I can say is, it is a very extraordinary proceeding.’4 Extraordinary the ideas certainly were, in every sense. Inspired by Salisbury, The Times piece is the clearest sketch we have of Salisbury’s positive ideas for Africa. There were two globe-rocking proposals that neatly coincided. The first would soon be famous as ‘Cape-to-Cairo’: a plan to bridge the 3,000-mile gap between British South Africa and British-controlled Egypt. This would mean taking the Sudan, Equatoria (‘Emin’s territory’, Johnston called it), a corridor west of German East Africa, and then the whole ‘vacant’ area north of the Transvaal, including ‘Zambezia’, and the African territories sandwiched between Angola and Mozambique. The second was ‘Cairo-to-Old-Calabar’ or ‘Niger-to-the-Nile’:5 to bridge the gap between North and West Africa by way of Lake Chad, and then to push westwards, up to the line of the upper Niger, nearly to Senegal, taking Dahomey and the Ivory Coast from the French in exchange for Gambia.
Engines of War: How Wars Were Won & Lost on the Railways by Christian Wolmar
A decade later, however, work restarted on the Sudan Military Railway from Wadi Haifa to Khartoum. Since Wadi Haifa could be reached by ships on the Nile from Luxor, the line was the last link in the line of communication between the two capitals, Cairo and Khartoum. However, this time the scale of ambition was far greater as not only was the line planned to be a military railway enabling the British to retake Sudan from the Mahdis, but it was also part of the ambitious Cape to Cairo project promoted by Cecil Rhodes to build a railway line across the whole continent. After much prevarication following the disaster of Gordon’s fall, Herbert (later Lord) Kitchener, then the commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Army, obtained permission from the British government to build the line in order to quell the Mahdi rebellion once and for all. The original fifty miles of railway had, by then, been completely wrecked but progress was impressive thanks to the leadership of a remarkable young Canadian military railway engineer, Lieutenant Edouard (Percy) Girouard, who would, too, play a major role on the railways in the Boer War and later use his railway expertise in the First World War.
In a long section in the book, he concludes that while bravery and discipline may often result in unexpected victories, ‘in savage warfare in a flat country the power of modern machinery is such that flesh and blood can scarcely prevail and the chances of battle are reduced to a minimum. Fighting the Dervishes was primarily a matter of transport. The Khalifa was conquered on the railway.’16 At the other end of the putative but never completed Cape to Cairo,17 the railways were also about to play a major, if very different, part in a war. The Boer War18 was another eminently preventable clash which started off with patriotic cheers, and ended with much soul searching about the state of the British Empire. At the turn of the century, the current Republic of South Africa was divided into four territories: Natal and the Cape Colony, which were British colonies, and two Boer republics, the Transvaal and Orange Free State.19 To the north, Rhodes had created the British South Africa Company, which became Rhodesia.
In addition to opening up markets and ensuring sources of supply of minerals and agricultural produce, railways unified political territories4 and made the job of policing an area far easier. Railways, it was recognized, were both the economic lifeline of remote regions and the physical demonstration of military domination by the colonial power. The Russo-Japanese War had grown precisely out of a struggle between competing powers and in Africa the efforts by Rhodes to build a Cape to Cairo railway had almost resulted in a war with the French over their rival plans in the immediate sub-Saharan area. As a historian of the Middle East in the pre-war period suggests, ‘railways having become so important, it was soon merely sufficient for one nation to announce the preliminary plans for a new railway to engender suspicion, hostility and jealousy in other powers’.5 The collapse of the Ottoman Empire offered a country such as Germany, which had come rather too late to establish direct control of huge swathes of land, the opportunity to carve out an area where it could exert economic domination.
Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British by Jeremy Paxman
British Empire, call centre, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Etonian, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, imperial preference, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Kibera, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, mass immigration, offshore financial centre, polynesian navigation, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade
In 1887, for example, he told the House of Assembly in Cape Town that ‘the native is to be treated as a child and denied the franchise … We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa.’ It is as redundant to wonder whether Rhodes was a racist as to question whether he wore a moustache on his self-satisfied face, for the evidence is overwhelming. When he plotted his Cape-to-Cairo railway or, as prime minister of the Cape, cast lustful imperial eyes on the lands beyond the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers he was not thinking of the welfare of anyone but ‘the Anglo-Saxon race’. Rhodes – whose African ambitions meant he acquired the inevitable nickname ‘Colossus’ – was an empire-builder on the scale of Clive of India, and when he wanted to exploit the mineral rights obtained from the Matabele king, Lobengula (in exchange for a promise of money, a thousand rifles and a boat), the British government gave him a chartered company similar to the old East India Company.
Gathering a couple of battalions of Sudanese troops, two companies of Cameron Highlanders, an artillery battery and four Maxim guns, Kitchener set off upriver with five of his gunboats. As he approached Fashoda on 18 September 1898, the identity of the intruders was settled, for he was greeted by soldiers carrying a letter from a Major Jean-Baptiste Marchand. It had the impertinence to welcome him, in the name of France. The British Empire in Africa was hung on a north–south axis, along the lines of Cecil Rhodes’s dream of a railway line from the Cape to Cairo. French possessions in Africa were concentrated on the Atlantic coast of west Africa, although the French had recently taken control of the fly-blown but strategically important territory of Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. Paris dreamed of linking the two and Fashoda was the point where the British north–south line crossed the French east–west line. Marchand and his small group of officers had spent two years hacking their way across the continent on a march from west Africa.
From the elegant formal garden the High Commissioner could look at the gold dome of the mosque – built at the point from which Muhammad was said to have ascended to heaven – and wonder whether a force of policemen in sand-coloured shorts would be enough to keep a lid on things.* The site chosen for his headquarters was called the Hill of Evil Counsel. The spoils of war may have broadened the empire. But the effects of war weakened it. It was true that the acquisition of most of what had been German East Africa almost made possible Cecil Rhodes’s dream of a railway line from the Cape to Cairo on British territory, should anyone ever get around to building it. Lord Curzon, who had served in Lloyd George’s War Cabinet, sighed that ‘The British flag never flew over more powerful or united an empire than now.’ Figures like Curzon expected that the experience of shared hardship might have deepened the unity of empire. Had not the government of India given £100 million towards the war effort and sent so many thousands of soldiers?
Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa by Martin Meredith
Carnarvon provided Frere with a wide remit. He proposed that Frere should go out to the Cape ‘nominally as Governor, but really as the Statesman who seems to me most capable of carrying my scheme of Confederation into effect’. Frere’s reward was to be appointed the first governor-general of a new British dominion. But Carnarvon’s ambition did not stop there. He began to fashion the idea of a ‘Cape to Cairo’ policy, envisaging even greater swathes of Africa coming under British control, out of reach of other European powers. In a letter to Frere on 12 December 1876, he wrote: I should not like anyone to come too near us either on the South towards the Transvaal, which must be ours; or on the North too near to Egypt and the country which belongs to Egypt. In fact when I speak of geographical limits I am not expressing my real opinion.
Livingstone’s lonely death in central Africa in 1873 while searching in vain for the source of the Nile unleashed a burst of imperial sentiment that mixed a world power’s responsibility for trusteeship with a strong dose of economic opportunism. Disraeli’s surge of imperial activity during the 1870s - acquiring Cyprus, Fiji and a large bulk of shares in the Suez Canal - won popular support. In a pamphlet written in 1876, Edwin Arnold, editor of the Daily Telegraph, used the phrase ‘from the Cape to Cairo’ to demonstrate the scale of imperial ambition. Queen Victoria herself was particularly pleased when, at her own suggestion, Parliament in 1877 bestowed on her the title of Empress of India. That same year, at the age of twenty-four, after completing his first full year at Oxford, Rhodes drew up what he later called ‘a draft of some of my ideas’, giving it the title ‘Confession of Faith’. It was a strange, rambling document, full of fantasies and grievances, summing up in juvenile fashion his views of the ills afflicting mankind and his solutions for them.
In August 1888, an ardent young imperialist, Harry Johnston, after spending the weekend at Lord Salisbury’s residence at Hatfield, wrote an article for the London Times advocating an end to Britain’s ‘magnificent inactivity’ in colonising Africa. While conceding that other European powers had ‘legitimate’ interests in Africa - the French and the Italians in north Africa, for example - he argued that it was essential for the sake of British commerce that Britain should extend its control ‘over a large part of Africa’. Picking up Edwin Arnold’s original idea for a ‘Cape-to-Cairo’ policy, he urged the linking of Britain’s possessions in southern Africa with its sphere in east Africa and the Egyptian Sudan ‘by a continuous band of British dominion’. Impressed by Johnston’s zeal, Salisbury appointed him as consul in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). His remit was to secure for Britain territory in the interior which Salisbury was interested in acquiring by signing treaties with African chiefs before the Portuguese or the Germans or the Belgians got there.
The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
I know (and he suspects) that I have come all this way for an encounter that isn’t worth having, and a story that isn’t worth telling, at least not by me. I have made myself ridiculous. My losing streak continues. And yet. “I have never seen the great migrations. I’ve got a really old Land Rover that I’ve owned since 1986 (and it was old when I bought it). My dream has been to nurse it up through Africa one day—Cape to Cairo, or some version of that epic. Not that it is very reliable; I insist on doing all my own mechanical work, and that is so emphatically not a good idea. But breaking down can be very rewarding. Zen and the art of…that kind of thing.” Here is a third fantasy: I go. My story is real and I believe in my ability to tell it well. I meet him, but it’s not a date. We become friends—we realize that we already are.
He is like a big brother, like Neil Reardon or my editor John Homans (but with silver hair and blue eyes and stories about riding a horse to work in the Transkei to do Caesareans by candlelight). We keep writing to each other after I’ve finished my story and returned home. We are strangely important to each other for the rest of our lives. In this fantasy, he comes to visit me in New York from time to time. A few years after our first meeting, I go with him from the Cape to Cairo in his Land Rover. My kid comes, too. 30 Something is happening. Something very small and very new is sending up a shoot inside of me. It’s a sprout of surrender that feels somehow indistinguishable from safety. It is not emanating from a plan. For the first time in my life, I have no plan. I want it to grow. I want it to overcome me, like a bright vine swallowing a fading tree. Also, I want my son.
Better Than Fiction by Lonely Planet
Sudan: The Scarface Express BY JOE YOGERST In January of 1982, Joe Yogerst quit his job working for a sports magazine in the San Francisco Bay Area, sold his car, took all of his money out of the bank and bought a one-way airplane ticket to South Africa. Truth be told, he was chasing a woman, a relationship that (like so many born of travel) didn’t work out in the real world. To get his mind off the breakup, Yogerst began taking ever-longer and riskier trips – backpacking solo through the African bush, hitchhiking to northern Namibia, where a furious border war was then in progress, and then undertaking an epic Cape-to-Cairo journey that included his ride on the Scarface Express. That was the start of thirteen years overseas, during which Yogerst worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor and freelance writer on three continents. He returned to his native California in 1995 and continues to write about his travels across the globe. He is the author of two novels, White Tiger and Fortunate Son. Five of us stumble through the streets of Kosti in the middle of the night, trying to put as much distance as possible between ourselves and the thugs who are chasing us.
Scarface and his men, speaking in Arabic, pointing up and down the street, no doubt trying to figure out which way we had fled. The sergeant barked orders and they began to fan out in different directions. One of them looked around at the café where we were hunkered down, took a tentative step our way … . . . . . . . . . . . It was my ‘year of living dangerously’ in Africa, an overland journey from Cape to Cairo by any means I could find or afford – trains, boats, buses, walking, hitching. I knew the 2000-mile leg between Nairobi and Khartoum would be the most difficult because there wasn’t any public transport and not much in the way of private vehicles that might be willing to give me a ride. Southern Sudan wasn’t an independent nation yet and the country was still plagued by its long civil war. But there was a temporary ceasefire and I decided to take the chance of venturing across Sudan.
Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World by Niall Ferguson
British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Corn Laws, European colonialism, imperial preference, income per capita, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, liberal capitalism, Livingstone, I presume, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, night-watchman state, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, profit motive, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, undersea cable, union organizing, zero-sum game
Africa, which had seemed to be British by right, dealt the Empire an unexpected and painful blow. While some responded by retreating into a defiant jingoism, others were assailed by doubts. Even the most gilt-edged generals and proconsuls exhibited symptoms of what is best described as decadence. And Britain’s most ambitious imperial rival was not slow to scent the opportunity such doubts presented. Cape to Cairo In the mid-nineteenth century, apart from a few coastal outposts, Africa was the last blank sheet in the imperial atlas of the world. North of the Cape, British possessions were confined to West Africa: Sierra Leone, Gambia, the Gold Coast and Lagos, most of them left-overs from the battles for and then against slavery. Within twenty short years after 1880, however, ten thousand African tribal kingdoms were transformed into just forty states, of which thirty-six were under direct European control.
I think that the constant study of maps is apt to disturb men’s reasoning powers … But if you look beyond the merely commercial considerations to those which are of a strategic character, I can imagine no more uncomfortable position than the possession of a narrow strip of territory in the very heart of Africa, three months’ distance from the coast, which should be separating the forces of a powerful empire like Germany and … another European Power. Without any advantages of position we should have had all the dangers inseparable from its defence. In other words, it was only worth acquiring new territory if it strengthened Britain’s economic and strategic position. It might look well on a map, but the missing link that would have completed Rhodes’s ‘red route’ from the Cape to Cairo did not pass that test. As for those who resided in Africa, their fate did not concern Salisbury in the slightest. ‘If our ancestors had cared for the rights of other people,’ he had reminded his Cabinet colleagues in 1878, ‘the British Empire would not have been made.’ Sultan Bargash was soon to discover the implications of that precept. In August 1885 Bismarck sent four warships to Zanzibar and demanded the Sultan hand over his empire to Germany.
Across Africa the story repeated itself: chiefs hoodwinked, tribes dispossessed, inheritances signed away with a thumbprint or a shaky cross and any resistance mown down by the Maxim gun. One by one the nations of Africa were subjugated – the Zulus, the Matabele, the Mashonas, the kingdoms of Niger, the Islamic principality of Kano, the Dinkas and the Masai, the Sudanese Muslims, Benin and Bechuana. By the beginning of the new century, the carve-up was complete. The British had all but realized Rhodes’s vision of unbroken possession from the Cape to Cairo: their African empire stretched northwards from the Cape Colony through Natal, Bechuanaland (Botswana), Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), and Nyasaland (Malawi); and southwards from Egypt, through the Sudan, Uganda and East Africa (Kenya). German East Africa was the only missing link in Rhodes’s intended chain; in addition, as we have seen, the Germans had South West Africa (Namibia), Cameroon and Togo.
Heaven's Command (Pax Britannica) by Jan Morris
British Empire, Cape to Cairo, centralized clearinghouse, Corn Laws, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, Magellanic Cloud, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, trade route
Goldie himself, who claimed to be able to hypnotize people, and carried a phial of poison in his pocket in case he was suddenly struck with an incurable illness, disclaimed all such ambitions, and regarded the scramble for Africa as ‘a game of chess’. 1 Which Rhodes never set eyes on. 2 Rhodes was not the first to foresee a British Cape-to-Cairo corridor. Gladstone himself direly predicted it, five years before Tel-el-Kebir, as an inevitable consequence of intervention in Egypt—‘be it by larceny or be it by emption’. 1 In fact the British north-south corridor was not achieved until after the first world war, when Tanganyika became a British mandated territory, and the Cape-to-Cairo railway was never completed. Nor, except within South Africa, did the British ever control an east-west corridor across Africa. 1 Whom we last met hoisting the flag in Fiji and accepting Cakobau’s war-club for the Queen. 1 Nowadays one may follow the route of Jameson’s raid fairly exactly by car, the cross-road stores one sees often being the sites of his secret supply depots—in those days most of the store-keepers were British.
Africa was racked still by its own incessant wars, rivalries and predations—tribe against tribe, trader against slave, Arab against negro, warrior against pastoralist. There were spoils still to come, civilizing duties yet to be fulfilled, and activists in all the imperial countries eyed the continent hungrily, some imagining its map swathed with green from coast to coast, some envisaging slabs of Prussian blue, and many conceiving one long strip of British red, veld to delta, Cape to Cairo. Sometimes the Powers seemed likely to clash, as their traders, missionaries or troops advanced into the continent, and often diplomatic exchanges between the chanceries of Europe were prompted by episodes on distant reaches of tropic rivers, or in steamy unmapped banyan swamps: but in 1884 Bismarck, Chancellor of the new Federal Germany, perhaps foreseeing the inflammatory properties of Africa, invited all the leading nations of the world to confer in Berlin about its future.
The Land Grabbers: The New Fight Over Who Owns the Earth by Fred Pearce
activist lawyer, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, big-box store, blood diamonds, British Empire, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, clean water, corporate raider, credit crunch, Deng Xiaoping, Elliott wave, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, farmers can use mobile phones to check market prices, index fund, Jeff Bezos, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Nikolai Kondratiev, offshore financial centre, out of africa, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, smart cities, structural adjustment programs, too big to fail, undersea cable, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks
Its first director was John Hanks, a veteran of WWF in Africa, who had taken responsibility for Operation Lock when it was exposed in 1991. This foundation has initiated plans for cross-border parks involving every southern African country as far north as Tanzania, and has treaties creating them that involve South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. One journalist hailed it as “an ecological Cape to Cairo dream.” Its main accomplishment on the ground so far is the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park, essentially a cross-border extension of the Kruger Park in South Africa into Mozambique and Zimbabwe. It covers 8.5 million acres. The parks authorities say that it is trying, in Hanks words, to “right the wrongs of the past,” including those from the apartheid era. But that hasn’t prevented them from “resettling” some seven thousand people in the Mozambique portion.
The 57,000-acre Phinda game reserve in KwaZulu Natal, north of Durban, is owned by Tara and Jessica Getty, heirs to the Getty legacy. Virgin boss Branson—yes, him again—owns the 25,000-acre Sabi Sands, one of nine private game reserves that circle the 5-million-acre Kruger National Park, sharing its wildlife. Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of the de Beers diamond empire founded by Cecil Rhodes, who once dreamed of an African land grab from the Cape to Cairo, has spent some of his $3 billion fortune on the 250,000-acre Tswalu Kalahari game reserve, South Africa’s largest, in the north of the country. And, in case you thought we could get through a chapter without mentioning a Gulf investor, the 60,000-acre Shamwari game reserve in the south, near Port Elizabeth, is owned by Dubai World, a real-estate-grabbing arm of the government of Dubai, which also has luxury beach resorts in Djibouti, Zanzibar, and the tiny Indian Ocean island nation of Comoros.
Lonely Planet Cape Town & the Garden Route (Travel Guide) by Lucy Corne
Berlin Wall, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, haute couture, haute cuisine, load shedding, Mark Shuttleworth, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Robert Gordon, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl
oRainBEAUTY ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; www.rainafrica.com; Shop 105, Victoria Wharf, Breakwater Blvd, V&A Waterfront; h9am-9pm; gBreakwater) Pamper yourself with the high-quality, hand-made beauty and body products from this Swellendam-based company that's like a chic South African version of The Body Shop. Their soaps and lotions make lovely gifts. oCape Union Mart Adventure CentreOUTDOOR GEAR ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; www.capeunionmart.co.za; Quay 4, V&A Waterfront; h9am-9pm; gNobel Square) This emporium is packed with backpacks, boots, clothing and practically everything else you might need for outdoor adventures, from a hike up Table Mountain to a Cape-to-Cairo safari. There's also a smaller branch in Victoria Wharf, as well as in the Gardens Centre and Cavendish Square malls. oEverard ReadART ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %021-418 4527; www.everard-read-capetown.co.za; 3 Portswood Rd, V&A Waterfront; h9am-6pm Mon-Fri, to 4pm Sat; gNobel Square) Very classy gallery showcasing the best of contemporary South African art, including works by the contemporary realist John Meyer, and Velaphi Mzimba, who works in mixed media.
When he arrived in South Africa in 1870, he was a sickly, impoverished son of an English vicar. The climate obviously agreed with Rhodes, as he not only recovered his health but went on to found the De Beers mining company (which in 1891 owned 90% of the world’s diamond mines) and become prime minister of the Cape at the age of 37, in 1890. As part of his dream of building a railway from the Cape to Cairo (running through British territory all the way), Rhodes pushed north to establish mines and develop trade. He established British control in Bechuanaland (later Botswana) and the area that was to become Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe). His grand ideas of empire went too far, though, when he became involved in a failed uprising in the Boer-run Transvaal Republic in 1895. An embarrassed British government forced Rhodes to resign as prime minister in 1896, but Rhodesia and Bechuanaland remained his personal fiefdoms.
Happy Valley: The Story of the English in Kenya by Nicholas Best
One of the first settlers to arrive was Ewart Grogan, named Ewart because his father was a friend of William Ewart Gladstone. Grogan was to remain active in Kenya politics from the turn of the century right through to the 1960s. He had first heard about Africa while an undergraduate at Cambridge, just before being sent down for locking a goat in a don’s rooms. Later he had set out to walk the length of the continent, from the Cape to Cairo. By his own account, he had fallen in love with a girl and made the journey to prove his worth to her father. By other accounts, the girl was just a cover and he was on a mission for the British secret service, keeping an eye on French ambitions in Africa. Whatever the truth, Grogan managed to complete his extraordinary journey, so achieving, as Cecil Rhodes pointed out, ‘that which the ponderous explorers of the world have failed to accomplish’.
The Ages of Globalization by Jeffrey D. Sachs
Admiral Zheng, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, Commentariolus, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, domestication of the camel, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, endogenous growth, European colonialism, global supply chain, greed is good, income per capita, invention of agriculture, invention of gunpowder, invention of movable type, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, mass immigration, Nikolai Kondratiev, out of africa, packet switching, Pax Mongolica, precision agriculture, profit maximization, profit motive, purchasing power parity, South China Sea, spinning jenny, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, Turing machine, Turing test, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons
By 1913, all of Africa, with the notable exceptions of Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa and Liberia in the west, was under European imperial control, as seen in figure 7.5. 7.5 Africa Divided Among European Empires, 1913 Source: Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Colonial_Africa_1913_map.svg&oldid=367487165 (accessed October 27, 2019). Anglo-American Hegemony By the end of the nineteenth century, Britain was first among the imperial powers, with Queen Victoria reigning over the British Isles, India, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Malaya, much of Africa (“Cape to Cairo”), New Guinea, and dozens of islands and smaller possessions around the world. Many of these served as fueling stations for the Royal Navy, which had unrivaled dominance over the oceans. The British navy, by far the most powerful in the world, policed the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean that connected Britain and India through the Suez Canal (which opened in 1871). Britain maintained de facto control of Egypt after 1882 in large part to ensure the sea routes to India.
To the Edge of the World: The Story of the Trans-Siberian Express, the World's Greatest Railroad by Christian Wolmar
According to a contemporary source, ‘unskilled workers in western Siberia, for instance, earned up to eight times more on the Trans-Siberian than they normally had earned as farm hands in the employ of old settlers’.10 Skilled workers fared even better. Masons, most of whom were Italian, could earn up to 100 roubles (around £10) per month by working hard, an excellent wage at the time. It was, inevitably, dangerous work. The death rate, for which the best estimate is two per cent, may be shocking in today’s terms, but compared favourably with other contemporary massive projects, such as construction of the (never completed) Cape to Cairo railway or the digging of the Panama Canal, when at times it reached thirty per cent. The estimate, however, could be either an underestimate or, equally, an overestimate, as it was subject to inaccuracy in either direction. On the one hand, the Soviet historians who documented the story of the construction of the line after the Revolution tended to exaggerate the harshness of the conditions for their own political ends, seeking to portray the evil regime of the tsar as negatively as possible.
Cataloging the World: Paul Otlet and the Birth of the Information Age by Alex Wright
1960s counterculture, Ada Lovelace, barriers to entry, British Empire, business climate, business intelligence, Cape to Cairo, card file, centralized clearinghouse, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, Deng Xiaoping, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, European colonialism, Frederick Winslow Taylor, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, index card, information retrieval, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, John Markoff, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Law of Accelerating Returns, linked data, Livingstone, I presume, lone genius, Menlo Park, Mother of all demos, Norman Mailer, out of africa, packet switching, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, semantic web, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, Vannevar Bush, Whole Earth Catalog
For some Europeans, Africa seemed like a fantastical world, a primordial wilderness promising mystery and adventure. For others, it looked like one big gold mine, both literally and figuratively. For the 50 T he D rea m o f the L ab y rinth increasingly industrialized European powers, the temptations would prove irresistible. After the Congress of Berlin, Great Britain came away with a string of territories stretching in an almost unbroken chain from the Cape to Cairo (including present-day Egypt, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa, as well as Nigeria and Ghana); Germany staked its claim in East Africa (Namibia and Tanzania); while France consolidated control over much of western Africa (Chad, Mauritania, and French Equatorial Africa). Up until then, the European powers had confined themselves largely to the African coast. But now they hoped to penetrate the interior, superimposing new territorial boundaries that bore little relation to the existing cultural boundaries under which the indigenous African population had lived for generations.
Skyfaring: A Journey With a Pilot by Mark Vanhoenacker
Airbus A320, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, computer age, dark matter, digital map, Edmond Halley, Joan Didion, John Harrison: Longitude, Louis Blériot, Maui Hawaii, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, phenotype, place-making, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, the built environment, transcontinental railway, Year of Magical Thinking
My colleagues and I had planned to stay in South Africa for two nights, but it would be ten days before we finally returned home, and even then we would not know we were leaving until a few hours beforehand. During those ten long days we came to joke about, and then imagine, a Europe devoid of aviation. How would we get home? The size of Africa, of the world, has never been so apparent to me as it was that week, when the mechanism that brought us across it was so precipitously withdrawn. We mused aloud about various overland routes across Africa. Whatever happened to the Cape-to-Cairo railway? Or might we ride by motorcycle up the west coast of Africa, and wash up, in our torn and dusty uniforms, as exiles in Casablanca, where we would wait for passage to Europe? Our forlorn 747 was parked patiently at Cape Town’s airport. We joked about phoning London to ask for permission to take the cabin crew up for a morning spin over Table Mountain or up along Namibia’s Skeleton Coast or perhaps over Victoria Falls.
The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and Its Solutions by Jason Hickel
Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, Atahualpa, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Sanders, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, capital controls, carbon footprint, clean water, collective bargaining, colonial rule, David Attenborough, David Graeber, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, dematerialisation, Doha Development Round, Elon Musk, European colonialism, falling living standards, financial deregulation, Fractional reserve banking, Francisco Pizarro, full employment, Hans Rosling, happiness index / gross national happiness, Howard Zinn, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), investor state dispute settlement, James Watt: steam engine, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, land value tax, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, Mahatma Gandhi, Monroe Doctrine, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, plutocrats, Plutocrats, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, rent control, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, The Chicago School, The Spirit Level, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transfer pricing, trickle-down economics, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Works Progress Administration
In 1884 they gathered for a series of meetings known as the Berlin Conference, during which they drew borders across the continent, set guidelines about which powers could lay claim to which regions, and established rules for what counted as effective occupation of a territory. The Berlin Conference added considerable impetus to the scramble for Africa. In 1870, only 10 per cent of Africa was under the control of Europeans; by 1914 they had extended their reach across 90 per cent of the continent. Britain controlled a huge swathe of land stretching all the way from the Cape to Cairo, plus Nigeria and a few outposts along the north-west coast. France controlled most of West Africa, Madagascar and part of the equatorial region. Germany took Namibia, Tanzania and Cameroon, while the Portuguese laid claim to Angola and Mozambique, and Belgium ended up with the Congo. Once the dust had settled, only Ethiopia and Liberia remained independent. It would require far too many pages to discuss the history of Africa’s colonisation here.
Rummage: A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused To Let Go by Emily Cockayne
Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, card file, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, New Journalism, oil shale / tar sands, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, paper trading, South Sea Bubble
But when people felt virtuous about their own salvaging, their minds turned not to the salvage officials with their loud-hailers, or to J. C. Dawes and his ilk, but instead to the popular entertainer Syd Walker. ‘What would you do, chums?’ 4 Darn (1900s–1930s) One evening in 1917, Lady Agnes Fox, the wife of the civil engineer Sir Francis Fox, watched as strips of paper ascended to the surface of her lily pond. They were saturated portions of blueprints, sections of the Cape-to-Cairo railway that had been separated from their backings. Fished out by Lady Fox, these fabric backings, and not the old drawings, were the real bounty. Earlier that day, her husband had rummaged through the many mounted drawings and maps in his office. Each was reinforced with ‘fabrics of various kinds’, including ‘nainsook, butter muslin, brown Holland, linen, and the like’. All such materials had been archived once they ceased to serve any practical purpose.
Tobacco: A Cultural History of How an Exotic Plant Seduced Civilization by Iain Gately
Albert Einstein, Bartolomé de las Casas, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business climate, Cape to Cairo, financial independence, Francisco Pizarro, Isaac Newton, Mikhail Gorbachev, Neil Kinnock, profit motive, surplus humans, the market place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, women in the workforce
Before his troops commenced their next action ‘He bought five thousand and loaded them into his jeep.’ Soldiers were intensely brand sensitive. The British preferred Woodbines, Players and Gold Flake, the Americans Camels, Luckies and Chesterfields. Regrettably, the manufacturers’ war efforts could not keep up with their tastes and the cigarettes in ration packs were often government made. Among other horrors forced upon Commonwealth front line troops in their combat rations were ‘Cape to Cairo’ (made in Egypt), ‘V’, made in India, and ‘RAF’ made in England out of the cigarette butts swept up from cinema floors. Clearly, the pictures on the packets were important to the troops. They were a bond to their homes and past lives as civilians. Cigarettes were almost unique among the disposable items soldiers carried into battlefields, in that they used the same branded product every day in peacetime too.
The Rough Guide to Cape Town, Winelands & Garden Route by Rough Guides, James Bembridge, Barbara McCrea
affirmative action, Airbnb, blood diamonds, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, colonial rule, F. W. de Klerk, ghettoisation, haute cuisine, Maui Hawaii, Murano, Venice glass, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Skype, sustainable-tourism, trade route, transfer pricing, young professional
If you need encouragement to explore the desert interior of South Africa, these enticing images should do the trick. Justin Fox and Alison Westwood Secret Cape Town. Two local travel writers discover the obscure sights that tell the city's hidden stories. Sihle Khumalo Dark Continent, My Black Arse. Insightful and witty account by a black South African who quit his well-paid job to realize a dream of travelling from the Cape to Cairo by public transport. Ben Maclennan The Wind Makes Dust: Four Centuries of Travel in Southern Africa. A remarkable anthology of fascinating travel pieces, meticulously unearthed and researched. Julia Martin A Millimetre of Dust: Visiting Ancestral Sites. Sensitively crafted narrative that begins on the Cape Peninsula and takes the author, her husband and two children on a journey to important archeological sites in the Northern Cape, raising ethical, ecological and philosophical questions along the way.
After Tamerlane: The Global History of Empire Since 1405 by John Darwin
agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, cuban missile crisis, deglobalization, deindustrialization, European colonialism, failed state, Francisco Pizarro, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, laissez-faire capitalism, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shock, open economy, price mechanism, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade
The Trans-Caspian Railway (1880–88) carried Russian power into Central Asia. The Trans-Siberian Railway (1891–1904), the grandest of all these imperial projects, was meant to turn Russia’s Wild East into an extension of Europe. Other lines were planned on a heroic scale but were left unfinished: the Bagdadbahn to connect Hamburg to Basra (and the Persian Gulf); a ‘Trans-Persian’ railway, linking Europe to India; and Cecil Rhodes’s dream, a Cape to Cairo railway running all the way over a British-ruled Africa. The railway, thought the great British geographer Halford Mackinder, would change world history. The ‘Columbian epoch’, when sea power was everything, was about to give way to a new age of great land empires that commanded vast resources and were virtually impregnable.1 By the end of the century, no part of the world could be considered immune from the transforming effects of the communications revolution.
Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World by Margaret Macmillan; Richard Holbrooke; Casey Hampton
Albert Einstein, Bolshevik threat, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, facts on the ground, financial independence, land reform, Monroe Doctrine, Scramble for Africa, trade route, traveling salesman, union organizing
The Belgian government had no interest in keeping this; it intended to use East Africa to bargain for Portuguese territory along the Atlantic. The British, who were unable to persuade the Portuguese to play along, found themselves in an awkward position. Belgium would not give up its gains without something in return. Unfortunately, that occupied territory included what looked like the best possible route for the north–south railway linking the Cape to Cairo that British imperialists had so long dreamed of building. 22 On May 7, just after the Germans had received their terms, Clemenceau, Lloyd George, Wilson and Orlando met in a room at Versailles and agreed on the final distribution of mandates over the former German colonies. (They still were haggling over the wreckage of the Ottoman empire in the Middle East.) When word leaked out into the press that Belgium was to get nothing, the Belgians, who were already feeling shortchanged, were enraged.23 In the end, Britain decided it could spare a bit of territory (and that there were other routes for the railway) and so two provinces next to the Congo’s borders were detached from East Africa.
Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader
agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, discovery of the americas, illegal immigration, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, Nelson Mandela, new economy, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, spice trade, surplus humans, the market place, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, urban sprawl, women in the workforce
For £9,000 and 10,000 shares in his British South Africa Company.34 In writing of the deal Rhodes remarked that he did think the price excessive; which gives some clue to the scale of his ambitions in Africa in 1889. Rhodes was already immensely rich; he had gained overall control of the Kimberley diamond mines, and had major interests in the development of the gold-mining industry in the Transvaal. Wealth and ruthless business acumen had brought political influence and fuelled grandiose plans for a British Empire in Africa, stretching from the Cape to Cairo, as magnificent as the Indian Raj, ruled by Rhodes and his men. But first he had to have exclusive rights to the land. And at a time when the European powers were scrambling for spheres of influence around the world, that meant keeping others out. The granting of Protectorate status had kept the Germans out of Bechuanaland; an agreement with Lobengula forestalled Boer and Portuguese ambitions in Matabeleland; but what of Barotseland?
Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes
"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, business cycle, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, computer age, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, Francisco Pizarro, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, Index librorum prohibitorum, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, land tenure, lateral thinking, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, out of africa, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game
The only exceptions: Liberia, an American project for returning blacks to their home; and Ethiopia, which the Italians tried to grab and failed. This "New Imperialism" differed from the Old. It too was suppos edly based on rational, material interest, but in fact these late acquisi tions promised little. T o be sure, some o f the lands did contain potentially valuable resources, but these treasures were generally un known at the time of annexation. Much of the land-grabbing was strategic (cf. Cape to Cairo) or preemptive (better mine than yours). 7 EMPIRE AND AFTER 429 Subsequent discoveries were happy surprises and sometimes so changed the incentives as to provoke new fighting for control. Thus southern African gold mines drew a flood of rough-and-ready prospec tors to the Transvaal, spawned disputes with the Afrikaner authorities, brought Britain into the quarrel, and led to the Boer War.