Political Incorporation of South Africa
In 1904, the Treaty of Bloemfontein received its final assent from Kaiser Wilhelm II. Contained within its pages was the official resignation of Paul Kruger as State President of the Vrijstaat Suid-Afrika
and the formal annexation of all previously held lands, titles and holdings. Reichskanzler
von Bülow had spent many of the months leading up to this historic agreement journeying to the state capital and receiving dignitaries from its considerable populace. Of particular concern to German officials was the fate of Deutsch-Südwestafrika
. Amongst the obligations of the Kaiserreich
was to maintain the centre of government at Bloemfontein and the placement of all qualified peoples as Imperial citizens. In addition to this, immediate measures were taken to bolster the ranks of the frontier guards and Schutztruppe
. Reinforced feldkompagnies
marched against the Herero tribes in the west, who were subsequently driven north and away from the German settlements. Actions were also taken against the Zulu tribes who refused to lay down their claims in the east and by 1905, the area was pacified.
It was with great joy that the South Africans, of all descents, proclaimed their loyalty to the Kaiser. A semblance of order had been instilled into the volatile countryside and the restless natives had been pacified. Status within the Empire had been granted to its people and as such, the ability to maintain positions of influence and authority. Many young men eagerly volunteered for active service within the Schutztruppe
. The close ties promoted by German diplomats have clearly had a positive effect on the entire region. The economic benefit was immediately obvious, as new markets for products and material were opened and goods were freely traded. Gold mining has recently become a very profitable endeavour in the former Transvaal region and the area has been flooded with German investors and entrepreneurs looking to expand their fortunes.
Policing the Frontier