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Founded as an independent republic by Boers (Afrikaners) fleeing British rule in the mid‐19th cent., the Transvaal was annexed by Britain in 1877 but regained its internal autonomy in 1881. The discovery of immense reserves of gold in the years which followed led to an influx of foreign, predominantly British, miners whose treatment by the Boer government was used by the British government as the pretext for demands which the Boers rejected, and which culminated in war in 1899. The Transvaal was again annexed by Britain and became part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

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