Jan Smuts in The South African Republic

Jan Smuts In The South African Republic

Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts, OM, CH, ED, KC, FRS (24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950) was a prominent South African and Commonwealth statesman, military leader, and philosopher. He served as a Boer General during the Boer War, a British General during the First World War and was appointed Field Marshal by King George VI during the Second World War. In addition to various cabinet appointments, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. From 1917 to 1919 he was one of five members of the British War Cabinet, helping to create the Royal Air Force. He played a leading part in the post-war settlements at the end of both world wars, making significant contributions towards the creation of the League of Nations and the United Nations. He did much to redefine the relationship between Britain and the Dominions and Colonies, leading to the formation of the British Commonwealth.

This article is about Jan Smuts' rise from obscurity to high office, from his return to South Africa in 1894 until the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899. After setting up a law practice in Cape Town, the Anglophile Smuts was drawn to the charismatic Cecil Rhodes. After the Jameson Raid, he felt betrayed, and moved to the South African Republic. Transforming himself into a hard-line Anglophobe, Smuts found himself office at the heart of Paul Kruger's government. As confrontation with the British Empire loomed, Smuts played a crucial role in the failed peace talks.

The life of Jan Smuts
Early life 1870–1895
Transvaal 1895–1899
Boer War 1899–1902
British Transvaal 1902–1910
The Old Boers 1910–1914

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