After the British seized the Cape of Good Hope area in 1806, many of the Dutch settlers (the Boers)
trekked north to found their own republics. The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1886 spurred
wealth and immigration and intensified the subjugation of the native inhabitants. The Boers resisted
British encroachments, but were defeated in the Boer War (1899-1902). The resulting Union of South Africa
operated under a policy of apartheid - the separate development of the races.
The 1990s brought an end to
apartheid with democratic elections held in 1994.