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When Did the Zulu War start?

Prior to the 1870s the British Empire already had colonies in southern Africa that bordered on various Boer settlements, native African kingdoms, like the Zulus, and numerous indigenous tribal areas and states. Various interactions with these resulted in an expansionist policy. Cape Colony was formed after the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814, permanently ceded the Dutch colony of Cape Town to Britain and its territory expanded very substantially through the 1800s. The Colony of Natal was a British colony in south-eastern Africa that had been proclaimed a British colony on May 4, 1843 after the British government had annexed the Boer Republic of Natalia.

The discovery of diamonds in 1867 near the Vaal River, some 550 miles (890 km) northeast of Cape Town , ended the isolation of the Boers in the interior and changed South African history. The discovery triggered a "diamond rush" that attracted people from all over the world turning Kimberley into a town of 50,000 within five years and drawing the attention of British imperial interests. In the 1870s, the British annexed West Griqualand, site of the Kimberley diamond discoveries.

In 1874 Lord Carnarvon, Secretary of State for the Colonies, who had successfully brought about federation in Canada in 1867, thought that a similar scheme might work in South Africa. The South African plan called for a ruling white minority over a subjugated black majority providing a large pool of cheap labor for the Boer farmers and British sugar plantations and mines. Carnarvon, in an attempt to extend British influence in 1875 approached the Boer states of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal Republic and tried to organize a federation of the British and Boer territories but the Boer leaders turned him down.

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Why Collect Zulu War Relics

Collecting Zulu War relics allows the collector to come into physical contact with history and with those who participated in it. It is an interesting experience to read on a certain aspect of Zulu War history and then be able to hold or own an item that was actually there. Information is contained in war relics. Owning an item is part of the learning experience - it helps bring history alive.

But why collect artefacts from the Zulu War? Understanding the Zulu War and the events that took place around it helps us understand why many things are as they are today. For many, there is an immediate or personal family connection to the war - collecting can preserve the memory of their family's contributions, it can also help them connect and reconcile events that were directly or indirectly significant in their personal histories.

For others, collecting Zulu War Relics is a way of connecting personal interest and business. As with all types of antiques, there is no certainty that a Zulu War Relic will appreciate in value - what's desirable today may be out of favour tomorrow when a collector decides to sell, and speculating and knowing the form is part of the fun. However based on today's market demands, and the very limited supply of original relics, Zulu War Relics are becoming great antiques to invest in.

Whatever the motivations, collecting Zulu War relics is a great way to spend your time and a great way to remember the sacrifices of all those who were involved. Whether it is Zulu War helmets, uniforms, medals, weapons or photos, you can usually find it on the open market. So get started, browse the categories and see what Zulu War relics you can hunt down.

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