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 (1867) and gold (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
politically and ushered in black majority rule.