South African Republic: Notes - Archontology

South African Republic: Notes

Official Name of the State (1844-1853)

There is no historical evidence that the Boer authorities in the Transvaal passed any statutory legislation with regard to the official name of the state before 21 Sep 1853. The Standard Encyclopædia for Southern Africa (9:116, 300) notes that "With the adoption of the so-called Thirty-three Articles in 1844, the nameless republic of Potchefstroom-Winburg came into existence."

The Volksraad records normally referred to the Boer polity as "the Company" ("maatschappij", "maatschappy"), appearing in different word combinations such as "united Company of the Emigrants" ("de vereenigde Maatschappij der Emigranten") in the resolution concerning public security of 1851 [Notule van die Volksraad, 2:17, Art. 67]. The first international treaty recognising the independence of the Transvaal Boers known as the Sand River Convention was signed (16 Jan 1852) by the "Delegates of the Emigrant Farmers residing North of the Vaal River" ("Afgewaardigden van de Emigranten Boeren wonende ten Noorden van Vall Rivier") [Notule van die Volksraad, 2:288-290]. Otherwise the various expressions only occur on letters addressed to the Volksraad, including such expressions as "Volksraad der onafhankelyke Afrikaansche Hollanders, gevestigt benoorden de Vaalrivier".

In the rare instances in which the Volksraad was qualified as "of", the most frequent expression is "Volksraad der Hollandsche Emigranten in Zuid Afrika". Sometimes it was extended with "het Binnenland van Zuid Afrika achter der Delagoa Baay". The development of political institutions in the Transvaal eventually brought about the emergence of new definitions ("Volksraad der Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, Transvaalrivier" documented 5 Feb 1853; "Transvaalsche(r) Republiek" 24 Apr 1853, etc.) The style "Hollandsche Afrikaansche Republiek" is featuring in the documents related to the real estate transaction in 1853 and was included in the draft of a Constitution submitted for consideration of the Volksraad 9 Nov 1855 but abandoned in favour of a different draft.