Author Topic: Paul Kruger and the coinage of the South African Republic  (Read 1134 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: Paul Kruger and the coinage of the South African Republic
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2017, 05:17:24 PM »


Germany, 1 Mark coin, 1882.





ZAR, 1 shilling, 1892.



It is interesting to note the similarity of the reverse of the German 1 Mark coin of those days to that of the ZAR shilling. I understand some of the ZAR coins were minted in Germany.

Offline <k>

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Re: Paul Kruger and the coinage of the South African Republic
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2017, 05:22:14 PM »
Unfortunately, ZAR fell victim to the British desire for control of the region and of its trade and seas. The British greed for gold and diamonds was also a strong motivation. Then there was Cecil Rhodes and his dream of an empire stretching from "Cape Town to Cairo". The British conducted a ruthless war of attrition against the country during the Second Boer War, before taking control of it.  The coins are an interesting legacy of the short-lived state.

Offline <k>

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Re: Paul Kruger and the coinage of the South African Republic
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2017, 05:27:00 PM »


One of the most famous bullion coin of modern times is South Africa's Krugerrand.  I believe that some countries banned its import in the 1980s, when the coin seemed to represent an icon of apartheid. However, Kruger was of mixed race, and I wonder whether South Africa still produces the coin?

Offline <k>

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Re: Paul Kruger and the coinage of the South African Republic
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2017, 06:35:11 PM »


Kenya, 50 cents, 1969.





Kenya, 25 cents, 1966.



When I saw Kruger's portrait with and without text on the ZAR coins, it reminded me of the Kenyan coins. From 1966 to 1968, they showed President Kenyatta's portrait without text, but from 1969 text was added. By contrast, Kruger's portrait appears with and without text within the same set, for each year of issue.

 
« Last Edit: April 20, 2019, 07:09:57 PM by <k> »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Paul Kruger and the coinage of the South African Republic
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2017, 10:15:32 PM »
Very interesting discussion. AFAIK, all ZAR coins except the Veld Pond were minted in Berlin. That was not a coincidence, but a conscious decision, thought of as a counterweight to British influence. The German government's conviction was that Germany had been "passed over" when Africa was divided up among the colonial powers. They would have loved to have the ZAR as a client state. British bullying in Southern Africa and German frustration with having no means to defend its interests contributed to the situation that led to the first world war.

In fairness, I don't think the Voortrekkers would have done a better job vis-a-vis the African population than the British. If anything, they may well have been even more racist. However, the point of the period is international and humanitarian law against unilateral colonisation and conquest. Britain was on the wrong end of that equation. Its "inventions" of that time and place included concentration camps, child soldiers and famine as a weapon of war. Add older sins such as cruelty against prisoners of war and the civil population for a complete picture. At the same time, the British press published these conditions freely, which was a great contribution to a healthy discussion on the treatment civilians in wartime, a subject not covered by the Geneva Convention of 1864. Britain arguable did break article 12 of that convention on out of action soldiers.

In all, the whole "scramble for Africa" episode turned Britain from a popular country with an international leadership function in 1815 to a despised and relatively isolated (viewed as perfidious) bully in the second half of the 19th century, a position that led to the "splendid isolation" policy of Disraeli as well as chauvinism and jingoism. Any resemblance to any current US president is coincidental.

I haven't done enough research on this, but it seems possible that the "scramble for Africa" in general and taking down the ZAR in particular was at least part of the "fatal overreach" that set into motion the mechanism for British imperial exhaustion and eventual decline.

Peter

PS: the krugerrand is still produced.
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.