Jan Smuts
Overview
Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, CH, ED
Efficiency Decoration
The Efficiency Decoration is a defunct medal of Britain and the Commonwealth awarded for long service in the Territorial Army of the UK, the Indian Volunteer Forces and Colonial Auxiliary Forces....

, KC, FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950) was a prominent South African and British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. He served in the First World War and as a British field marshal in the Second World War.

Since earlier in his life and for most of his political life, Smuts believed in racial separation.
Quotations

In all the previous cases of wholes, we have nowhere been able to argue from the parts of the whole. Compared to its parts, the whole constituted by them is something quite different, something creatively new, as we have seen. Creative evolution synthesises from the parts a new entity not only different from them, but quite transcending them. That is the essence of a whole. It is always transcendent to its parts, and its character cannot be inferred from the characters of its parts.

... the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution ...

Having no human companion I felt a spirit of comradeship for the objects of nature around me. In my childish way I communed with these as with my own soul; they became the sharers of my confidence.

The intimate rapport with nature is one of the most precious things in life. Nature is indeed very close to us; sometimes closer than hands and feet, of which in truth she is but the extension. The emotional appeal of nature is tremendous, sometimes almost more than one can bear.

The British Empire is the greatest stimulant of organised freedom which the world has ever known. By geography, by experience, by practical idealism, by political maturity, by character, the British have a part to play which no other race could do so well.

Encyclopedia
Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM
Order of Merit
The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

, CH, ED
Efficiency Decoration
The Efficiency Decoration is a defunct medal of Britain and the Commonwealth awarded for long service in the Territorial Army of the UK, the Indian Volunteer Forces and Colonial Auxiliary Forces....

, KC, FRS
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, PC
Privy Council of the United Kingdom
Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, usually known simply as the Privy Council, is a formal body of advisers to the Sovereign in the United Kingdom...

 (24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950) was a prominent South African and British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

, military leader and philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. He served in the First World War and as a British field marshal in the Second World War.

Since earlier in his life and for most of his political life, Smuts believed in racial separation. Much later on in his life, Smuts went on to lead his government to issue the Fagan Report
Fagan Commission
The Native Laws Commission, commonly known as the Fagan Commission, was appointed by the government of South Africa in 1946 to investigate changes to the system of segregation....

, which stated that complete racial segregation in South Africa was not practical and that restrictions on African migration into urban areas should be abolished. In this, the government was opposed by a majority of Afrikaners under the political leadership of the National Party
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

 who wished to deepen segregation and formalise it into a system of apartheid. This opposition contributed to his narrow loss in the 1948 general election
South African general election, 1948
The parliamentary election in South Africa on 26 May 1948 represented a turning point in the country's history. The United Party, which had led the government since its foundation in 1933 and its leader, incumbent Prime Minister Jan Smuts was ousted by the Reunited National Party , led by Daniel...

. Smuts is recalled as one of the few South African politicians of the time who believed that the country's black majority
Demographics of South Africa
The demographics of South Africa encompasses about 50 million people of diverse origins, cultures, languages, and religions. The last census was held in 2001 and the next will be in 2011....

 could convince the ruling white minority of their equality through the black embrace of European cultural norms.

He led commando
Commando
In English, the term commando means a specific kind of individual soldier or military unit. In contemporary usage, commando usually means elite light infantry and/or special operations forces units, specializing in amphibious landings, parachuting, rappelling and similar techniques, to conduct and...

s in the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

 for the Transvaal
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

. During the First World War, he led the armies of South Africa against Germany, capturing German South-West Africa
German South-West Africa
German South West Africa was a colony of Germany from 1884 until 1915, when it was taken over by South Africa and administered as South West Africa, finally becoming Namibia in 1990...

 and commanding the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

 in East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

. From 1917 to 1919, he was also one of five members of the British War Cabinet
War Cabinet
A War Cabinet is a committee formed by a government in a time of war. It is usually a subset of the full executive cabinet of ministers. It is also quite common for a War Cabinet to have senior military officers and opposition politicians as members....

, helping to create the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

. He became a field marshal
Field Marshal (UK)
Field Marshal is the highest military rank of the British Army. It ranks immediately above the rank of General and is the Army equivalent of an Admiral of the Fleet and a Marshal of the Royal Air Force....

 in the British Army in 1941, and served in the Imperial War Cabinet
Imperial War Cabinet
The Imperial War Cabinet was created by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in the spring of 1917 as a means of co-ordinating the British Empire's military policy during the First World War...

 under Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

. He was the only person to sign the peace treaties ending both the First and Second World Wars.

One of his greatest international accomplishments was the establishment of the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, the exact design and implementation of which relied upon Smuts. He later urged the formation of a new international organisation for peace: the UN. Smuts wrote the preamble to the United Nations Charter
Preamble to the United Nations Charter
The Preamble to the United Nations Charter is the opening of the United Nations Charter.-History:Jan Smuts originally wrote the opening lines of the Preamble as, "The High Contracting Parties, determined to prevent a recurrence of the fratricidal strife which twice in our generation has brought...

, and was the only person to sign the charters of both the League of Nations and the UN. He sought to redefine the relationship between the United Kingdom and her colonies, helping to establish the British Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

, as it was known at the time. However, in 1946 the General Assembly requested the Smuts government to take measures to bring the treatment of Indians in South Africa into line with the provisions of the United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries...

.

In 2004 he was named by voters in a poll held by the South African Broadcasting Corporation
South African Broadcasting Corporation
The South African Broadcasting Corporation is the state-owned broadcaster in South Africa and provides 18 radio stations as well as 3 television broadcasts to the general public.-Early years:Radio broadcasting began in South Africa in 1923...

 (S.A.B.C.) as one of the top ten Greatest South Africans
SABC3's Great South Africans
Great South Africans was a South African television series that aired on SABC3 and hosted by Noeleen Maholwana Sangqu and Denis Beckett. In September 2004, thousands of South Africans took part in an informal nationwide poll to determine the "100 Greatest South Africans" of all time...

 of all time. The final positions of the top ten were to be decided by a second round of voting, but the programme was taken off the air due to political controversy, and Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and was the first South African president to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. Before his presidency, Mandela was an anti-apartheid activist, and the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing...

 was given the number one spot based on the first round of voting. In the first round, Field Marshal Smuts came ninth.

Early life

He was born on 24 May 1870, at the family farm, Bovenplaats, near Malmesbury
Malmesbury, Western Cape
Malmesbury is a town with 37,529 inhabitants in the Western Cape province of South Africa, about 65 km north of Cape Town.The town is the largest in the Swartland due to the dark "Renosterbos" , an indigenous plant that turns black in the warm, dry summers...

, in the Cape Colony
Cape Colony
The Cape Colony, part of modern South Africa, was established by the Dutch East India Company in 1652, with the founding of Cape Town. It was subsequently occupied by the British in 1795 when the Netherlands were occupied by revolutionary France, so that the French revolutionaries could not take...

. His family were prosperous, traditional Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

 farmers, long established and highly respected.

Jan was quiet and delicate as a child, strongly inclined towards solitary pursuits. During his childhood, he often went out alone, exploring the surrounding countryside; this awakened a passion for nature, which he retained throughout his life. As the second son of the family, rural custom dictated that he would remain working on the farm; a full formal education was typically the preserve of the first son. However, in 1882, when Jan was twelve, his elder brother died, and Jan was sent to school in his brother's place. Jan attended the school in nearby Riebeek West
Riebeek West
Riebeek West is a small town situated 5 km from Riebeek Kasteel and about 75 km north-east of Cape Town in the Swartland area of the Western Cape, South Africa. The Riebeek Valley is known for its wheat, wines and more recently olives.The area of Riebeek West was first seen by Cape...

. He made excellent progress here, despite his late start, and caught up with his contemporaries within four years. He moved on to Victoria College
Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch University is a public research university situated in the town of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Other nearby universities are the University of Cape Town and University of the Western Cape....

, Stellenbosch, in 1886, at the age of sixteen.

At Stellenbosch, he learned High Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, German, and Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, and immersed himself further in literature, the classics
Classics
Classics is the branch of the Humanities comprising the languages, literature, philosophy, history, art, archaeology and other culture of the ancient Mediterranean world ; especially Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome during Classical Antiquity Classics (sometimes encompassing Classical Studies or...

, and Bible studies
Biblical studies
Biblical studies is the academic study of the Judeo-Christian Bible and related texts. For Christianity, the Bible traditionally comprises the New Testament and Old Testament, which together are sometimes called the "Scriptures." Judaism recognizes as scripture only the Hebrew Bible, also known as...

. His deeply traditional upbringing and serious outlook led to social isolation from his peers. However, he made outstanding academic progress, graduating in 1891 with double First-class honours
British undergraduate degree classification
The British undergraduate degree classification system is a grading scheme for undergraduate degrees in the United Kingdom...

 in Literature and Science. During his last years at Stellenbosch, Smuts began to cast off some of his shyness and reserve, and it was at this time that he met Isie Krige, whom he was later to marry.

On graduation from Victoria College, Smuts won the Ebden scholarship for overseas study. He decided to travel to the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

 in the United Kingdom to read law at Christ's College
Christ's College, Cambridge
Christ's College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge.With a reputation for high academic standards, Christ's College averaged top place in the Tompkins Table from 1980-2000 . In 2011, Christ's was placed sixth.-College history:...

. Smuts found it difficult to settle at Cambridge; he felt homesick and isolated by his age and different upbringing from the English undergraduates. Worries over money also contributed to his unhappiness, as his scholarship was insufficient to cover his university expenses. He confided these worries to a friend from Victoria College, Professor JI Marais. In reply, Professor Marais enclosed a cheque for a substantial sum, by way of loan, urging Smuts not to hesitate to approach him should he ever find himself in need. Thanks to Marais, Smuts's financial standing was secure. He gradually began to enter more into the social aspects of the university, although he retained his single-minded dedication to his studies.

During his time in Cambridge, he found time to study a diverse number of subjects in addition to law; he wrote a book, Walt Whitman
Walt Whitman
Walter "Walt" Whitman was an American poet, essayist and journalist. A humanist, he was a part of the transition between transcendentalism and realism, incorporating both views in his works. Whitman is among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the father of free verse...

: A Study in the Evolution of Personality
, although it was unpublished until 1973. The thoughts behind this book laid the foundation for Smuts' later wide-ranging philosophy of holism
Holism
Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

.

Smuts graduated in 1893 with a double First. Over the previous two years, he had been the recipient of numerous academic prizes and accolades, including the coveted George Long prize in Roman Law and Jurisprudence. One of his tutors, Professor Maitland
Frederic William Maitland
Frederic William Maitland was an English jurist and historian, generally regarded as the modern father of English legal history.-Biography:...

, a leading figure among English legal historians, described Smuts as the most brilliant student he had ever met. Lord Todd, the Master of Christ's College said in 1970 that "in 500 years of the College's history, of all its members, past and present, three had been truly outstanding: John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

, Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestry, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection.He published his theory...

 and Jan Smuts."

In 1894, Smuts passed the examinations for the Inns of Court
Inns of Court
The Inns of Court in London are the professional associations for barristers in England and Wales. All such barristers must belong to one such association. They have supervisory and disciplinary functions over their members. The Inns also provide libraries, dining facilities and professional...

, entering the Middle Temple
Middle Temple
The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn...

. His old college, Christ's College, offered him a fellowship in Law. However, Smuts turned his back on a potentially distinguished legal future. By June 1895, he had returned to the Cape Colony, determined that he should make his future there.

Climbing the ladder

Smuts began to practise law in Cape Town
Cape Town
Cape Town is the second-most populous city in South Africa, and the provincial capital and primate city of the Western Cape. As the seat of the National Parliament, it is also the legislative capital of the country. It forms part of the City of Cape Town metropolitan municipality...

, but his abrasive nature made him few friends. Finding little financial success in the law, he began to divert more and more of his time to politics and journalism, writing for the Cape Times
Cape Times
The Cape Times is an English language morning newspaper owned by Independent News & Media and published in Cape Town, South Africa. The first edition of the newspaper was published on 27 March 1876 by then editor Frederick York St Leger...

. Smuts was intrigued by the prospect of a united South Africa, and joined the Afrikaner Bond
Afrikaner Bond
The Afrikaner Bond was a political party in the Cape Colony. It was formed by the union in 1881 of the Genootskap vir Regte Afrikaners of Rev S.J...

. By good fortune, Smuts’ father knew the leader of the group, Jan Hofmeyr; Hofmeyr recommended Jan to Cecil Rhodes, who owned the De Beers
De Beers
De Beers is a family of companies that dominate the diamond, diamond mining, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. De Beers is active in every category of industrial diamond mining: open-pit, underground, large-scale alluvial, coastal and deep sea...

 mining company. In 1895, Rhodes hired Smuts as his personal legal advisor, a role that found the youngster much criticised by the hostile Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 press. Regardless, Smuts trusted Rhodes implicitly.

When Rhodes launched the Jameson Raid
Jameson Raid
The Jameson Raid was a botched raid on Paul Kruger's Transvaal Republic carried out by a British colonial statesman Leander Starr Jameson and his Rhodesian and Bechuanaland policemen over the New Year weekend of 1895–96...

, in the summer of 1895–6, Smuts was outraged. Feeling betrayed by his employer, friend and political ally, he resigned from De Beers, and disappeared from public life. Seeing no future for himself in Cape Town, he decided to move to Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

 in August 1896. However, he was disgusted by what appeared to be a gin-soaked mining camp, and his new law practice could attract little business in such an environment. Smuts sought refuge in the capital of the South African Republic
South African Republic
The South African Republic , often informally known as the Transvaal Republic, was an independent Boer-ruled country in Southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century. Not to be confused with the present-day Republic of South Africa, it occupied the area later known as the South African...

, Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

.

Through 1896, Smuts’ politics were turned on their head. He was transformed from being Rhodes’ most ardent supporter to being the most fervent opponent of British expansion. Through late 1896 and 1897, Smuts toured South Africa, furiously condemning Great Britain, Rhodes and anyone opposed to the Transvaal President, Paul Kruger
Paul Kruger
Stephanus Johannes Paulus Kruger , better known as Paul Kruger and affectionately known as Uncle Paul was State President of the South African Republic...

.

In April 1897, he married Isie Krige of Cape Town. Professor JI Marais, Smuts’s benefactor at Cambridge, presided over the ceremony. Twins were born to the pair in March 1898, but unfortunately survived only a few weeks.

Kruger was opposed by many liberal elements in South Africa, and, when, in June 1898, Kruger fired the Transvaal Chief Justice, his long-term political rival John Gilbert Kotzé
John Gilbert Kotzé
Sir John Gilbert Kotzé was an eminent South African jurist.Born in Cape Town, educated there at Tot Nut van het Algemeen and the South African College. Further legal training and qualifications were obtained in Britain as a student at the Hon...

, most lawyers were up in arms. Recognising the opportunity, Smuts wrote a legal thesis in support of Kruger, who rewarded Smuts with an appointment as State Attorney. In this capacity, he tore into the establishment, firing those he deemed to be illiberal, old-fashioned or corrupt. His efforts to rejuvenate the republic polarised Afrikaners.

After the Jameson Raid, relations between the British and the Afrikaners had deteriorated steadily. By 1898, war seemed imminent. Orange Free State
Orange Free State
The Orange Free State was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa during the second half of the 19th century, and later a British colony and a province of the Union of South Africa. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State province...

 President Martinus Steyn
Martinus Theunis Steyn
Martinus Theunis Steyn was a South African lawyer, politician, and statesman, sixth and last president of the independent Orange Free State from 1896 to 1902....

 called for a peace conference
Bloemfontein Conference
The Bloemfontein Conference was a meeting that took place in Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State from May 31 until June 5, 1899. The main issue dealt with the status of British migrant workers called "Uitlanders", who mined the gold fields in Transvaal.The conference was initiated by...

 at Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals – the other two being Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital.Bloemfontein is popularly and...

 to settle each side’s grievances. With an intimate knowledge of the British, Smuts took control of the Transvaal delegation. Sir Alfred Milner
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner KG, GCB, GCMG, PC was a British statesman and colonial administrator who played an influential leadership role in the formulation of foreign and domestic policy between the mid-1890s and early 1920s...

, head of the British delegation, took exception to his dominance, and conflict between the two led to the collapse of the conference, consigning South Africa to war.

The Boer War

On 11 October 1899, the Boer republics invaded the British South African colonies, beginning the Second Boer War
Second Boer War
The Second Boer War was fought from 11 October 1899 until 31 May 1902 between the British Empire and the Afrikaans-speaking Dutch settlers of two independent Boer republics, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State...

. In the early stages of the conflict, Smuts served as Kruger’s eyes and ears, handling propaganda, logistics, communication with generals and diplomats, and anything else that was required.

In the second phase of the war, Smuts served under Koos de la Rey
Koos de la Rey
General Jacobus Herculaas de la Rey , known as Koos de la Rey, was a Boer general during the Second Boer War and is widely regarded as being one of the strongest military leaders during that conflict....

, who commanded 500 commandos in the Western Transvaal. Smuts excelled at hit-and-run warfare
Hit-and-run tactics
Hit-and-run tactics is a tactical doctrine where the purpose of the combat involved is not to seize control of territory, but to inflict damage on a target and immediately exit the area to avoid the enemy's defense and/or retaliation.-History:...

, and the unit evaded and harassed a British army forty times its size. President Kruger and the deputation in Europe thought that there was good hope for their cause in the Cape Colony. They decided to send General de la Rey there to assume supreme command, but then decided to act more cautiously when they realised that General de la Rey could hardly be spared in the Western Transvaal.

Consequently, Smuts left with a small force of 300 men while another 100 men followed him. By this point in the war, the British scorched earth policy
Scorched earth
A scorched earth policy is a military strategy or operational method which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area...

 left little grazing land. One hundred of the cavalry that had joined Smuts were therefore too weak to continue and so Smuts had to leave these men with General Kritzinger. With few exceptions, Smuts met all the commandos in the Cape Colony and found between 1,400–1,500 men under arms, and not the 3,000 men as had been reported. By the time of the peace Conference in May 1902 there were 3,300 men operating in the Cape Colony. Although the people were enthusiastic for a general rising, there was a great shortage of horses (the Boers were an entirely mounted force) as they had been taken by the British. There was an absence of grass and wheat, which meant that he was forced to refuse nine tenths of those who were willing to join. The Boer forces raided supply lines and farms, spread Afrikaner propaganda, and intimidated those that opposed them, but they never succeeded in causing a revolt against the government. This raid was to prove one of the most influential military adventures of the 20th century and had a direct influence on the creation of the British Commandos
British Commandos
The British Commandos were formed during the Second World War in June 1940, following a request from the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for a force that could carry out raids against German-occupied Europe...

 and all the other special forces which followed. With these practical developments came the development of the military doctrines of deep penetration raids, asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare
Asymmetric warfare is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly....

 and, more recently, elements of fourth generation warfare
Fourth generation warfare
Fourth generation warfare is conflict characterized by a blurring of the lines between war and politics, soldier and civilian.The term was first used in 1989 by a team of United States analysts, including William S. Lind, to describe warfare's return to a decentralized form...

.

To end the conflict, Smuts sought to take a major target, the copper-mining town of Okiep. With a full assault impossible, Smuts packed a train full of explosives, and tried to push it downhill, into the town, where it would bring the enemy garrison to its knees. Although this failed, Smuts had proven his point: that he would stop at nothing to defeat his enemies. Norman Kemp Smith
Norman Kemp Smith
Norman Kemp Smith was a Scottish philosopher who lectured at Princeton University and was Professor of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh. Born Norman Smith in Dundee, Scotland, he added his wife's last name when he married Amy Kemp in 1910.-Career:Kemp Smith received his...

 wrote that General Smuts read from Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" on the evening before the raid. Smith contended that this showed how Kant's critique can be a solace and a refuge, as well as a means to sharpen the wit.Combined with their failure to pacify the Transvaal, Smuts' success left the United Kingdom with no choice but to offer a ceasefire
Ceasefire
A ceasefire is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces...

 and a peace conference, to be held at Vereeniging
Vereeniging, Gauteng
Vereeniging is a city in Gauteng province, South Africa. It is also one of the constituent parts of the Vaal Triangle region and was formerly situated in the Transvaal province...

.

Before the conference, Smuts met Lord Kitchener
Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener
Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, ADC, PC , was an Irish-born British Field Marshal and proconsul who won fame for his imperial campaigns and later played a central role in the early part of the First World War, although he died halfway...

 at Kroonstad station, where they discussed the proposed terms of surrender. Smuts then took a leading role in the negotiations between the representatives from all of the commandos from the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (15–31 May 1902). Although he admitted that, from a purely military perspective, the war could continue, he stressed the importance of not sacrificing the Afrikaner people for that independence. He was very conscious that 'more than 20,000 women and children have already died in the concentration camps
Internment
Internment is the imprisonment or confinement of people, commonly in large groups, without trial. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the meaning as: "The action of 'interning'; confinement within the limits of a country or place." Most modern usage is about individuals, and there is a distinction...

 of the enemy'. He felt it would have been a crime to continue the war without the assurance of help from elsewhere and declared, "Comrades, we decided to stand to the bitter end. Let us now, like men, admit that that end has come for us, come in a more bitter shape than we ever thought." His opinions were representative of the conference, which then voted by 54 to 6 in favour of peace. Representatives of the Governments met Lord Kitchener and at five minutes past eleven on 31 May 1902, Acting President Burger signed the Peace Treaty, followed by the members of his government, Acting President de Wet
Christiaan De Wet
Christiaan Rudolf de Wet was a Boer general, rebel leader and politician.He was born on the Leeuwkop farm, in the district of Smithfield in the Boer Republic of the Orange Free State...

 and the members of his government.

A British Transvaal

For all Smuts' exploits as a general and a negotiator, nothing could mask the fact that the Afrikaners had been defeated and humiliated. Lord Milner
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner
Alfred Milner, 1st Viscount Milner KG, GCB, GCMG, PC was a British statesman and colonial administrator who played an influential leadership role in the formulation of foreign and domestic policy between the mid-1890s and early 1920s...

 had full control of all South African affairs, and established an Anglophone elite, known as Milner's Kindergarten
Milner's Kindergarten
Milner's Kindergarten is an informal reference to a group of Britons who served in the South African Civil Service under High Commissioner Alfred, Lord Milner, between the Second Boer War and the founding of the Union of South Africa. They were in favour of the South African union and, ultimately,...

. As an Afrikaner, Smuts was excluded. Defeated but not deterred, in January 1905, he decided to join with the other former Transvaal generals to form a political party, Het Volk
Het Volk (political party)
Het Volk was a Transvaal political party, established in May 1904 under the leadership of Louis Botha and his deputy Jan Smuts. Upon the creation of the Union of South Africa in May 1910, it merged with Afrikaner Bond and the Orangia Unie, the dominant political parties of the Cape Colony and...

 (People's Party), to fight for the Afrikaner cause. Louis Botha
Louis Botha
Louis Botha was an Afrikaner and first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa—the forerunner of the modern South African state...

 was elected leader, and Smuts his deputy.

When his term of office expired, Milner was replaced as High Commissioner by the more conciliatory Lord Selborne. Smuts saw an opportunity and pounced, urging Botha to persuade the Liberals
Liberal Party (UK)
The Liberal Party was one of the two major political parties of the United Kingdom during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was a third party of negligible importance throughout the latter half of the 20th Century, before merging with the Social Democratic Party in 1988 to form the present day...

 to support Het Volk’s cause. When the Conservative
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party, formally the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom that adheres to the philosophies of conservatism and British unionism. It is the largest political party in the UK, and is currently the largest single party in the House...

 government under Arthur Balfour
Arthur Balfour
Arthur James Balfour, 1st Earl of Balfour, KG, OM, PC, DL was a British Conservative politician and statesman...

 collapsed, in December 1905, the decision paid off. Smuts joined Botha in London, and sought to negotiate full self-government for the Transvaal within British South Africa. Using the thorny political issue of South Asian labourers ('coolie
Coolie
Historically, a coolie was a manual labourer or slave from Asia, particularly China, India, and the Phillipines during the 19th century and early 20th century...

s'), the South Africans convinced Prime Minister Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and, with him, the cabinet and Parliament.

Through 1906, Smuts worked on the new constitution for the Transvaal, and, in December 1906, elections were held for the Transvaal parliament. Despite being shy and reserved, unlike the showman Botha, Smuts won a comfortable victory in the Wonderboom constituency, near Pretoria. His victory was one of many, with Het Volk winning in a landslide
Landslide victory
In politics, a landslide victory is the victory of a candidate or political party by an overwhelming margin in an election...

 and Botha forming the government. To reward his loyalty and efforts, Smuts was given two key cabinet positions: Colonial Secretary and Education Secretary.

Smuts proved to be an effective leader, if unpopular. As Education Secretary, he had fights with the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

, of which he had once been a dedicated member, who demanded Calvinist teachings in schools. As Colonial Secretary, he opposed a movement for equal rights for South Asian workers, led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Despite Smuts’ unpopularity, South Africa's economy continued to boom, and Smuts cemented his place as the Afrikaners’ brightest star.

During the years of Transvaal self-government, no-one could avoid the predominant political debate of the day: South African unification. Ever since the British victory in the war, it was an inevitability, but it remained up to the South Africans to decide what sort of country would be formed, and how it would be formed. Smuts favoured a unitary state
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

, with power centralised in Pretoria, with English as the only official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

, and with a more inclusive electorate. To impress upon his compatriots his vision, he called a constitutional convention in Durban
Durban
Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal and the third largest city in South Africa. It forms part of the eThekwini metropolitan municipality. Durban is famous for being the busiest port in South Africa. It is also seen as one of the major centres of tourism...

, in October 1908.

There, Smuts was up against a hard-talking Orange River Colony
Orange River Colony
The Orange River Colony was the British colony created after this nation first occupied and then annexed the independent Orange Free State in the Second Boer War...

 delegation, who refused every one of Smuts' demands. Smuts had successfully predicted this opposition, and their objections, and tailored his own ambitions appropriately. He allowed compromise on the location of the capital, on the official language, and on suffrage, but he refused to budge on the fundamental structure of government. As the convention drew into autumn, the Orange leaders began to see a final compromise as necessary to secure the concessions that Smuts had already made. They agreed to Smuts’ draft South African constitution, which was duly ratified by the South African colonies. Smuts and Botha took the constitution to London, where it was passed by Parliament, and signed into law by Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

 in December 1909. Smuts' dream had been realised.

The Old Boers

The Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

 was born, and the Afrikaners held the key to political power, for they formed the largest part of the electorate. Although Botha was appointed Prime Minister of the new country, Smuts was given three key ministries: those for the Interior
Interior minister
An interior ministry is a government ministry typically responsible for policing, national security, and immigration matters. The ministry is often headed by a minister of the interior or minister of home affairs...

, the Mines and Defence
Defence minister
A defence minister is a person in a cabinet position in charge of a Ministry of Defence, which regulates the armed forces in some sovereign nations...

. Undeniably, Smuts was the second most powerful man in South Africa. To solidify their dominance of South African politics, the Afrikaners united to form the South African Party
South African Party
The South African Party was a political party that existed in the Union of South Africa from 1911 to 1934.-History:The outline and foundation for the party was realized after the election of a 'South African party' in the 1910 South African general election under the leadership of Louis Botha...

, a new pan-South African Afrikaner party.

The harmony and cooperation soon ended. Smuts was criticised for his over-arching powers, and was reshuffled, losing his positions in charge of Defence and the Mines, but gaining control of the Treasury
Finance minister
The finance minister is a cabinet position in a government.A minister of finance has many different jobs in a government. He or she helps form the government budget, stimulate the economy, and control finances...

. This was still too much for Smuts' opponents, who decried his possession of both Defence and Finance: two departments that were usually at loggerheads. At the 1913 South African Party conference, the Old Boers, of Hertzog, Steyn and De Wet, called for Botha and Smuts to step down. The two narrowly survived a conference vote, and the troublesome triumvirate stormed out, leaving the party for good.

With the schism in internal party politics came a new threat to the mines that brought South Africa its wealth. A small-scale miners' dispute flared into a full-blown strike, and rioting broke out in Johannesburg after Smuts intervened heavy-handedly. After police shot dead twenty-one strikers, Smuts and Botha headed unaccompanied to Johannesburg to personally resolve the situation. They did, facing down threats to their own lives, and successfully negotiating a cease-fire.

The cease-fire did not hold, and, in 1914, a railway strike turned into a general strike, and threats of a revolution caused Smuts to declare martial law. Smuts acted ruthlessly, deporting union leaders without trial and using Parliament to retrospectively absolve him or the government of any blame. This was too much for the Old Boers, who set up their own party, the National Party
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

, to fight the all-powerful Botha-Smuts partnership. The Old Boers urged Smuts' opponents to arm themselves, and civil war seemed inevitable before the end of 1914. In October 1914, when the Government was faced with open rebellion by Lt Col Manie Maritz
Manie Maritz
Manie Maritz was a Boer General during the Second Boer War and a leading rebel of the 1914 Boer Revolt.Maritz was born in Kimberly and christened Salmon Gerhardus Maritz and also known as Gerrit Maritz....

 and others in the Maritz Rebellion
Maritz Rebellion
The Maritz Rebellion or the Boer Revolt or the Five Shilling Rebellion, occurred in South Africa in 1914 at the start of World War I, in which men who supported the recreation of the old Boer republics rose up against the government of the Union of South Africa...

, Government forces under the command of Botha and Smuts were able to put down the rebellion without it ever seriously threatening to ignite into a Third Boer War.

Soldier and statesman

During the First World War, Smuts formed the South African Defence Force
South African Defence Force
The South African Defence Force was the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. The former Union Defence Force was renamed to the South African Defence Force in the Defence Act of 1957...

. His first task was to suppress the Maritz Rebellion, which was accomplished by November 1914. Next he and Louis Botha
Louis Botha
Louis Botha was an Afrikaner and first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa—the forerunner of the modern South African state...

 led the South African army into German South West Africa and conquered it (see the South-West Africa Campaign
South-West Africa Campaign
The South-West Africa Campaign was the conquest and occupation of German South West Africa, now called Namibia, by forces from the Union of South Africa acting on behalf of the British Imperial Government at the beginning of the First World War.-Background:...

 for details). In 1916 General Smuts was put in charge of the conquest of German East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

. While the East African Campaign
East African Campaign (World War I)
The East African Campaign was a series of battles and guerrilla actions which started in German East Africa and ultimately affected portions of Mozambique, Northern Rhodesia, British East Africa, Uganda, and the Belgian Congo. The campaign was effectively ended in November 1917...

 went fairly well, the German forces were not destroyed. Smuts was criticised by his chief Intelligence officer, Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen
Richard Meinertzhagen
Colonel Richard Henry Meinertzhagen CBE DSO was a British soldier, intelligence officer and ornithologist.- Background and youth :Meinertzhagen was born into a socially connected, wealthy British family...

, for avoiding frontal attacks which, in Meinertzhagen's view, would have been less costly than the inconsequential flanking movements that prolonged the campaign where thousands of Imperial troops died of disease. Meinertzhangen believed Horace Smith-Dorrien
Horace Smith-Dorrien
General Sir Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien GCB, GCMG, DSO, ADC was a British soldier and commander of the British II Corps and Second Army of the BEF during World War I.-Early life and career:...

 (who had saved the British Army during the retreat from Mons), the original choice as commander in 1916 would have quickly defeated the German commander Colonel (later General) Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was a general in the Imperial German Army and the commander of the German East Africa campaign. For four years, with a force that never exceeded about 14,000 , he held in check a much larger force of 300,000 British, Belgian, and Portuguese troops...

. As for Smuts, Meinertzhagen wrote: "Smuts has cost Britain many hundreds of thousands of lives (sic) and many millions of pounds by his caution...Smuts was not an astute soldier; a brilliant statesman and politician but no soldier." ( Army Diary Oliver and Boyd 1960 page 205). However, early in 1917 Smuts was invited to join the Imperial War Cabinet
Imperial War Cabinet
The Imperial War Cabinet was created by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in the spring of 1917 as a means of co-ordinating the British Empire's military policy during the First World War...

 by David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George
David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor OM, PC was a British Liberal politician and statesman...

, so he left the area and went to London. In 1918, Smuts helped to create a Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

, independent of the army.

Like most British Empire political and military leaders in World War I, Smuts thought the American Expeditionary Forces
AEF
AEF is a three-letter acronym which may refer to:* Aboriginal Evangelical Fellowship, Australia* Afrique Équatoriale Française or French Equatorial Africa* Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation* Air Experience Flight* Alameda Education Foundation...

 lacked the proper leadership and experience to be effective quickly. He supported the Anglo-French amalgamation policy towards the Americans. In particular, he had a low opinion of General John J. Pershing
John J. Pershing
John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing, GCB , was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I...

's leadership skills, so much so that he wrote a confidential letter to Lloyd George proposing Pershing be relieved of his command and that the US forces be placed "under someone more confident, like himself". This did not endear him to the Americans once it was leaked.

Smuts and Botha were key negotiators at the Paris Peace Conference. Both were in favour of reconciliation with Germany and limited reparations. Smuts advocated a powerful League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, which failed to materialise. The Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

 gave South Africa a Class C mandate over German South West Africa (which later became Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

), which was occupied from 1919 until withdrawal in 1990. At the same time, Australia was given a similar mandate over German New Guinea
German New Guinea
German New Guinea was the first part of the German colonial empire. It was a protectorate from 1884 until 1914 when it fell to Australia following the outbreak of the First World War. It consisted of the northeastern part of New Guinea and several nearby island groups...

, which it held until 1975. Both Smuts and the Australian Prime Minister Billy Hughes
Billy Hughes
William Morris "Billy" Hughes, CH, KC, MHR , Australian politician, was the seventh Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923....

 feared the rising power of Japan in the post First World War world. When former German East Africa was divided into three mandated territories (Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanganyika) Smutsland was one of the proposed names for what became Tanganyika.

Smuts returned to South African politics after the conference. When Botha died in 1919, Smuts was elected Prime Minister, serving until a shocking defeat in 1924 at the hands of the National Party
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

. After the death of the former American President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

, Smuts was quoted as saying that: "Not Wilson, but humanity failed at Paris."

While in Britain for an Imperial Conference in June 1920, Smuts went to Ireland and met Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was one of the dominant political figures in twentieth century Ireland, serving as head of government of the Irish Free State and head of government and head of state of Ireland...

 to help broker an armistice and peace deal between the warring British and Irish nationalists. Smuts attempted to sell the concept of Ireland receiving Dominion
Dominion
A dominion, often Dominion, refers to one of a group of autonomous polities that were nominally under British sovereignty, constituting the British Empire and British Commonwealth, beginning in the latter part of the 19th century. They have included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland,...

 status similar to that of Australia and South Africa.

As a botanist, Smuts collected plants extensively over southern Africa. He went on several botanical expeditions in the 1920s and 1930s with John Hutchinson
John Hutchinson (botanist)
John Hutchinson, OBE, FRS was a renowned English botanist, taxonomist and author.-Life and career:...

, former Botanist in charge of the African section of the Herbarium of the Royal Botanic Gardens
Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England. "The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" and the brand name "Kew" are also used as umbrella terms for the institution that runs...

 and taxonomist of note.

For most of the 1930s, Smuts was a leading supporter of appeasement
Appeasement
The term appeasement is commonly understood to refer to a diplomatic policy aimed at avoiding war by making concessions to another power. Historian Paul Kennedy defines it as "the policy of settling international quarrels by admitting and satisfying grievances through rational negotiation and...

. In December 1934, Smuts told an audience at the Royal Institute of International Affairs
Chatham House
Chatham House, formally known as The Royal Institute of International Affairs, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in London whose mission is to analyse and promote the understanding of major international issues and current affairs. It is regarded as one of the world's leading...

 that:
"How can the inferiority complex which is obsessing and, I fear, poisoning the mind, and indeed the very soul of Germany, be removed? There is only one way and that is to recognise her complete equality of status with her fellows and to do so frankly, freely and unreservedly...While one understands and sympathises with French fears, one cannot, but feel for Germany in the prison of inferiority in which she still remains sixteen years after the conclusion of the war. The continuance of the Versailles status is becoming an offence to the conscience of Europe and a danger to future peace...Fair play, sportsmanship-indeed every standard of private and public life-calls for frank revision of the situation. Indeed ordinary prudence makes it imperative. Let us break these bonds and set the complexed-obsessed soul free in a decent human way and Europe will reap a rich reward in tranquility, security and returning prosperity."

Holism and related academic work

While in academia, Smuts pioneered the concept of holism
Holism
Holism is the idea that all the properties of a given system cannot be determined or explained by its component parts alone...

, defined as "the tendency in nature to form wholes that are greater than the sum of the parts through creative evolution" in his 1926 book, Holism and Evolution. Smuts' formulation of holism has been linked with his political-military activity and his belief in white supremacy
White supremacy
White supremacy is the belief, and promotion of the belief, that white people are superior to people of other racial backgrounds. The term is sometimes used specifically to describe a political ideology that advocates the social and political dominance by whites.White supremacy, as with racial...

. One biographer said:

It had very much in common with his philosophy of life as subsequently developed and embodied in his Holism and Evolution. Small units must needs develop into bigger wholes, and they in their turn again must grow into larger and ever-larger structures without cessation. Advancement lay along that path. Thus the unification of the four provinces in the Union of South Africa, the idea of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and, finally, the great whole resulting from the combination of the peoples of the earth in a great league of nations were but a logical progression consistent with his philosophical tenets.


Others, doctor and author Julian Tudor Hart
Julian Tudor Hart
Julian Tudor Hart is a British physician.- Biography :He studied medicine at Cambridge University and in London....

, have considered Smuts' formulation of holism as "a soapy term which evades necessary conflict," which fitted with his belief in excluding the African majority from democracy.

After Einstein studied "Holism and Evolution" soon upon its publication, he wrote that two mental constructs will direct human thinking in the next millennium, his own mental construct of relativity and Smuts' of holism. In the work of Smuts he saw a clear blueprint of much of his own life, work and personality.

Smuts and segregation

Although some people have at times hailed him as a liberal, Smuts is often depicted as a white supremacist who played an important role in establishing and supporting a racially segregated
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 society in South Africa.
He thought that it was "the duty of whites to deal justly with Africans," "raise them up in civilisation," and that they should not be given political power. Giving the right to vote to the black African majority he feared would imply the ultimate destruction of Western civilisation in South Africa.

Smuts was for most of his political life a vocal supporter of segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 of the races, and in 1929 he justified the erection of separate institutions for blacks and whites in tones prescient of the later practice of apartheid:
In general, Smuts' view of Africans was patronising, he saw them as immature human beings that needed the guidance of whites, an attitude that reflected the common perceptions of most non-Africans in his lifetime. Of Africans he stated that:
He was not alone in these views. On 7 March 1908, Gandhi wrote in the Indian Opinion
Indian Opinion
The Indian Opinion was a newspaper established by Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. The publication was an important tool for the political movement led by Gandhi and the Natal Indian Congress to fight racial discrimination and win civil rights for the Indian immigrant community in South...

of his time in a South African prison: "Kaffirs
Kaffir (racial term)
The word kaffir, sometimes spelled kaffer or kafir, is an offensive term for a black person, most common in South Africa and other African countries...

 are as a rule uncivilised—the convicts even more so. They are troublesome, very dirty and live almost like animals." On the subject of immigration in 1903, Gandhi commented in 1903: "We believe as much in the purity of race as we think they do... We believe also that the white race in South Africa should be the predominating race." Gandhi protested repeatedly about the social classification of blacks with Indians in South Africa and described Indians as "undoubtedly infinitely superior to the Kaffirs". Remarks such as these have led some to accuse Gandhi of racism. It is worth noting though that the word Kaffir had a different connotation in Gandhi's time than its current day meaning.

Although Gandhi and Smuts were adversaries in many ways, they had a mutual respect and even admiration for each other. Before Gandhi returned to India in 1914, he presented General Jan Smuts with a pair of sandals made by himself. In 1939, Smuts, then prime minister, wrote an essay for a commemorative work compiled for Gandhi’s 70th birthday and returned the sandals with the following message: "I have worn these sandals for many a summer, even though I may feel that I am not worthy to stand in the shoes of so great a man."

Smuts is often accused of being a politician who extolled the virtues of humanitarianism and liberalism abroad while failing to practice what he preached at home in South Africa. This was most clearly illustrated when India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, in 1946, made a formal complaint in the UN concerning the legalised racial discrimination against Indians in South Africa. Appearing personally before the United Nations General Assembly
United Nations General Assembly
For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly, see:* General Assembly members* General Assembly observersThe United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation...

, Smuts defended the policies of his government by fervently pleading that India's complaint was a matter of domestic jurisdiction. However, the General Assembly censured South Africa for its racial policies and called upon the Smuts government to bring its treatment of the South African Indians in conformity with the basic principles of the United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries...

.

At the same conference, the African National Congress
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 President General Alfred Bitini Xuma
Alfred Bitini Xuma
Dr Alfred Bitini Xuma, commonly referred to by his initials as Dr AB Xuma was a South African leader and activist and president-general of the African National Congress from 1940 to 1949...

 along with delegates of the South African Indian Congress
South African Indian Congress
The South African Indian Congress was an organization founded in 1924 in Natal , South Africa. The congress is famous for its strong participation by Mahatma Gandhi and other prominent South African Indian figures during the time. Umar Hajee Ahmed Jhaveri was elected the first president of the...

 brought up the issue of the brutality of Smuts' police regime against the African Mine Workers' Strike
African Mine Workers' Strike
The African Mine Workers' Strike, by mine workers of Witwatersrand started on August 12, 1946 and lasted around 1 week. The strike was attacked by police and over the week, at least 1,248 workers were wounded and at least 9 killed.-African Mine Workers' Union:...

 earlier that year as well as the wider struggle for equality in South Africa.

The international criticism of racial discrimination in South Africa led Smuts to modify his rhetoric around segregation. In a bid to make South African racial policies sound more acceptable to Britain he declared already in 1942 that "segregation had failed to solve the Native problem of Africa and that the concept of trusteeship offered the only prospect of happy relations between European and African".

In 1948 he went further away from his previous views on segregation when supporting the recommendations of the Fagan Commission
Fagan Commission
The Native Laws Commission, commonly known as the Fagan Commission, was appointed by the government of South Africa in 1946 to investigate changes to the system of segregation....

 that Africans should be recognised as permanent residents of White South Africa and not only temporary workers that really belonged in the reserves. This was in direct opposition to the policies of the National Party
National Party (South Africa)
The National Party is a former political party in South Africa. Founded in 1914, it was the governing party of the country from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994. Members of the National Party were sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats. Its policies included apartheid, the establishment of a...

 that wished to extend segregation and formalise it into apartheid.

There is however no evidence that Smuts ever supported the idea of equal political rights for blacks and whites. The Fagan Commission did not advocate the establishment of a non-racial democracy in South Africa, but rather wanted to liberalise influx controls of Africans into urban areas in order to facilitate the supply of African labour to the South African industry. It also envisaged a relaxation of the pass laws
Pass laws
Pass laws in South Africa were designed to segregate the population and limit severely the movements of the non-white populace. This legislation was one of the dominant features of the country's apartheid system. The Black population were required to carry these pass books with them when outside...

 that had restricted the movement of Africans in general. The commission was at the same time unequivocal about the continuation of white political privilege, it stated that "In South Africa, we the White men, cannot leave and cannot accept the fate of a subject race".

Second World War

After nine years in opposition and academia, Smuts returned as Deputy Prime Minister
Deputy Prime Minister
A deputy prime minister or vice prime minister is, in some counties, a government minister who can take the position of acting prime minister when the prime minister is temporarily absent. The position is often likened to that of a vice president, but is significantly different, though both...

 in a 'grand coalition' government under J. B. M. Hertzog. When Hertzog advocated neutrality towards Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 in 1939, he was deposed by a party caucus
Caucus
A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement, especially in the United States and Canada. As the use of the term has been expanded the exact definition has come to vary among political cultures.-Origin of the term:...

, and Smuts became Prime Minister for the second time. He had served with Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

 in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, and had developed a personal and professional rapport. Smuts was invited to the Imperial War Cabinet
Imperial War Cabinet
The Imperial War Cabinet was created by British Prime Minister David Lloyd George in the spring of 1917 as a means of co-ordinating the British Empire's military policy during the First World War...

 in 1939 as the most senior South African in favour of war. On 28 May 1941 Smuts was appointed a field marshal of the British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

, becoming the first South African to hold that rank.

Smuts' importance to the Imperial war effort was emphasised by a quite audacious plan, proposed as early as 1940, to appoint Smuts as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

, should Churchill die or otherwise become incapacitated during the war. This idea was put by Sir John Colville, Churchill's private secretary, to Queen Mary
Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck was the queen consort of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Empress of India, as the wife of King-Emperor George V....

 and then to George VI
George VI of the United Kingdom
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death...

, both of whom warmed to the idea. As Churchill lived for another twenty-five years, the plan was never put into effect and its constitutionality was never tested. This closeness to the British establishment, to the King, and to Churchill made Smuts very unpopular amongst the Afrikaners, leading to his eventual downfall.

In May 1945, he represented South Africa in San Francisco at the drafting of the United Nations Charter
United Nations Charter
The Charter of the United Nations is the foundational treaty of the international organization called the United Nations. It was signed at the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center in San Francisco, United States, on 26 June 1945, by 50 of the 51 original member countries...

. Just as he did in 1919, Smuts urged the delegates to create a powerful international body to preserve peace; he was determined that, unlike the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

, the UN would have teeth. Smuts signed the Paris Peace Treaty, resolving the peace in Europe, thus becoming the solitary person who was a signatory of the treaties ending both the First and Second World Wars.

In 1945, he was mentioned by Halvdan Koht
Halvdan Koht
Halvdan Koht was a Norwegian historian and politician representing the Labour Party.As a politician he served as the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1935 to 1941. He was never elected as a member of the Parliament of Norway, but was a member of Bærum municipal council in 1917–1919 and...

 among seven candidates that were qualified for the Nobel Prize in Peace. However, he did not explicitly nominate any of them. The person actually nominated was Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull
Cordell Hull was an American politician from the U.S. state of Tennessee. He is best known as the longest-serving Secretary of State, holding the position for 11 years in the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt during much of World War II...

.

After the war

His preoccupation with the war had severe political repercussions in South Africa. Smuts's support of the war and his support for the Fagan Commission
Fagan Commission
The Native Laws Commission, commonly known as the Fagan Commission, was appointed by the government of South Africa in 1946 to investigate changes to the system of segregation....

 made him unpopular amongst the Afrikaners and Daniel François Malan
Daniel François Malan
Daniel François Malan , more commonly known as D.F. Malan, was the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1948 to 1954. He is seen as a champion of Afrikaner nationalism. His National Party government came to power on the program of apartheid and began its comprehensive implementation.- Biography...

's pro-Apartheid stance won the Reunited National Party the 1948 general election
South African general election, 1948
The parliamentary election in South Africa on 26 May 1948 represented a turning point in the country's history. The United Party, which had led the government since its foundation in 1933 and its leader, incumbent Prime Minister Jan Smuts was ousted by the Reunited National Party , led by Daniel...

. Although this result was widely forecast, it is a credit to Smuts's political acumen that he was only narrowly defeated by eight seats (and, in fact, won the popular vote by 620,682 votes to 462,332). Smuts, who had been confident of victory, lost his own seat in the House of Assembly
House of Assembly of South Africa
The House of Assembly was the lower house of the Parliament of South Africa from 1910 to 1984, and latterly the white representative house of the Tricameral Parliament from 1984 to 1994, when it was replaced by the current National Assembly...

 and retired from politics. He still hoped that the tenuous National Party government would fall; but it was to remain in power until 1994, when after nearly five decades of Apartheid, a transitional government of national unity was formed.

He accepted the appointment as Colonel-In-Chief of Regiment Westelike Provinsie
Regiment Westelike Provinsie
Regiment Westelike Provincie is a mechanised infantry regiment of the South African Army. As a reserve unit, it has a status roughly equivalent to that of a British Territorial Army or United States Army National Guard unit.- History :...

 as from 17 September 1948.

It is widely believed in Lesotho
Lesotho
Lesotho , officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a landlocked country and enclave, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. It is just over in size with a population of approximately 2,067,000. Its capital and largest city is Maseru. Lesotho is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The name...

 that the British attempted to bolster Smuts against Malan's PNP by breaking the power of the Basutoland chieftaincy and allowing the protectorate to be incorporated into South Africa. Two dominant chiefs, Bereng Griffith (twice presumptive heir to the throne) and Gabashane were hanged in controversial circumstances for ritual murder (liretlo) but this occurred after Smuts' election defeat.

Smuts's inauguration as chancellor of the University of Cambridge shortly after the election restored his morale, but the sudden and unexpected death of his eldest son, Japie, in October 1948 brought him to the depths of despair. In the last two years of his life, now frail and visibly aged, Smuts continued to comment perceptively, and on occasion presciently, on world affairs. Europe and the Commonwealth remained his dominant concerns. He regretted the departure of the Irish republic
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 from the Commonwealth, but was unhappy when India remained within it after it became a republic, fearing the example this would set South Africa's Nationalists. His outstanding contributions as a world statesman were acknowledged in innumerable honours and medals. At home his reputation was more mixed. Nevertheless, despite ill health he continued his public commitments.

On 29 May 1950, a week after the public celebration of his eightieth birthday in Johannesburg and Pretoria, he suffered a coronary thrombosis
Coronary thrombosis
Coronary thrombosis is a form of thrombosis affecting the coronary circulation. It is associated with stenosis subsequent to clotting. The condition is considered as a type of ischaemic heart disease.It can lead to a myocardial infarction...

. He died of a subsequent heart attack on his family farm of Doornkloof, Irene
Irene, Gauteng
Irene is a small township south of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.-Prehistoric inhabitants:Stone arrowheads and tools, discovered in the Hennops River bed and dating back many years prove that people have been living in the area for a very long time....

, near Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria is a city located in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country's three capital cities, serving as the executive and de facto national capital; the others are Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.Pretoria is...

, on 11 September 1950, and was cremated in Pretoria on 16 September. His ashes were scattered in the veld on his farm Doornkloof.

Support for Zionism

South African supporters of Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl
Theodor Herzl , born Benjamin Ze’ev Herzl was an Ashkenazi Jew Austro-Hungarian journalist and the father of modern political Zionism and in effect the State of Israel.-Early life:...

 contacted Smuts in 1916. Smuts, who supported the Balfour Declaration, met and became friends with Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Weizmann
Chaim Azriel Weizmann, , was a Zionist leader, President of the Zionist Organization, and the first President of the State of Israel. He was elected on 1 February 1949, and served until his death in 1952....

, the future President of Israel
President of Israel
The President of the State of Israel is the head of state of Israel. The position is largely an apolitical ceremonial figurehead role, with the real executive power lying in the hands of the Prime Minister. The current president is Shimon Peres who took office on 15 July 2007...

, in London. In 1943 Weizmann wrote to Smuts, detailing a plan to develop Britain's African colonies to compete with the United States. During his service as Premier, Smuts personally fundraised for multiple Zionist
Zionism
Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

 organisations. His government granted de facto recognition to Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 on 24 May 1948 and de jure
De jure
De jure is an expression that means "concerning law", as contrasted with de facto, which means "concerning fact".De jure = 'Legally', De facto = 'In fact'....

recognition on 14 May 1949 following the defeat of Smuts' United Party by the Reunited National Party in the 26 May 1948 General Election, 12 days after David Ben Gurion declared Jewish Statehood and giving the newly formed nation the name Israel. However, Smuts was deputy prime minister when the Hertzog government in 1937 passed the Aliens Act
Aliens Act 1937
Aliens Act 1 of 1937 was a South African law aimed at curtailing Jewish immigration to South Africa just as it was increasing due to increased anti-Semitic repression in Nazi Germany...

 that was aimed at preventing Jewish immigration to South Africa. The act was seen as a response to growing anti-Semitic sentiments among Afrikaners.

He lobbied against the White Paper
White Paper of 1939
The White Paper of 1939, also known as the MacDonald White Paper after Malcolm MacDonald, the British Colonial Secretary who presided over it, was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain in which the idea of partitioning the Mandate for Palestine, as recommended in...

.

Several streets and a kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

, Ramat Yohanan
Ramat Yohanan
Ramat Yohanan is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located near Kiryat Ata, it falls under the jurisdiction of Zevulun Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 751....

, in Israel are named after Smuts.

Smuts' wrote an epitaph
Epitaph
An epitaph is a short text honoring a deceased person, strictly speaking that is inscribed on their tombstone or plaque, but also used figuratively. Some are specified by the dead person beforehand, others chosen by those responsible for the burial...

 for Weizmann, describing him as the greatest Jew since Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

."

Smuts once said:

Other offices held

In 1931, Smuts became the first President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science
British Association for the Advancement of Science
frame|right|"The BA" logoThe British Association for the Advancement of Science or the British Science Association, formerly known as the BA, is a learned society with the object of promoting science, directing general attention to scientific matters, and facilitating interaction between...

 not from the United Kingdom. In that year, he was also elected the second non-British Lord Rector of St Andrews University (after Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In his youth a champion skier and ice skater, he led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, and won international fame after reaching a...

). In 1948, he was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, becoming the first person from outside the United Kingdom to hold that position. He held the position until his death.

Jan Smuts in popular culture

The Libertines
The Libertines
The Libertines were an English rock band, formed in London in 1997 by frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty . The band, centred on the song-writing partnership of Barat and Doherty, also included John Hassall and Gary Powell for most of its recording career...

 recorded a song titled General Smuts in reference to a pub named after him located in Bloemfontein Road, Shepherds Bush, London, close to QPR football club. It appeared as a B-side to their single Time for Heroes
Time for Heroes
"Time for Heroes" is a song by English rock band The Libertines, and is featured on their debut album, Up the Bracket. It was released 13 January 2003 as the third single from that album, placing at #20 in the UK Singles Chart...

.

In the television programme, Young Indiana Jones, the protagonist at a period in the First World War in East Africa encounters a group of superb soldiers, one of whom is a General with more than a passing resemblance and character (though not the name) of Smuts, particularly during engagements with General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck
Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck
Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck was a general in the Imperial German Army and the commander of the German East Africa campaign. For four years, with a force that never exceeded about 14,000 , he held in check a much larger force of 300,000 British, Belgian, and Portuguese troops...

 in East Africa
German East Africa
German East Africa was a German colony in East Africa, which included what are now :Burundi, :Rwanda and Tanganyika . Its area was , nearly three times the size of Germany today....

.

Smuts is played by South African playwright Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard
Athol Fugard is a South African playwright, novelist, actor, and director who writes in English, best known for his political plays opposing the South African system of apartheid and for the 2005 Academy-Award winning film of his novel Tsotsi, directed by Gavin Hood...

 in the 1982 film Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

.

Wilbur Smith refers to and portrays Jan Smuts in several of his South Africa based novels including When the Lion Feeds, The Sound of Thunder, A Sparrow Falls, Power of the Sword and Rage. Smuts is often referred to as "Slim (Clever) Jannie" or Oubaas (Old Boss) as well as by his proper names.

Place names

The international airport serving Johannesburg was known as Jan Smuts Airport from its construction in 1952 until 1994. In 1994, it was renamed
Geographical renaming
Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the uncontroversial change of a street name to a highly disputed change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries,...

 to Johannesburg International Airport to remove any political connotations. In 2006, it was renamed again to its current name, OR Tambo International Airport, for the ANC
African National Congress
The African National Congress is South Africa's governing Africanist political party, supported by its tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party , since the establishment of non-racial democracy in April 1994. It defines itself as a...

 politician Oliver Tambo
Oliver Tambo
Oliver Reginald Tambo was a South African anti-apartheid politician and a central figure in the African National Congress .-Biography:Oliver Tambo was born in Bizana in eastern Pondoland in what is now Eastern Cape...

.

Residences at the University of Cape Town
University of Cape Town
The University of Cape Town is a public research university located in Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. UCT was founded in 1829 as the South African College, and is the oldest university in South Africa and the second oldest extant university in Africa.-History:The roots of...

 and at Rhodes University
Rhodes University
Rhodes University is a public research university located in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, established in 1904. It is the province’s oldest university, and is one of the four universities in the province...

 are named after him, as is a library housing international law materials at the University of the Witwatersrand
University of the Witwatersrand
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg is a South African university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. It is more commonly known as Wits University...

.

In 1932, the kibbutz
Kibbutz
A kibbutz is a collective community in Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture. Today, farming has been partly supplanted by other economic branches, including industrial plants and high-tech enterprises. Kibbutzim began as utopian communities, a combination of socialism and Zionism...

 Ramat Yohanan
Ramat Yohanan
Ramat Yohanan is a kibbutz in northern Israel. Located near Kiryat Ata, it falls under the jurisdiction of Zevulun Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 751....

 in Israel was named after him. Smuts was a vocal proponent of the creation of a Jewish state
Jewish state
A homeland for the Jewish people was an idea that rose to the fore in the 19th century in the wake of growing anti-Semitism and Jewish assimilation. Jewish emancipation in Europe paved the way for two ideological solutions to the Jewish Question: cultural assimilation, as envisaged by Moses...

, and spoke out against the rising anti-Semitism of the 1930s.

Awards/decorations

  • Privy Counsellor
  • Order of Merit
    Order of Merit
    The Order of Merit is a British dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture...

  • Companion of Honour
  • Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst
    Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst
    The Dekoratie voor Trouwe Dienst was a South African military decoration. It was authorised on 21 December 1920, as a retrospective award for Boer veterans of the Anglo-Boer War...

  • Efficiency Decoration
    Efficiency Decoration
    The Efficiency Decoration is a defunct medal of Britain and the Commonwealth awarded for long service in the Territorial Army of the UK, the Indian Volunteer Forces and Colonial Auxiliary Forces....

  • King's Counsel
  • Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS)
  • Bencher of the Middle Temple
    Middle Temple
    The Honourable Society of the Middle Temple, commonly known as Middle Temple, is one of the four Inns of Court exclusively entitled to call their members to the English Bar as barristers; the others being the Inner Temple, Gray's Inn and Lincoln's Inn...

  • Albert Medal
    Albert Medal (RSA)
    The Albert Medal of the Royal Society of Arts was instituted in 1864 as a memorial to Prince Albert, who had been President of the Society for 18 years. It was first awarded in 1864 for "distinguished merit in promoting Arts, Manufactures and Commerce"...


Medals, Commonwealth and South African

  • Queen's South Africa Medal
    Queen's South Africa Medal
    The Queen's South Africa Medal ‎was awarded to military personnel who served in the Boer War in South Africa between 11 October 1899 and 31 May 1902. Units from the British Army, Royal Navy, colonial forces who took part , civilians employed in official capacity and war correspondents...

  • 1914–15 Star
  • British War Medal
    British War Medal
    The British War Medal was a campaign medal of the British Empire, for service in World War I.The medal was approved in 1919, for issue to officers and men of British and Imperial forces who had rendered service between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918...

  • Victory Medal
    Victory Medal (United Kingdom)
    The Victory Medal is a campaign medal - of which the basic design and ribbon was adopted by Belgium, Brazil, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Siam, Union of South Africa and the USA in accordance with decisions as taken at the Inter-Allied Peace Conference at...

  • General Service Medal
    General Service Medal (1918)
    The General Service Medal was instituted to recognise service in minor Army and Air Force operations for which no separate medal was intended. It was equivalent to the 1915 Naval General Service Medal.- Description :...

  • King George V Silver Jubilee Medal
    King George V Silver Jubilee Medal
    The King George V Silver Jubilee Medal was a commemorative medal made to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the coronation of King George V.-Issue:...

  • King George VI Coronation Medal
    King George VI Coronation Medal
    The King George VI Coronation Medal was a commemorative medal made to celebrate the coronation of King George VI.-Issue:For Coronation and Jubilee medals, the practice up until 1977 was that United Kingdom authorities decided on a total number to be produced, then allocated a proportion to each of...

  • Africa Star
    Africa Star
    The Africa Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in the Second World War.The Star was awarded for a minimum of one day service in an operational area of North Africa between 10 June 1940 and 12 May 1943...

  • Italy Star
    Italy Star
    The Italy Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.The medal was awarded for operational service in Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Pantelleria, the Aegean area and Dodecanese Islands, and Elba at any time between 11 June 1943 and 8 May 1945...

  • France and Germany Star
    France and Germany Star
    The France and Germany Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in World War II.The medal was awarded for operational service in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Germany from 6 June 1944 to 8 May 1945...

  • Defence Medal
  • War Medal 1939–1945
    War Medal 1939–1945
    The War Medal 1939–1945 was a British decoration awarded to those who had served in the Armed Forces or Merchant Navy full-time for at least 28 days between 3 September 1939 and 2 September 1945. In the Merchant Navy, the 28 days must have been served at sea...

  • Africa Service Medal
    Africa Service Medal
    The Africa Service Medal was a South African campaign medal for service in World War II. It was instituted by King George VI, in his capacity as South African head of state, on 23 December 1943, and was awarded in addition to the British stars and medals issued for the war...


Foreign decorations and medals

  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
    European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
    The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal is a military decoration of the United States armed forces which was first created on November 6, 1942 by issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt...

     (USA)
  • Order of the Tower and Sword
    Order of the Tower and Sword
    The Military Order of the Tower and of the Sword, of Valour, Loyalty and Merit is a Portuguese order of knighthood and the pinnacle of the Portuguese honours system. It was created by King Afonso V in 1459....

     (GCTE) (Portugal)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Netherlands Lion (Netherlands)
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of Muhammad Ali (Egypt)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer
    Order of the Redeemer
    The Order of the Redeemer , also known as the Order of the Savior, is an order of Greece. The Order of the Redeemer is the oldest and highest decoration awarded by the modern Greek state.- History :...

     (Greece)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Léopold
    Order of Léopold
    The Order of Leopold is one of the three Belgian national honorary orders of knighthood. It is the highest order of Belgium and is named in honour of King Leopold I. It consists of a military, a maritime and a civilian division...

     (Belgium)
  • Croix de guerre
    Croix de guerre
    The Croix de guerre is a military decoration of France. It was first created in 1915 and consists of a square-cross medal on two crossed swords, hanging from a ribbon with various degree pins. The decoration was awarded during World War I, again in World War II, and in other conflicts...

     (Belgium)
  • Commander of the Légion d'honneur
    Légion d'honneur
    The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

     (France)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of the African Star
    Order of the African Star
    The Order of the African Star was established by King Leopold II of Belgium on 30 December 1888, in his capacity as ruler of the Congo Free State, and was awarded for services to Congo and for the "promotion of African civilisation in general". It was incorporated into the Belgian honours system...

     (Belgium)
  • King Christian X Frihedsmedaille (Denmark)
  • Cross of Valour
    Cross of Valour (Greece)
    The Cross of Valour is the second highest military decoration of the Greek state, awarded for acts of bravery or distinguished leadership on the field of battle...

     (Greece)
  • Woodrow Wilson Peace Medal

See also

  • Military history of South Africa
    Military history of South Africa
    The history of South Africa chronicles a vast time period and complex events from the dawn of history until the present time. It covers civil wars and wars of aggression and of self-defense both within South Africa and against it...

  • When Smuts Goes
    When Smuts Goes
    When Smuts Goes is a dystopian future history of South Africa , published in 1947 by Dr. Arthur M...

  • History of Kenya – Colonial History
  • History of Tanzania – First World War

Primary sources

  • Hancock, WK and van der Poel, J (eds) – Selections from the Smuts Papers, 1886–1950, (7 vols), (1966–73)
  • Spies, SB and Natrass, G (eds) – Jan Smuts – Memoirs of the Boer War Jonathan Ball, Johannesburg 1994

Secondary sources

  • Armstrong, HC – Grey Steel: A Study of Arrogance, (1939), ASIN B00087SNP4)
  • Clark, NL – South Africa: The Rise and Fall of Apartheid, (2004), (ISBN 0 582 41437 7)
  • Crafford, FS – Jan Smuts: A Biography, (1943), ISBN 1-4179-9290-5
  • Friedman, B – Smuts: A Reappraisal, (1975)
  • Geyser, O – Jan Smuts and His International Contemporaries, (2002), (ISBN 1-919874-10-0)
  • Hancock, WK – Smuts: 1. The Sanguine Years, 1870—1919, (1962)
  • Hancock, WK – Smuts: 2. Fields of Force, 1919–1950, (1968)
  • Hutchinson, John – A Botanist in Southern Africa, (1946), PR Gawthorn Ltd.
  • Ingham, K – Jan Christian Smuts: The Conscience of a South African, (1986)
  • Lentin, Antony – General Smuts: South Africa, London, Haus, (2010). ISBN 9781905791828
  • Millin, SG – General Smuts, (2 vols), (1933)
  • Reitz, D – Commando: A Boer Journal of the Boer War, (ISBN 0-9627613-3-8)
  • Smuts, JC – Jan Christian Smuts, (1952), e-book (ISBN 978-1-920091-29-3)

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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