Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts was a South African statesman, military leader, and philosopher. In addition to holding various cabinet posts, he served as prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1919 until 1924 and from 1939 until 1948. Although Smuts had originally advocated racial segregation and opposed the enfranchisement of black Africans, his views changed and he backed the Fagan Commission’s findings that complete segregation was impossible. Smuts subsequently lost the 1948 election to hard-line nationalists who institutionalised apartheid. He continued to work for reconciliation and emphasised the British Commonwealth’s positive role until his death in 1950. In the Second Boer War, Smuts led a Boer commando for the Transvaal. During the First World War, he led the armies of South Africa against Germany, capturing German South-West Africa. He then commanded the British Army in East Africa.
|Born:||Jan Christiaan Smuts, May 24, 1870, Bovenplaats, Cape Colony|
|Died:||Irene, Union of South Africa|
|Children:||Jannie, Louis, Japie, Sylma, Santa, Cato|
|Preceded by:||James Barry Munnik Hertzog|
|Succeeded by:||Daniel François Malan|
About Jan Smuts
From 1919 until 1924 and again from 1939 until 1948, Smuts served as Prime Minister of South Africa. Also a military man, he was a hero in the Second Boer War and a member of the United Kingdom’s War Cabinet.
He earned his law degree from Christ’s College, Cambridge, and subsequently returned to his native South Africa, where he pursued careers in journalism and politics.
He signed the treaties that ended both World War I and World War II.
Born to Afrikaner farmers Catharina and Jacobus Smuts, he grew up in the Cape Colony. His marriage to Issie Krige resulted in six children.
As a member of the British Army, Smuts was appointed to Winston Churchill‘s Imperial War Cabinet.
Information related to Jan Smuts
- Jan Smuts Category
- South African Republic generals
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