The Anglo – Zulu wars, a clash between the might of the British Empire with the African Zulu Kingdom, began in 1879.
In 1874, Sir Henry Bartle Frere was appointed High Commissioner for Southern Africa. His mission was to bring the various African kingdoms, tribal areas, and Boer Republics together under British rule, modelled after the policy which brought the various states within Canada together under one political and military control. He was opposed by several forces, mainly the various independent Boer states, and the Zulu Kingdom, with its vast army.
In order to bring the region and its tribes together under as part of the British Empire, Frere decided to go to war with the Zulu Kingdom. Working on his own, without the backing of his government, Frere issued an ultimatum to the Zulu King Cetshwayo on 11 December 1878. The demands proved impossible to comply with, and war was declared. The British forces, led by Lord Chelmsford, invaded Zululand. Many battles ensued, including a stunning Zulu victory at Isandlwana, and the near-collapse of the garrison at Rorke’s Drift. However, in the end, the British were triumphant. The Zulu Nation would no longer be independent, but part of the British Empire.