In the 19th century, Great Britain owned South Africa. Known as the Boer Colonies, in the Transvaal region, these colonies were populated by a largely Dutch-African mix, known as the Boers. They spoke Afrikaans, a language based on Dutch. Formerly a Dutch colony, the Boers declared independence, being a largely different culture than the people who governed them. On this day in 1852 world history, the British Empire recognized the independent colonies as one country. They later formed the Republic of South Africa, which was conquered by Great Britain in 1902.