Both the war of1899-1902and the grant of self-government to the new colonies were necessary preliminaries to the success of any unification scheme, but the causes which now led to the question of closer union being raised were not political but economic. Since the development of the diamond meat for and gold mining industries the coast colonies had Closer unduly neglected their own resources and had relied Union.
When the Cuban rising in 1895 assumed a serious aspect, he was sent out by the Conservative cabinet of Canovas to cope with the rebellion, but he failed in the field, as well as in his efforts to win over the Creoles, chiefly because he was not allowed to give them local self-government, as he wished.
The previous (Conservative) government had in March 1905 made public a form of representative govern- government, intended to lead up to self-government meat* for the Transvaal, and had intimated that a similar constitution would be subsequently conferred on the Orange Colony.
The powers of self-government thus conferred on the foreign community consist in exclusive police control within the area, in draining, lighting, maintenance of streets and roads, making and enforcement of sanitary regulations, control of markets, dairies and so forth.
The Davidsons belonged to the congregation of James Robertson (1803-1860) of Ellon, one of the ministers of Strathbogie Presbytery, which in the controversy which led to the disruption, resisted the "dangerous claims of the established church to self-government."