It is known that he had a share in the drawing up of the new constitutions for the Batavian and Italian Republics.
The military strength of the two republics was practically an unknown quantity.
He thereupon (in February 1860) obtained six months' leave of absence and repaired to Bloemfontein, in the hope of peacefully bringing about a union between the two republics.
Had the fusion of the two little republics which Pretorius sought to bring about, and from which apparently the Free State was not averse, actually been accomplished in 1860, it is more than probable that a republican state on liberal lines, with some prospect of permanence and stability, might have been formed.
On the western border, where the natives were of less warlike character than those on their southern and northern frontiers, intrigues were already going on with petty tribal chiefs, and the Boers drove out a portion of the Barolongs from their lands, setting up the so-called republics of Stellaland and Goshen.