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  • 1878 Paul Kruger In time, Kruger emerged as a leader. He started as a field cornet in the commandos, eventually becoming Commandant-General of the South African Republic. He was appointed member of a commission of the Volksraad, the republican parliament that was to draw up a constitution. People began to take notice of the young man and he played a prominent part in ending the quarrel between the Transvaal leader, Steph*** Schoeman, and MW Pretorius. In 1873, Kruger resigned as Commandant-General, and for a time he held no office and retired to his farm, Boekenhoutfontein. However, in 1874 he was elected to the Executive Council and shortly after that became Vice-President of the Transvaal. Following the annexation of the Transvaal by Britain in 1877, Kruger became the leader of the resistance movement. During the same year, he visited Britain for the first time as leader of a deputation. In 1878, he was part of a second deputation. A highlight of his visit to Europe was when he ascended in a hot air balloon and saw Paris from the air. The First Boer War, also known as the "First War of Independence", started in 1880, and the British forces were defeated in the decisive battle at Majuba in 1881. Once again, Kruger played an important role in the negotiations with the British, which led to the restoration of the Transvaal's independence under British suzerainty. On 30 December 1880, at the age of 55, Kruger was elected President of the Transvaal. One of his first aims was the revision of ...