In the 1890s speculation and market-making were prominent features of the Southern African gold mining industry, particularly the mid-decade boom and bust. Extravagantly capitalised in a manner designed to yield short-term speculative profits, starved of working capital and poorly managed, many mines could not be made to pay. Outside investors suffered more at the hands of Rand financiers than they did from those of the Boer Government in Pretoria. By failing to take into consideration the part played by financial speculation, accounts of South African history in the 1890s that focussed on mining company grievances as the root cause of the Jameson Raid and the outbreak of war in 1899 may have been looking in the wrong direction.
keywords: rand, gold mining, finance, speculation, war