Orange Free State

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The Orange Free State was an independent Boer republic in South Africa in the late nineteenth-century; the name was later used for a province of the Union of South Africa and Republic of South Africa; since 1995 it has been known as Free State. The Orange Free State lay between the Orange and Vaal rivers. Its capital was Bloemfontein.

The Orange Free State has its origins in the 1830s when a Boer settlement was made in the northern part of the territory; a territorial entity known as the Orange River Sovereignty was recognised in 1848, centred on Bloemfontein. In 1854 this was recognised as the Orange Free State, which maintained its independence until 1900. In 1899 it had joined its northern neighbour, the South African Republic (or Transvaal) in declaring war upon Great Britain; the following year it was occupied an annexed by British forces and its name changed to the Orange River Colony. The Orange River Colony became part of the Union of South Africa when the latter was granted Dominion status in 1910 and resumed its former name. In 1995 it was renamed Free State.