Hertzog, James Barry Munnik (hûrtˈsŏg, hĕrtˈsôkh) [key], 1866–1942, South African military and political leader. Before the South African War, in which he commanded a division of the Boer forces (1899–1902), he had been a judge in the Orange Free State. As minister of education in the Orange River Colony (1907–10), he insisted upon the teaching of Dutch as well as English in the schools. In the first cabinet of the Union of South Africa he was minister of justice (1910–12), but his active resistance to Louis Botha, then premier, and to the supremacy of Great Britain brought about a crisis, and he was dropped from the government. Hertzog then took the lead in organizing the National party, opposed to imperialism and aiming at a state independent of the British Empire. After 1924, when by an alliance between that party and the Labour party a coalition government was formed, he was prime minister for 15 years until Sept., 1939. His administrations protected domestic industries, passed measures of racial segregation, and disenfranchised the Bantu of the Cape Prov. Hertzog was at first inclined to appease Hitler, favoring a return of German colonial territories, but he advocated neutrality in World War II. Parliament then repudiated his anti-British stand.
See biographies by C. M. van den Heever (1946) and O. Pirow (1958).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.