South African Prime Minister, Military Leader. Of Boer stock, but a British subject by birth, he was educated at Victoria College at Stellenbosch and at Cambridge University, where he won highest honors in law. In 1895, Smuts was admitted to the Cape Colony bar. When the Jameson Raid convinced him that Great Britain intended to conquer the South African Republic, he renounced his British citizenship and moved to the republic, where he became state attorney in 1898. In the South African War between 1901 and 1902, Smuts commanded Boer guerrilla forces in the Cape Colony. By 1904 he concluded that the cooperation of Boer and British elements was essential to the greatness of South Africa, and he joined with Louis Botha to achieve this alliance. Smuts was instrumental in the creation in 1910 of the Union of South Africa. He continuously held office in Botha's cabinet, serving as minister of defense from 1910 to 1919, of interior and mines from 1910 to 1912, and of finance from 1912 to 1913. His use of military force and of admittedly illegal deportations in breaking a miners' strike cost him support of labor. Early in World War I, Smuts smashed a new Boer uprising, and in 1916, he served successfully as a general in South Africa's campaign against German East Africa. He was a member from 1917 to 1918 of the imperial war cabinet in London, and signed the Treaty of Versailles. However, Smuts protested that its terms would outrage Germany and prevent the harmonious world order that he believed could best be served by the League of Nations. Upon Botha's death in 1919, he headed the United South African (Unionist) Party, and from 1919 to 1924, he was prime minister and minister for native affairs. Weakened by his frequent absences and another strike-breaking incident, his party lost the election of 1924 to a coalition of labor and anti-British nationalists. Smuts in retirement wrote "Holism and Evolution" in 1926, in which he developed the view that evolution is a sequence of ever more comprehensive integrations; in the political sphere the British Empire and the developing world community provided the highest examples. From 1933 to 1939, he was minister of justice in a coalition cabinet, but when Prime Minister Hertzog opposed entering World War II, he became prime minister. In 1941, Smuts was created field marshal. He spent most of the war in London, where he had a high place in the British war councils, and he was very active in organizing the United Nations. In South Africa, however, Smuts' party lost the election of 1948 to the Nationalists. He represented that portion of South African sentiment that stood for cooperation with the British Empire and that had somewhat less extreme racial views that the Nationalists.
Burial: Cremated, Ashes scattered. Specifically: Ashes scattered on a koppie on his farm near Irene