Orange Free State
The Orange Free State was an independent Boer republic in southern Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 during the second half of the 19th century, and later a British colony
Orange River Colony
The Orange River Colony was the British colony created after this nation first occupied and then annexed the independent Orange Free State in the Second Boer War...

 and a province
Provinces of South Africa
South Africa is currently divided into nine provinces. On the eve of the 1994 general election, South Africa's former homelands, also known as Bantustans, were reintegrated and the four existing provinces were divided into nine. The twelfth, thirteenth and sixteenth amendments to the constitution...

 of the Union of South Africa
Union of South Africa
The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the previously separate colonies of the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and the Orange Free State...

. It is the historical precursor to the present-day Free State
Free State
The Free State is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its historical origins lie in the Orange Free State Boer republic and later Orange Free State Province. The current borders of the province date from 1994 when the Bantustans...

 province. Extending between the Orange
Orange River
The Orange River , Gariep River, Groote River or Senqu River is the longest river in South Africa. It rises in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho, flowing westwards through South Africa to the Atlantic Ocean...

 and Vaal
Vaal River
The Vaal River is the largest tributary of the Orange River in South Africa. The river has its source in the Drakensberg mountains in Mpumalanga, east of Johannesburg and about 30 km north of Ermelo and only about 240 km from the Indian Ocean. It then flows westwards to its conjunction...

 rivers, its borders were determined by the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1848 when the region was proclaimed as the Orange River Sovereignty
Orange River Sovereignty
The Orange River Sovereignty was a short-lived political entity between the Orange and Vaal rivers in southern Africa. In 1854, it became the Orange Free State, and is now the Free State province of South Africa.-History:...

, with a seat of a British Resident in Bloemfontein
Bloemfontein is the capital city of the Free State Province of South Africa; and, as the judicial capital of the nation, one of South Africa's three national capitals – the other two being Cape Town, the legislative capital, and Pretoria, the administrative capital.Bloemfontein is popularly and...


In the northern part of the territory a Voortrekker Republic was established at Winburg
Winburg is a small mixed farming town in the Free State province of South Africa.It is the oldest proclaimed town in the Orange Free State, South Africa and thus along with Griquatown, one of the oldest settlements in South Africa located north of the Orange River.Winburg is situated midway...

 in 1837.