The British government thought otherwise; they held that the trekkers could not divest themselves of their allegiance to the Crown.
The Great Trek, as it is called, lasted from 1836 to 1840, the trekkers, who numbered about 7000, founding communities with a republican form of government beyond the Orange and Vaal rivers, and in Natal, where they had been preceded, however, by British emigrants.
It intensified in the minds of many Boers the feeling of hostility towards the British already existing; some of the trekkers in1836-1840had taken part in and others had passively aided the rebellion of 1815 - " the most insane attempt ever made by a set of men to wage war against their sovereign " (Cloete, op. cit.
Summing up, it may be said that the exasperation caused by just grievances unremedied was no stronger a motive with the trekkers than the desire to be free from the restraints imposed on British subjects and the wish to be able to deal with the natives after their own fashion.