In 1875 Burgers proceeded to Europe with the project of raising a loan for the construction of a railway to Delagoa Bay.
Muller in Die Burgers and Schlosser Sii.darabiens (Vienna, 1879-1881).
Having failed with Brand, the Boers invited the Rev. Thomas Francois Burgers, a member of a well-known Cape Colony family and a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, to allow himself to be nominated.
Burgers accepted the offer, and in 1872 was elected president.
The appointment of Burgers to the presidency in 1872 was a new departure.
On his return to the Transvaal in 1876 Burgers found that the conditions of affairs in the state was worse than ever.
Burgers then proceeded to levy taxes, which were never paid; to enrol troops, which never marched; and to continue the head of a government which had neither resources, credit nor power of administration.
His was a bitter awakening, and the bitterness of it found expression in some remarkable words addressed to the volksraad: " I would rather," said Burgers in March 1877, " be a policeman under a strong government than the president of such a state.
The best evidence in favour of the step is to be found in the publicly expressed views of the state's own president, Burgers, already quoted.
A still further reason for Shepstone's annexation, given by Sir Bartle Frere, was that Burgers had already sought alliance with European powers, and Shepstone had no reason to doubt that if Great Britain refused to interfere, Germany would intervene.
Moreover, apart from the attitude of President Burgers, which cannot be said to have been one of active opposition, a considerable number of the Boers accepted the annexation with complacency.
Burgers himself left the Transvaal a disappointed, heart-broken man, and a deathbed statement published some time after his decease throws a lurid light on the intrigues which arose before and after annexation.
However this may be, Burgers was crushed; but as a consequence the British government and not Paul Kruger was, for a time at least, master of the Transvaal.
The decision caused so much discontent in the Transvaal that it brought about the downfall of President Pretorius and his party; and Thomas Francois Burgers, an educated Dutch minister, resident in Cape Colony, was elected to succeed him.
During the term of Burgers' presidency Kruger appeared to great disadvantage.
Instead of loyally supporting the president in the difficult task of building up a stable state, he did everything in his power to undermine his authority, going so far as to urge the Boers to pay no taxes while Burgers was in office.
The faction of which he was a prominent member was chiefly responsible for bringing about that impasse in the government of the country which drew such bitter protest from Burgers and terminated in the annexation by the British in April 1877.
The one idea of Kruger and his faction was to oust Burgers from office on any pretext, and, if possible, to put Kruger in his place.
When the downfall of Burgers was assured and annexation offered itself as the alternative resulting from his downfall, it is true that Kruger opposed it.
In 1893 Kruger had to face a third presidential election, and on this occasion the opposition he had raised among the burgers, largely by the favouritism he displayed to the Hollander party, was so strong that it was fully anticipated that his more liberal opponent, General Joubert, would be elected.
The action taken by President Kruger at this election, and his previous actions in ousting President Burgers and in absolutely excluding the Uitlanders from the franchise, all show that at any cost, in his opinion, the government must remain a close corporation, and that while he lived he must remain at the head of it.
Burgers, a man totally unfitted to govern a country distracted by factions, harassed by wars with natives, and with an almost depleted exchequer.
They form a union and get laws passed that no burgers can be flipped except by a union member.