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Union of South Africa

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Union of South Africa
Unie van Suid-Afrika
Unie van Zuid-Afrika




Flag Coat of arms
Ex Unitate Vires
(Latin: From Unity, Strength)
Die Stem van Suid-Afrika
"The Call of South Africa"
Location of the Union of South Africa. South-West Africa shown as disputed area (administered as 5th province of the Union).
Capital Cape Town (legislative)
Pretoria (administrative)
Bloemfontein (judicial)
Pietermaritzburg (archival)
Language(s) Dutch, English, Afrikaans (after 1925)
Government Constitutional monarchy
 - 1910-1936 George V
 - 1936 Edward VIII
 - 1936-1952 George VI
 - 1952-1961 Elizabeth II
 - 1910-1914 The Viscount Gladstone
 - 1959-1961 Charles Robberts Swart
Prime Minister
 - 1910-1919 Louis Botha
 - 1919-'24, 1939-1948 Jan Smuts
 - 1924-1939 J.B.M. Hertzog
 - 1948-1954 D.F. Malan
 - 1954-1958 J.G. Strijdom
 - 1958-1961 H.F. Verwoerd
Legislature Parliament
 - Upper house Senate
 - Lower house House of Assembly
 - Union 31 May 1910
 - Statute of Westminster 11 December 1931
 - Republic 31 May 1961
 - 1961 2,045,320 km2 (789,702 sq mi)
 - 1961 est. 18,216,000 
     Density 8.9 /km2  (23.1 /sq mi)
Currency South African pound
Today part of  South Africa

The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the modern-day Republic of South Africa. It was formed on 31 May 1910 when the British Cape Colony and the Natal Colony unified with the defeated Boer republics of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. The provinces of the union were called, respectively, as the Cape Province, the Natal Province, the Transvaal Province, and the Orange Free State Province. Following World War I, the former German colony of German South-West Africa was put under administration of the Union of South Africa as a League of Nations mandate and was treated as if it were another province.

The Union of South Africa came to an end on 31 May 1961, when a new constitution came into effect, transforming the Union of South Africa into a republic, under the name 'Republic of South Africa'.