How Far Do You Agree with the Opinion That the Boer Was Acted as a Spur to Much Needed Reform in Britain

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  • Topic: Second Boer War, Military, Boer Wars
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  • Published : April 16, 2013
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How far do you agree with the opinion that the Boer war acted as a spur to much needed reform in Britain?

The Boer war acted as a catalyst to reform in many ways. It had considerable impact politically and socially. Many changes were put in place, from improving the army to public health care. Initially what acted as a spur was the amount of deaths and the cost of the war, 22,000 were killed costing £200 million therefore this led to a wake up call for the Army. However one may argue that it was not just the Boer war that induced reforms to be made in Britain; individuals such as Richard Burton Haldane who was appointed war minister could have implemented changes without the Boer war being a significant factor.

The Committee of Imperial defence was set up in 1903 addressing that critical reform was needed in regards to the way Britain defended itself and strategy of planning. This was introduced to learn lesson from the Boer war furthermore Lord Salisbury established the Royal Commissions under Lord Elgin, some of the changes that were implemented was the abolition of the post of Commander in Chief, this was highly significant as it allowed other posts to be introduced and the elite class did not buy there way into the Army and posts were given by merit hence allowing more competent individuals to run the Army. Source B shows that inefficiencies of the armed forces and the how important the Esher Report was in reforming it. The source highlighted that there was much needed reform in the army and much of these reforms that were introduced were due to the Boer war, “it coolly analysed the confusions and ineffectiveness of military administration” considering the provenance I can see that it is from a Book by the historian Corelli Barnett who studied English military history and it was published in 1970 hence implying that Barnett must have collected a wide range of sources over a long period of time and judged them fairly before coming to a rational...
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